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Official Sony XBR8 Series Owner's Thread - Page 3

post #61 of 5435
My 55" was delivered yesterday in good condition. All I have had time to do is power it up to make sure it works. I will not likely get it into the HT setup until Saturday. I look forward to impressions of other owners and seeing your favorite picture settings. I upgraded from my XBR2 to take advantage of the deeper blacks, 24fps capability and faster refresh rate, since I use my HT room for movies and sports. And my XBR2 was the only set in my house, and I needed one upstairs where I spend the other half of my life.

My only complaints so far, having not really used it yet are the owner's manual which does not explain in very good detail what the motion settings do and the position of the mounting holes on the back, which make the set hang lower than the XBR2. I will have to do some monkeying around with the setup, since even at the highest position on my stand, it will be partially obstructed by my center channel speaker.
post #62 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsteinhauer View Post

My 55" was delivered yesterday in good condition. All I have had time to do is power it up to make sure it works. I will not likely get it into the HT setup until Saturday. I look forward to impressions of other owners and seeing your favorite picture settings. I upgraded from my XBR2 to take advantage of the deeper blacks, 24fps capability and faster refresh rate, since I use my HT room for movies and sports. And my XBR2 was the only set in my house, and I needed one upstairs where I spend the other half of my life.

My only complaints so far, having not really used it yet are the owner's manual which does not explain in very good detail what the motion settings do and the position of the mounting holes on the back, which make the set hang lower than the XBR2. I will have to do some monkeying around with the setup, since even at the highest position on my stand, it will be partially obstructed by my center channel speaker.

Congrats on your new TV! Where did you buy this? Was it online or a local retailer? Surprised because all of the Sonystyle stores around here only has displays and no inventory. I'd be curious to hear where you bought it from.
post #63 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsteinhauer View Post

My 55" was delivered yesterday in good condition. All I have had time to do is power it up to make sure it works. I will not likely get it into the HT setup until Saturday. I look forward to impressions of other owners and seeing your favorite picture settings. I upgraded from my XBR2 to take advantage of the deeper blacks, 24fps capability and faster refresh rate, since I use my HT room for movies and sports. And my XBR2 was the only set in my house, and I needed one upstairs where I spend the other half of my life.

My only complaints so far, having not really used it yet are the owner's manual which does not explain in very good detail what the motion settings do and the position of the mounting holes on the back, which make the set hang lower than the XBR2. I will have to do some monkeying around with the setup, since even at the highest position on my stand, it will be partially obstructed by my center channel speaker.

How many inches below the lowest mounting hole does it extend?
That is something I need to take into account too, if I decide to go with XBR8. Also, are you using any special mounting since it's so heavy?
post #64 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamE55 View Post

Congrats on your new TV! Where did you buy this? Was it online or a local retailer? Surprised because all of the Sonystyle stores around here only has displays and no inventory. I'd be curious to hear where you bought it from.

I ordered mine direct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by st_o_p View Post

How many inches below the lowest mounting hole does it extend?
That is something I need to take into account too, if I decide to go with XBR8. Also, are you using any special mounting since it's so heavy?

I have an AV equipment stand from Sanus with an optional flat panel mounting bracket. It was perfect for the 52". The screen was just above the center speaker. This screen will extend about an inch or more below the speaker. It extends between 8.25-8.5 inches below the lowest hole. I'll just leave the pedestal on the display and set it on some boards for now. I'll take some time to decide whether to mount this one on the bracket and put the center speaker on the shelf below or remove the bracket altogether. Either will look exactly same from out in the room.
post #65 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsteinhauer View Post

I ordered mine direct.



I have an AV equipment stand from Sanus with an optional flat panel mounting bracket. It was perfect for the 52". The screen was just above the center speaker. This screen will extend about an inch or more below the speaker. It extends between 8.25-8.5 inches below the lowest hole. I'll just leave the pedestal on the display and set it on some boards for now. I'll take some time to decide whether to mount this one on the bracket and put the center speaker on the shelf below or remove the bracket altogether. Either will look exactly same from out in the room.

jsteinhauer, thanks for the measurement.

I have a wall-mount already in place for whatever tv I decide to buy. I'm pretty certain it will hold any 52" LCD or 46" XBR8. I'm just not so confident it will hold 55" XBR8 - it may, but I don't know I want to take the risk. It's a lot heavier than any other LCD. Anyway I haven't made my mind what to buy yet, so it may not be a concern; I'll not buy the XBR8 if they don't reduce the price at some point - that's for sure.
post #66 of 5435
I have had only enough time to connect the set to my Sony AVR, through which my DirecTV HDDVR and Denon 3800BDCI are connected. I have adjusted the brightness and contrast to make sure nothing is clipped, turned down the backlighting, and I have turned off most of the other picture gimmicks except the dynamic LED. The blacks are fantastic (at least compared to my 52XBR2 which is going upstairs), but I will admit there are two brighter spots in each lower corner. My other immediate issue is some apparent handshake problems with the Denon BD player. There are some AV drops in the first few moments of play that seem to resolve once things are going, but I have not yet played a whole disc. We shall see tonight with Zohan. Just by eye, I suspect that both the cinema and standard picture modes are good enough out of the box for most casual users watching movies and televsion. Just a little bit bright. I will hopefully spend more time this weekend, but I don't know, if I have time to use the colorimeter.

Other brief observations are that the dynamic backlighting creates some dynamic clouding artifacts on black screens with white or yellow lettering. I have not looked at how different settings affect this. And, at first glance, 720p programming over satellite looks a little worse than on my XBR2. This may be fixable.

Overall, my big concern it the AV dropouts from the BD player. I will have to check to see if taking video direct from the player to the display causes the same thing. I go 7.1 analog from the player to the AVR, so that will not change anything for me.
post #67 of 5435
Wow,
Here are some pics of the XBR8 vs a normal LCD:


overexposing it shows again, how the XBR8 shows absolutely no blooming & the blacks match the bezel, something not even the Pioneer Kuros can do.:


Such a hugh freaking jump in quality, it might even be worth the insane price Sony is charging.
post #68 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtfer View Post

Wow,
Here are some pics of the XBR8 vs a normal LCD:


Please identify the normal LCD.
post #69 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtfer View Post

Wow,
Here are some pics of the XBR8 vs a normal LCD:


overexposing it shows again, how the XBR8 shows absolutely no blooming & the blacks match the bezel, something not even the Pioneer Kuros can do.:


Such a hugh freaking jump in quality, it might even be worth the insane price Sony is charging.

It seems that the LED displays don't have any content, as the text seems to be isolated, like its in its own square.

Also notice how they don't have any content (if the text is in fact some sort of illusion). Why wouldn't they have them all with the same content?

The one on the bottom right seems to be pretty good, and my pick if I had to go off a photo, as it is a fair comparison.

Edit, also notice how white the text is on the bottom two displays, where the LEDs are VERY dim.
post #70 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanaticalism View Post


Edit, also notice how white the text is on the bottom two displays, where the LEDs are VERY dim.

...but look how washed out the colors in the normal LCD backlight looks. The colors on the Sony XBR8 look like they look in optimal lighting conditions.
post #71 of 5435
I have no doubts what so ever that the XBR8 is an amazing tv but honestly looking at pictures on a computer without any knowledge what so ever as to the settings or the other tv is just pointless. Also to claim that the blacks have achieved a level that even Pioneer Kuro's can't is just false. Can LED match the black levels with the technology? yes I have no doubts but it isn't this year and anyone claiming so is not being honest in comparison. Plain and simple these are marketing shots and of course they are going to make it look like night and day. Would you honestly expect Sony or ANY other company to set up a demo and have their new model not be immediately distinguishable from the "other" tv? Of course not.
post #72 of 5435
ordered my 55xbr8. sonystyle store had to do a 'drop ship' order through their E1 system. does anyone know what that means? is there any difference than ordering it online? i just don't wanna be stuck with some defective tv and I want to get it as soon as possible. They told me it would take the same amount of time to receive it as it would if I ordered it online.
post #73 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by cash20 View Post

ordered my 55xbr8. sonystyle store had to do a 'drop ship' order through their E1 system. does anyone know what that means? is there any difference than ordering it online? i just don't wanna be stuck with some defective tv and I want to get it as soon as possible. They told me it would take the same amount of time to receive it as it would if I ordered it online.

generally drop ship means shipping to you directly from a warehouse or factory, instead of shipping to the dealer and then to you. in this case, when you say difference than ordering it online -- you mean from sony online? no difference really. shipping method doesn't affect whether a tv arrives defective

good luck. looking to see your report any day now...
post #74 of 5435
thanks....can't wait
post #75 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtfer View Post

& the blacks match the bezel, something not even the Pioneer Kuros can do.:

???? What are you talking about? Yes they can. Where are you getting your information? You obviously haven't seen a 9th gen Kuro in a home environment, that's for sure.
post #76 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaoChe View Post

???? What are you talking about? Yes they can. Where are you getting your information? You obviously haven't seen a 9th gen Kuro in a home environment, that's for sure.

It's been proven in a complete dark home theatre environment, the blacks can still be distinguished from the bezel.
post #77 of 5435
Jsteinhauer any pics or impressions for show and tell or anyone who owns it???????
post #78 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by uni_panther View Post

Can LED match the black levels with the technology? yes I have no doubts but it isn't this year and anyone claiming so is not being honest in comparison.

Maybe or maybe not. The Sony has nearly twice the number of LED zones over the Samsung & we still don't know how much the RGB LED's will help the color depth.
post #79 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by wease View Post

Jsteinhauer any pics or impressions for show and tell or anyone who owns it???????

No pictures, but I can only say that the blacks are incredible for an LCD. Pictures submitted on the internet don't tell you much, anyway, since so many factors come into play (my display settings, room factors, camera quality and settings, your PC display). Black indeed matches the bezel and appears truly black. Using color filters and DVE to adjust color and hue, I can't get as close to accurate by eye as I could with my XBR2, but it's not something that the average person (like myself) is going to have a problem with. The Warm 1 setting seems to be best by my eye, and the settings out of the box weren't horrible. The apparent handshaking issues with AV dropouts occur it seems during menu startup, and did not affect the movie (Zohan), but I still did not have this with my XBR2.

I have not experimented with the dynamic LED settings, yet, so I can't comment, but the dynamic clouding issues I mentioned in an earlier post seem to present themselves with graphic hardware menus and not with Blu-ray content, so it's a non-issue so far. The other features have been around, so they are not worth much discussion (motion enhancer, cinemotion, etc.).
post #80 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtfer View Post

It's been proven in a complete dark home theatre environment, the blacks can still be distinguished from the bezel.

It has? Wow, that is amazing! I have a 141 right in front of me and you'd be hard pressed to see where the black bars end and the bezel begins. The blacks are so black, I don't really have any interest in the new 10G Pioneers coming out (0 idle luminance). If the blacks get any blacker, you'll need a measuring tool to tell the difference because my eyes won't be able to.
post #81 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaoChe View Post

It has? Wow, that is amazing! I have a 141 right in front of me and you'd be hard pressed to see where the black bars end and the bezel begins. The blacks are so black, I don't really have any interest in the new 10G Pioneers coming out (0 idle luminance). If the blacks get any blacker, you'll need a measuring tool to tell the difference because my eyes won't be able to.

Hey man, I'm looking into picking up that awesome TV, and even I know the
blacks are bezel black for most stuff except very very dark scenes and full
black screen.

Anyhow, I've been given word there are XBR8's near me in Toronto (Canada)
area, so I'm going to check one out when I get a chance. I liked the Sammy
950 in the store (for the most part), so it'll be interesting to see what Sony
has to offer. Man, it looks like the blacks are going to be the norm soon
enough. Next year we're going to be seeing jet black TVs on both LCD and
plasmas (Panasonic should have theirs by Spring...).
post #82 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsteinhauer View Post

No pictures, but I can only say that the blacks are incredible for an LCD. Pictures submitted on the internet don't tell you much, anyway, since so many factors come into play (my display settings, room factors, camera quality and settings, your PC display). Black indeed matches the bezel and appears truly black. Using color filters and DVE to adjust color and hue, I can't get as close to accurate by eye as I could with my XBR2, but it's not something that the average person (like myself) is going to have a problem with. The Warm 1 setting seems to be best by my eye, and the settings out of the box weren't horrible. The apparent handshaking issues with AV dropouts occur it seems during menu startup, and did not affect the movie (Zohan), but I still did not have this with my XBR2.


Is it worth the extra dough over the Samsung 950 because i am hearing good things about the 950 even though i am leaning towards the xbr 8? Have you played any ps3 games on it?
post #83 of 5435
When the XBR8 is showing a dark scene, with black bars either at the top/bottom or to the sides. If you go close to the set can you distinguish the blacks of the bars from the blacks of the bezel?

People were throwing around phrases like "inky blacks" for current LCD's like the Z4100 and I picked one up not expecting 100% blacks, but something close to that or at least better than my 2 year old Panasonic Plasma. Then I got the Z into my room, turned down the lights and witnessed how horribly overrated current LCD black reproduction capabilities actually are in these forums.

In fact I was so dismayed that I am returning the Z and now have to decide what to replace it with.

My current candidates are the 5020 Kuro, which in the in-store environment has disappointed me in the most serious way. The Samsung 46A950, which no shop near me has available for inspection, not to mention I am not a fan of owning a Samsung. Lastly the last candidate is the 46XBR8 which costs so much that it better be so close perfection that it will satisfy my insatiable eyes for the next 3 years to come.

I really want to go LCD this year and I really want to go SONY. But the reports coming from this owners thread has me thinking that, sight unseen, the only thing truly exceptional about the XBR8 is its price. Meanwhile all samsung owners seem to be gushing over their set's, no matter which model they own, I find their satisfaction to be somewhat suspicious though.

What to do...
post #84 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by wease View Post

Is it worth the extra dough over the Samsung 950 because i am hearing good things about the 950 even though i am leaning towards the xbr 8? Have you played any ps3 games on it?

I don't play gmes, so I can't help. I can not compare to the Samsung.

Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Kamikaze=- View Post

When the XBR8 is showing a dark scene, with black bars either at the top/bottom or to the sides. If you go close to the set can you distinguish the blacks of the bars from the blacks of the bezel?

People were throwing around phrases like "inky blacks" for current LCD's like the Z4100 and I picked one up not expecting 100% blacks, but something close to that or at least better than my 2 year old Panasonic Plasma. Then I got the Z into my room, turned down the lights and witnessed how horribly overrated current LCD black reproduction capabilities actually are in these forums.

In fact I was so dismayed that I am returning the Z and now have to decide what to replace it with.

My current candidates are the 5020 Kuro, which in the in-store environment has disappointed me in the most serious way. The Samsung 46A950, which no shop near me has available for inspection, not to mention I am not a fan of owning a Samsung. Lastly the last candidate is the 46XBR8 which costs so much that it better be so close perfection that it will satisfy my insatiable eyes for the next 3 years to come.

I really want to go LCD this year and I really want to go SONY. But the reports coming from this owners thread has me thinking that, sight unseen, the only thing truly exceptional about the XBR8 is its price. Meanwhile all samsung owners seem to be gushing over their set's, no matter which model they own, I find their satisfaction to be somewhat suspicious though.

What to do...

I simply don't understand why people can't decide which display is most appropriate for them and go with it and be happy with it. After two days of use, I am pleased with this display. It is a vast improvement over my older set, and I will not now be looking to upgrade anything for some time. I think you will be hard pressed to find another LCD on the market with better blacks, though you might find more accurate colors. To compare it to a plasma doesn't make sense. If you have a light controlled room, don't play many games and don't watch a lot of television, there is no reason not to go with a Pioneer plasma. Every room in my home has nearly a solid wall of windows, and in the summer, daylight lingers until nearly 10 pm. The brightness of the LCD set makes more sense in this environment. Furthermore, we watch television and sports that often have static effects, and I wish to avoid the possibility of burn in.

I would not recommend an LCD display to anyone who wants the benefits of a plasma display.
post #85 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsteinhauer View Post

I don't play gmes, so I can't help. I can not compare to the Samsung.



I simply don't understand why people can't decide which display is most appropriate for them and go with it and be happy with it. After two days of use, I am pleased with this display. It is a vast improvement over my older set, and I will not now be looking to upgrade anything for some time. I think you will be hard pressed to find another LCD on the market with better blacks, though you might find more accurate colors. To compare it to a plasma doesn't make sense. If you have a light controlled room, don't play many games and don't watch a lot of television, there is no reason not to go with a Pioneer plasma. Every room in my home has nearly a solid wall of windows, and in the summer, daylight lingers until nearly 10 pm. The brightness of the LCD set makes more sense in this environment. Furthermore, we watch television and sports that often have static effects, and I wish to avoid the possibility of burn in.

I would not recommend an LCD display to anyone who wants the benefits of a plasma display.

I had Plasma for 2 years and it is at the bottom of my list. The question I am trying to reach a conclusion to is wither I should break my budget and go with the XBR8 SONY or settle for the 950 Samsung.

The reason why it is so hard to answer is because I do not have the possibility to test either set, and likely never will unless I can get both into my living room to play around with for a good solid week.

So instead I will have to turn to people who own the sets. I am very sensitive to visible PQ flaws or artefacts, like most people in these forums. If I get the SONY I want the set to as free from such eyesores as possible.

For 5000$ + tax, I want the blacks in a completely dark room to be 100% black and indiscernible form the bezel, even for my sensitive eyes. I want unrivalled vibrancy, sharpness and clarity. Lastly, I want the set to be free from backlight uniformity problems, like clouding or flashlights or even possible glaringly obvious dimmable LED zone artefacts.

I think I read someone write that the LED's behind the XBR8 panel are hand picked to ensure they best match each other, which is why the XBR8 is so expensive. But if that is so then why do I read in this very thread that the bottom corners of an owner's XBR8 is brighter than the rest of the screen?

Because, you know, every time I am likely to see some PQ artefact like that rear its ugly head and smack me out of my immersing myself into the movie I am watching or the game I am playing I will remember how much money I paid for the unit exactly so that I would avoid such things.

Then, 6 months or so from now, I might come to think that maybe a successor to my set might have arrived, costing less, that potentially does no have the same PQ artefacts I have to suffer through. If I get the Samsung, I likely won't care as much, because it is only going to cost me 800$ more than the Z I currently have and if something better shows up a year later I won't have problem with replacing it at that time. But the SONY, that is a different story altogether, for that price I expect the kind of quality that will last me at least 2-3 years.
post #86 of 5435
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Kamikaze=- View Post

So instead I will have to turn to people who own the sets. I am very sensitive to visible PQ flaws or artefacts, like most people in these forums. If I get the SONY I want the set to as free from such eyesores as possible.

For 5000$ + tax, I want the blacks in a completely dark room to be 100% black and indiscernible form the bezel, even for my sensitive eyes. I want unrivalled vibrancy, sharpness and clarity. Lastly, I want the set to be free from backlight uniformity problems, like clouding or flashlights or even possible glaringly obvious dimmable LED zone artefacts.

I think I read someone write that the LED's behind the XBR8 panel are hand picked to ensure they best match each other, which is why the XBR8 is so expensive. But if that is so then why do I read in this very thread that the bottom corners of an owner's XBR8 is brighter than the rest of the screen?

Because, you know, every time I am likely to see some PQ artefact like that rear its ugly head and smack me out of my immersing myself into the movie I am watching or the game I am playing I will remember how much money I paid for the unit exactly so that I would avoid such things.

So you are an ultimate perfectionist and you want ultimate display with zilch artefacts. Unfortunately the emerging picture is there is no such display yet made, especially if the viewing angle and glossy front would be on your list of artefacts. However, on the positive side, those artefacts seem to be so small that one adapts to them and forgets 'em when concentrating on the content and not on the display front glass. Perhaps you may wish to find the content which is likely involving your imagination shifting the attention from damned technology.

One can add to this that this year high-end LCDs represent leap forward in PQ, so the hope for future ultimate display is not lost. In fact, one curent contender for the title, the Sharp XS-1, is coming very soon. Its introductory price is exorbitant, maybe it is this year's price for the ultimate???
post #87 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Kamikaze=- View Post


...

For 5000$ + tax, I want the blacks in a completely dark room to be 100% black and indiscernible form the bezel, even for my sensitive eyes. I want unrivalled vibrancy, sharpness and clarity. Lastly, I want the set to be free from backlight uniformity problems, like clouding or flashlights or even possible glaringly obvious dimmable LED zone artefacts.

...

I think I read someone write that the LED's behind the XBR8 panel are hand picked to ensure they best match each other, which is why the XBR8 is so expensive. But if that is so then why do I read in this very thread that the bottom corners of an owner's XBR8 is brighter than the rest of the screen?

...

Because, you know, every time I am likely to see some PQ artefact like that rear its ugly head and smack me out of my immersing myself into the movie I am watching or the game I am playing I will remember how much money I paid for the unit exactly so that I would avoid such things.

I don't think you can ever expect true black in a display that must be backlit, like LCD. This set does come close, though. There are some slight artifacts in the corners of the display with a completely black screen, but I don't notice them when there is a picture, even in the black bars.

Your expectations are very high - perfection - which in my experience is not available at any cost. I'm a little more relaxed about such things. Movies and television for me are fun pastimes and not activities in which I am constantly striving for perfection. If the movie is entertaining, I forget about the imperfections. Perfection is expected every day during business hours, and I can't achieve that there, either. I enjoyed the poor black levels and uneven lighting of my XBR2 display for a long time and never belabored the imperfections. I can only say there is no comparison between the XBR8 and XBR2.

Best of luck in your decision. I still think that if you must have true black, plasma is the only way to go.
post #88 of 5435
I think both the xbr 8 and 950 you can't go wrong with either set because black levels are awesome as well with pq and both have slight off angle viewing washed out picture but if you love sony's products like i do but if it costs to much well it's a tough decision to make or just wait like plenty of folks are doing. By the way Jsteinhauer do you live in Alaska or something where it is daylight until 10 pm wow that's pretty interesting but i prefer the nightime hehe...
post #89 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsteinhauer View Post

Best of luck in your decision. I still think that if you must have true black, plasma is the only way to go.

Plasma's, not even the current Kuros, have still not attained true blacks. That is currently scheduled for next year when Panasonic and Pioneer release NeoPDP panels starting in spring of next year.

But Plasma has some other problems that turns me off going that route again. The two most annoying is image retention and the blurring effect caused by the different decay time of the phosphors making individual colours, specially the green phosphor which also causes the green fringing effect on Plasmas.
post #90 of 5435
Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Kamikaze=- View Post

But the SONY, that is a different story altogether, for that price I expect the kind of quality that will last me at least 2-3 years.

Wow. Only 2-3 years? For that price, I would expect to be pleased for much longer. Maybe you are better off renting sets.
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