My b750 arrived from Amazon yesterday. It was really exciting. My impressions:
First, the unboxing: Inside the box there is the standard stuff, manual, etc. but they also had a clip-on nylon cord that you use to secure the panel to the wall behind (if you have it on a stand) so that it can’t tip forward onto anyone. Not sure if I’ll use it, only if it won’t be visible. The remote is attractive and stylish with all the features on it but it was obviously made for style, not for hand comfort ergonomics. I like it that way. But it isn’t a universal remote so the likelihood of using it frequently is low. Still, it is the only access to a plethora of settings so gotta have it handy since I doubt universal remotes will work with those features.
Another nice thing from the unboxing was they had, of all things, a usb thumb drive with the manual in electronic format on it. That was nice touch I thought though it would be easy enough to just post a web address like everyone else does.
Amazon contracts out the delivery and installation to a local AV business and they were professional, though the setup was brief and all it included was confirming no damage, no dead cells, and all of that. Which was perfectly fine with me because I couldn’t wait to dig into the set.
Anyway, here are the areas I tested thus far:
==>picture quality… wow the set really amazes. The best I’ve seen, contrast clarity, everything. Better than the Bravia I tested. The blacks are almost black enough to match the black frame around the set, just amazing. In very low light (pitch black) I could see the faintest gray but only when the entire screen was black otherwise the contrast was so high it was impossible to see.
==>clouding, viewing angle and contrast… only when you watch the set from a less than 45 degree angle (and who can see the picture then anyway?) does the backlighting and contrast begin to show the slightest flaw. It’s possible that if you’ve seen people note “clouding” or other artifacts in this display, it was because they were viewing it from the side because it doesn’t exist from any front view angle I could tell.
==>240hz refresh is amazing and as sharp as advertised. There is a “custom” mode that allows you to specify scale 1-10 your “judder reduction” and 1-10 your desired “blur reduction”. Default mode is 5 for each. I messed with this quite a bit because I have a couple HD DVDs that have judder in them and I wondered if this would help (it didn’t—it might be the source DVD, not sure yet). You can also turn it off completely or choose one of the “modes” like “smoother” or “no blur” which just adjusts the sliders in presets.
==>Uncanny valley and refresh rate. First let me say that the 240hz is amazing and if you turn on the "demo" mode it will split your screen in two and show you the with/without and it is striking. For TV broadcast, this is the only way to go, it's easier on the eyes, sharp, clear, just awesome. Film is not so cut and dry though. This is my first set I've owned (though I've tested a couple for friends in helping them purchase) with higher than 60hz and I can see why some people have issues with it, not because it isn’t great but in some cases it takes getting used to. When watching The Mummy, Batman and Pride and Prejudice (all in HD of course), they all have varying degrees of “soap opera” camera feel to them that is a little odd. None of the other people watching with me felt the same as I did and when I turned off the 240hz completely they all complained and wanted it back on. Not because the picture looked better but because jumping back to 60hz is too jarring a transition and seems almost to be harder on the eyes. It’s hard to put a finger on precisely. Anyway, bottom line is that some of the cinematic feel is lost at 240hz but the picture is so much better looking and sharp. It’s a hard battle. Animation and CGI is not affected… it’s only when watching live actors performing that you occasionally see the flaws of the live performance. Anyway, I don’t expect anyone to agree/disagree, it’s simply different. I’ll look into finding out if there is a happy medium.
==>sound and speakers… I really don’t care much for set speakers since I’ve been running audio through a receiver for years now… audio is important to me. What I _was_ interested in though was the possibility of using the built-in speakers for the center channel only and route the rest through my receiver. No go, it’s not possible. The speakers were decent but obviously lacking in bass and lacked the “full” quality but more importantly there is no option to have audio in from a particular audio port (like a loopback from the receiver center channel). There are only two options for audio on the tv “internal or external” and when you choose internal it takes the signal directly from the joined audio from the hdmi signal. External means turn them off completely (even the start up and shut down sounds of the tv set turn off completely).
==>size and dimensions (and the touch of color)… The set is really attractive and the black/gray fits any room imo. The only way you can even see the ToColor is if you have a light directly behind the set. Possibly if there is light bounce off of your wall but it would have to be pretty direct. My set is in the corner of the room on the stand and the frame looks entirely black with a very thin clear outline. The set it thin but not “wafer thin” as other point out. My wife simply likes just looking at it, it’s amazing.
==>gaming… performance had no noticeable lag at all imo and that was playing multi-player and other console games. Heads shots are just as possible. The only case it could be an issue is where pixel perfect means everything like old arcade classics and fighting games. I tried the “game mode” and I suspect what it did was turn off the “processing” like the 240hz refresh and whatnot. It’s only been a day though so I can’t say 100% whether I’ll need this or not.
==>online widgets and media features: I haven’t tested any of these yet though I flipped through the menus. I have all of my house wired (not wireless) so I’ll write another post on this topic later.
!==>negative issue: if any of you have an xbox 360 from the first two seasons it was out (i.e. before the hdmi port) then the set DOES support 1080p over component video but any component sources are limited to stereo rca jacks… no digital audio option. So if you plan on using the b750 as a central device with audio passthrough to a receiver, make sure all your sources are HDMI.
!==>negative issue: similarly if you want to route a standard def DVD player that uses component video, it will not support passing in the digital audio and certainly won’t act as a passthrough to a receiver.