Originally Posted by Matt Stieg
Curious about the firmware update as well, it appears to be the same as the E6500 firmware so maybe there's more similarity in picture quality between the two models than originally thought.
In regards to the fade to black issue check out my post here, it appears to be an issue that can be calibrated out:http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post21967276
There may be other combinations of settings that can offset it as well.
I owned the E550 for a week before exchanging it for the E6500. Picture quality is very similar between the two except for one major difference: glare. The E550 is extremely reflective whereas the E6500 performs well in bright rooms. There are a few other differences worth mentioning. Colors are seemingly more accurate on the E6500. This is a subjective opinion, but the E550 had a slight green tint whereas the E6500 seems spot on. That's with both set to Movie and no further adjustments. Black levels are very similar, although slightly darker on the E6500. Again, just my observation. I don't have numbers to back that up. Finally, the bezel of the E6500 looks significantly nicer and more refined. Don't get me wrong, the E550 is a great TV for the price, but I personally feel the E6500 is worth the premium.
Regarding the fade to black issue, the only time I've noticed this on either TV is while loading a Blu-ray. While watching content, neither screen has ever shut off even when 100% black is displayed for a prolonged period of time. This is with both sets running the most recent firmware.