I have the HLM507 with the new internals. Basically, with the DNIE, as this seems to be the easiest way to determine whether you have new or old electronics inside (other than going into the SM). I bought the set through a friend who owns a local AV store. He bought one for the floor and one for me and the other day we experimented a bit after I told him I was none to happy with the pic on my set. Basically I wasn't happy with shadows and there was color banding and blotchiness fromm SD satelite and some DVD's and I was constantly playing with contrast, etc.
First, we played Monsters Inc. DVD through a Compaq computer with a 128mb GeForce 4 video board, DVI out. And the picture was amazing, very close to HD.
Then we played a DVD through a $1000 Sony DVD. Monsters Inc. looked almost as good. Then we put in a DVD, forget the name but it's an Imax pic of auto racing. There were all sorts of artifacts as the camera panned the track... he told me this is one of those DVD's that's a monster for most DVD's and TV's. There was no banding, colors looked good but the artifacts were very annoying. Jaggies and the like. We played with the many setting on the player, and were able to get rid of most artifacts, but they were still subtle imperfections.
Then we ran the same DVD through a $100 Sony DVD player. Same artifacts, but this deck had little adjustment so the only way to correct was to softened the pic on the TV with the resulting loss of PQ.
Then we played the Race DVD back in the computer and guess what. The picture was flawless, no artifacts at all at factory defaults.
(BTW though all the players were progressive, we fed the set I and let the TV upconvert.)
And like everyone else, I've experienced some channels, SD, pretty good on this set and others bad, with lots of evidence of compression. Also problems with shadows and "sunburnt" faces on some channels. You can tweek all you want but here's the conclusion I've reached.
This television is very sensitive to source. If you feed it an incredible source, you will get a pretty amazing picture. If the source is less than good, so will be the picture. And by source I mean this. It not only matters what DVD player your using, but the quality of the DVD itself, the transfer, how the DP shot, etc. Whether your connected to your source through DVI or component, etc. This TV seems to want all digital with as little compression as possible. It does not do very well with compression from SD satelite. This television does not seem to do a good job processing a less than perfect signal or source.
I'm wondering how good the tuner in the TV is as well, as I'm actually on a local Cable net fed by Direct TV at my condo. The SAT receivers are all in the basement so I'm running cable straight into the set. My former set (36"Sony Wega) looked very good with this feed.
As a means of comparison, I just installed a $10k Infocus projector in a media room in a house I built for a client, and its OOTB was dramatically better, even with SD satelite and a 110" picture.
I'm actually thinking of building a computer with a high end graphics card and a TV tuner in it, and connecting all through DVI and going with that. Could do for around $1000.