Originally Posted by ManWithAPlan
Guys, just wanted to provide a quick set of impressions based on the last 36 hours of initial ownership of the new Elite 70inch as it compares directly to the Qualia 006, my former beloved :-) I'll have more info soon, as it's still VERY early to give the most accurate analysis, but FWIW here goes:
1. The Qualia is indeed movable by 2 medium-sized guys, but they might drop it on their foot once or twice :-) Of course, a willing 3rd party (err, customer) might help alot in carrying this beast. In short, we got it out of here, I shed a tear as the van drove away. She was just such a beautiful beast, and she really is responsible for opening my eyes to good quality video, being a long-time audio freak who couldn't have cared less about video prior to 2005. She changed me man, she changed me :-) For that, she will always be missed.
2. The Elite's build quality externally is not at the level of the Qualia. The Qualia was a 300-lb. tank and built to sit up high and be "statue-esque" with a big backend. The Elite is 3 inches thin, sits in a perfect frame form factor, and is barely 100-lb's soaking wet. This is a Good Thing(TM) in my opinion, but it takes getting used to for some of us. The Elite is sexier in its subtlety form-factor wise, nice and tight, no gangly backend. The black bezel is not high gloss which is fantastic, it is sleek and perfect in my opinion. The only light that comes on is a small blue Power light in the far lower left corner, and even that can be disabled if one wants absolutely no light from anywhere near the set (other than the picture of course).
3. Picture Quality - okay, this is tough. The Elite is better. But not by an enormous amount. And I certainly need more data, even after some very heavy viewing of different material. Now, keep in mind, my Q had a giant green blob in the middle of the screen for the last 6 months, so one could argue my frame of reference is flawed. But it's more than that. Color uniformity is incredible on the Elite. Perfect from edge to edge, all 70inches. Motion, once I figured out how to disable Motion Enhancement on the Elite, was as smooth as the Qualia - and this was tested with 1080p/24 sources, 1080p/60, 1080i/60. The "immersive" quality of the Q, which drew me to it back in 2005, is equal in the Elite I would say. Though overall enjoyment of the Picture Quality is higher on the Elite. The biggest difference I would say is around Black Levels and Uniformity. The black levels on the Elite are absolutely the best I've ever seen and completely reference quality. They are insanely gorgeous, literally blending right into the bezel. There is no artifacting, no halo effect, nothing that I could see in that regard. The whites pop perfectly as well, just greater range on the set color-wise it seems. Even Comcast cable channels that I hated the look of on the Q, came out and "popped" like I haven't seen since my original Q and its original optical block were calibrated by UMR back in 2006. It's really so refreshing to have this kind of quality back, but with significantly improved Black Levels.
4. This is a set that allows for ultimate tweaking of "nerd knobs" in terms of every aspect of Picture quality you can imagine - with 2 ISF modes, Day and Night, for calibrators. This may be overwhelming for some, but the point is this - this set is DEMANDING of good calibration. If you're bothering to spend the kind of money this set requires, a good calibration is in order. Now, that said, out of the box, MovieTHX mode is actually the best one and not shabby at all. But even still, unlocking ISF Day and ISF Night and allowing the colors to be even more dialed in is 100% required in my opinion. The trick is that these are new sets, and not many calibrators have ever touched one, and certainly this means the learning curve is high initially. Take that into account, though I have no doubt an excellent calibrator like UMR could easily "pick this up quickly" and be achieving really great stuff with it.
5. 3D - oh God, what is happening to me? Did I just say '3D'??? Oh my, I really must be changing in my old age! I have not yet tried any 3D material, but that's not for lack of interest, just for lack of time. I was so busy ensuring that 2D looked proper and was set up properly with my equipment, that I haven't experienced 3D yet. The Movie mode is calibrated and set for me to use it for 3D apparently, but can't vouch for it yet. I did however purchase the IMAX Hubble 3D BluRay and Nightmare Before Xmas 3D and Tron3d. So i'm ready and armed for this weekend! The 2 pair of included glasses sure look cool though, not bad at all! Just need some time with them. BTW, I recently purchased the Oppo95 BluRay player, so I'm ready for 3D and all now. Also DirecTV has some 3D channels that I hope to test as well this weekend. ESPN3D among them.
6. I am SO glad I replaced the Q with the Elite, in the end, it was absolutely the right move. And that's only 36 hours in, with little time to fully realize the enjoyment level of the Elite. Of course, I had no choice but to replace the Q with its giant green blob. But I think I just happened to choose the best damn replacement for a 70inch set you could possibly choose, at least today. If I can get 6 years of pure enjoyment (hopefully more) out of the Elite, it will be well worth it.
Hope that is helpful in some regard guys, sorry for the stream-of-consciousness there, but work calls! I gotta go earn the privilege of this thing ya know :-)
Cheers to all!