Hi all. I'm MD5880n owner since 11/2005. I do love the picture and everyone that compares their HD picture to mine always concedes the HP is better.
Thankfully, or luckily - whatever you want to call it - I have not had any of the major issues it seems others have (yes I had my fingers crossed and knocked on some wood when I typed this). I have had one bulb go out - about 2.5 months ago. I was a disappointed that there was no clear indicator that the bulb was indeed the problem - no reference in the manual. I just had a blinking blue light. When trying to turn the set on sometimes I would get sound, sometimes I would not. I was puckering when I spent the money for the bulb hoping it was the only issue.
Anyway, I've had a Motorola 6412 Rev III hooked up via HDMI since I got the TV. The cable box hard drive blew up on Christmas day. It was replaced with a Pace 778. The Pace, unlike the Motorola will pass though multiple HD resolutions. The Motorola you had to pick 720p, 1080i and the box would convert. I've always been uncomfortable when the resolution switch / HDMI handshake / delay / screen flash occurs. It just doesn't seem as smooth and sound like one would think it should, although if I recall correctly it did seem like it improved with my last and only firmware upgrade. Since my STB only put out one HD res, I only switched when going to standard def, or was doing something out of the ordinary.
I guess my hypothesis is the more resolution switching you do, the more wear and tear you do on the color wheel and what ever else may be causing the issues people are having. Now of course it's crazy if the design didn't take this into account, but you never know.
It would be interesting to hear form the people that have had problems if they did a lot of resolution switching (especially if they were not on one of the last firmware releases), or if they were locked into a particular resolution 90-95% of the time like I've operated. Past data may squash this hypothesis quickly, but I thought I would throw it out there!
I sort of have a bit of selfish motivation
because I have set the Pace up to output all HD resolutions and 480p, so I am now doing more switching myself. My thinking is this might be a mistake. I may change to just one resolution due to the switch delay. I was mostly testing to see if it improved the picture at all by not allowing the box to do any converting.