Originally Posted by longshot
Has anyone here read the ultimateavmag review of the 57731? Overall he gave it very high praise except for the contrast ratio that was measured at 645:1. The Sony SXRD measured at 6500:1. Am I missing something? The Sony has 10x the contrast ratio of the Mits? The picture to my eyes does not look 10x better. Is there an acceptable explanation for this? Perhaps this is why Mits does not publish contrast ratios? Hard to believe that the 732 models with the dark detailer will improve contrast that much to put it on par with the Sony & Samsung for only $200 more?
Maybe I should send back my 65731 and wait for the 732
As is in the case of the term 'dynamic range' in the music world, such specs as contrast ratios can in a word be misleading, therefore, caution...
Admittedly am not an engineer of the new auto-iris, dark detailer and other picture enhancement technologies. However, from my research, it appears many of these hold great promise in "fooling the eye" into perceiving greater contrast (therefore more realistic scenes / more pleasing picture) under certain conditions.
The biggest differences are during low-light scenes, where older dlps and lcd's have more trouble rendering a realistic display, and show what should be a totally black scene as some shade of gray. New contrast enhancements basically darken the entire display ONLY while these scenes are taking place to a level that shows inky rich blacks but still allow enough light to make the bright parts look normal. Quite effective in, for example, an outer space scene with all the stars and heavenly bodies specking thru an inky black (as space is supposed to look). In older sets, space tends to look a somewhat unnatural gray.
However, in very bright and already-contrasty scenes, what is really gray looks black. This is why the vast majority of even older dlps and lcds look awe-inspiring with sports events and similar material. On the new dark-enhanced tvs, the 10,000 to 1 contrast ratio is achieved by comparing these brightest scenes (where all the available light is allowed thru) with the artifically darkened low-light scenes; you won't see this ratio in the same view. Note that most Best Buys and other showrooms pipe MOSTLY bright contrasty material to their display sets, for good reason.
One other environment where the grays of older technology really stand out is when watching the display in a totally darkened room. But in a typically- backlighted livingroom or at your friendly neighborhood typically-lighted showroom, the grays tend to look blacker and be less noticeable.
Bottom line is what appeals most to YOUR eyes (best checked by viewing material you view most often, presented on a display YOU are considering buying under conditions similar to your TV room). Because the 731 has a 150 watt bulb compared to most others at 100 or 120 watts, that probably accounts for much of its appeal--the picture due to more light tends to "appear" more contrasty. Even tho the new dark technologies aren't present in this unit, I suspect you'll never notice a difference except on low light scenes, and only if you are looking for it.
However, I'm holding out for the newer generation Mits's (732 probly), because so many of the movies these days seem to be shot in darkish, drab contexts. Rest assured the Mits dark technologies will provide contrast ratios similar or maybe even better than the sets you mentioned (the statistics can become a joke after awhile). But I believe these new technologies will make dark movies alot more realistic and fun to watch. But there won't be much difference in sports events.
The above discussion discounts other display enhancements. Another Mits partiality i have is for the nice variety of input-output options, e.g., IEEE 1394 and analog "record out" jacks: have a firewire dvhs, and also like using wireless headphones as a listening option--surprisingly difficult to implement on especially Sonys, believe it or not! (whatever happened to headphone jacks...)