Now that I've had my set for about three weeks, I thought I'd post my mini-review in case it is helpful. Fortunately, this forum was very helpful in knowing what to expect, so the "bad" things about the monitor were pretty much already known. This is my second HD set--I was having no luck getting my previous 6-year old Toshiba 40" CRT RPTV repaired (long story), so I'll make some comparisons to that set along the way.
I have firmware 1.16.
- No lockups.
- No problems with the remote or slow response.
- True HD is stunning and the higher resolution of this set compared to the old CRT RPTV is immediately apparent.
- DVDs are probably a wash--the black levels were still a bit better on the old CRT set, but the perfection of convergence, geometry and the lack of a RPTV "hot spot" gives the Westinghouse some points also.
- I can see motion blur on most LCD sets after looking at them in the store for awhile. I did that for a long time with this set before deciding to buy. Now that it is at home, I think I can only very rarely see it, and it may not even be the panel that is at fault. So, that is impressive.
- My audio receiver does not have adjustable delay, but the video processing is apparenly fast enough on the Westinghouse to not cause any lip sync issues, which is a big relief.
- There is some backlight banding, pretty much as described elsewhere in this forum. So, instead of seeing geometry distortions when there is camera panning in the old CRT set, these bands are sometimes visible. But, overall the illumination is much more even than the CRT RPTV set which was noticeably brighter in the center vs. the edges. Even movie theaters have that to some extent. So, I consider it a minor defect.
- The biggest shortcomings of the set to me are:
(1) the lack of more aspect ratio controls. Primarily, the missing mode is a "zoom" mode for watching older non-anamorphic widescreen DVDs and letterboxed SD. (2) for the best black levels, you have to be very close to on-axis. There is a watchable picture over a very wide area, but the very best viewing is within 20 degrees or so of each side of dead center. Vertically, it is probably an improvement over the CRT RPTV, horizontally it is no better and maybe worse.
I don't want to end on those negatives, because overall I can't think of any other set in the 42-inch size that I would rather have. I find myself mesmerized by the picture, which says something since I have been watching HD for many years.