Okay. I just got back from Abt Electronics (north of Chicago). They did not have the A2000 on the floor when I got there, but they were nice enough to get one out and set one up. (On a side note, HOLY CRAP, what an UNBELIEVABLE store and what GREAT customer service!)
- Absolutely no discolorations of ANY kind. I'm intimately familiar with the green haze / blob and I know what to look for. I saw no problems during startup, after the set was warmed up, or when I had an all white or gray background.
- My mind could be playing tricks, or it could be because the set was brand new out of the box, but the picture did look slightly brighter than the XBR1's.
- The blacks looked a little better than last year's models; I only saw purplish blacks when I cranked the "picture" and "brightness" settings all the way up (something nobody is really going to do.)
- The SD was tolerable. I would say that it would be at the low end of "fine" in my book. Everything looks kinda "fuzzy". I have no idea how good the SD signal was, because it (of course) had been split a number of times for all of the sets. IMHO, I don't think the SD performance is any better or worse than last years model. It's tough to judge from store feeds.
- These sets look smaller than a "normal" 60". I counted 6 times
somebody asked if the set was a either a 50" or a 55". Wrong... 60".
- Silk screen effect did not even pop into my head while I was viewing the set, so it must be as good (or better than last year's model) since I didn't notice it. I'm not saying it's not there, I just didn't notice any problems with it.
- The salesman offered me a HUGE discount off of the MSRP. I'm not going to take it though because a retailer that is an hour closer to my house (slightly) beat Abt's price once I told them about it. I highly doubt they are going to offer anymore "deals" since they appeared to be selling VERY well at full price (read below).
My wife's opinion from the picture I showed her:
- I like the silver
- I'm glad the stupid "ears" are gone
If you want to talk "WOW factor", I'll tell you what happened this morning. They set the A2000 up on a temporary roller cart for me to check out / monkey around with. Within 10 minutes, an individual and a couple who had no previous knowledge of these sets
each bought the sets right on the spot after seeing the picture for a minute or two.
After finally seeing these sets, I can honestly say that it looks like Sony did their homework with these sets; they are going to sell a zillion of these things
(BTW, I was talking to the salesman about the upcoming XBR2's. I was told that the lamp in the new XBR2's WON'T be user replaceable, a technician will have to do it. Has anybody else heard this?)