I joined the AVS forums last year some time and believe this may be my first post, so I bear with me. I have read quite a lot over time, even before I joined, and first off want to say thanks to everyone for all the great info. All of you here (and in other threads) have saved me from buying the wrong thing. Problem is every time I finally decided on buying a new HDTV, it was missing a feature I wanted, because a new technology had just evolved (1080p display, HDMI, 1080p input, etc...) and low and behold a newer, better one was just a few months away. Any of this sound familiar? Second, I want to take the time to say thank you to BB for its unorthodox display policy and unseemingly bad display signal as you will read about below. I'm not bashing on them, I buy my new DVDs there all the time, however you can't escape how bad the HDTV section is at the one close to me.
Anyway, I've been giving Uncle Sam a interest free loan for 2 years by not doing my tax returns. Which means I've got about 3G coming to me once I do file. While a kick butt ski vacation to Switzerland sounds good, I think a new HDTV will be a better investment and last longer than two weeks.
So it comes to this... I decided to swing by BB today to see the the new 56FN97 as their website says it is in stock. However, walking the floor I can't find it and no salespeople are around. Come to find out they went in back to pull it out for another customer. The salesman said he was only doing this because his manager said only to bring it out if he thought he could sell it and to only do so on a slow day. Well the other guy did buy the 56FN97, though I'm convinced he sold it to himself, as he was well versed in the tech specs, perhaps a fellow member of the forums. Anyway, siting two tvs to the right is the is the above mentioned Mitsu and this gave me a great chance for a little comparison. All the other tvs nearby had horrible PQ and I ignored them, bad call on my part, as it truly showed how well these sets performed. That and not withholding the awful feed that was going into all the sets there.
Here are the things that stuck out to my untrained eyes:
Not sure if this is the SSE I've read about or something else. Both screens had an equal amount of, damp sheen on it, for lack of a better term. When a portion of the screen was white or very bright and I moved my head slightly, it looked like someone had just wiped down the screen with Windex before it had time to dry off and had that wet rainbow look on it, though more speckled. However, once I started looking/focusing at other details of the screen or watching the HD material (salesman brought out a HD-DVD player) I didn't notice it anymore. Though it came back everytime I thought about and I ended up forcing myself to concentrate on the material. As both screens had it, and neither seemed better, it will be a moot point when deciding what to get in the future. In fact it seemed as all the RPTVs had it. Though these two had much less of a problem of it than what else was on the floor. Anyone know if this is a problem inherent with RPTVs as opposed to say plasmas?
Next was overall PQ. Both are excellent, especially compared to the rest of last generations stuff, a lot closer to a picture or painting instead of a pixelated computer monitor. The biggest difference I saw, was when standing 5 feet or more away. The JVC was sharper, almost to the point of being harsh. Where as, the Mitsu came off as being soft and fuzzy. Standing closer than 5 feet really made the differences between them come out. In the JVC, I could still pick out the spaces between the pixels, I was hoping that would have been eliminated in this generation. In the Mitsu everything blurred together, kind of like it was behind a soft focus lens. I couldn't make out the edges of objects or text. If there was only a tv that had a PQ between them. They both may actually be better than what I saw though. The JVC was literally just pulled out of the box, with out any tweaking. The Mitsu had been on the floor for who knows who long with I don't even want to know how many people adjusting its settings. Those who have these at home please let me/us know how much better they actually do look after some fine tuning or professional calibration. Of particular interest to me, is how noticable the spacing/lines are between the pixels on the JVC, as this is the TV I'm leaning towards.
Unfortunately, I really didn't get enough time to look at much else, as the other guy was happy enough with what he saw in this short time to have the unit boxed up and he took it home with him. I'm hoping to see the JVC again soon, though I may have to go elsewhere. One other thing, and this is totally personal preference, I'll have to be getting FH version. I really didn't like the gray bezel, I think it will look better in all black, we'll see though. What I'm really hoping for is that the FH version will have the bezel as shown in the pictures on the tapework TX website. Those to me look a lot cleaner and more modern. Just my own humble opinion, though.
I would comment on the Brightness and how deep the blacks got. However I don't believe the material was anywhere near good enough over the crap signal that BB was feeding it. Literally, 15 to 30 seconds couldn't go by without seeing the partial signal drop resulting in different colored blocks or lines appearing or to even the wonderful display of "No Signal". I feel lucky to see what I did. So, please take this review with a grain of salt, as it is probably the worst thing one could possibly see out of either of these displays, which leaves with much hope. Look forward to your replies, questions, and better review conditions.