Originally Posted by rohrbaughra
Like airman23, I was waiting for the xbr5 to become available (to replace our 2001 model 65" mitsu). Fortunately, I went to the closing of a Magnolia store last month and saw the 70" xbr2. We picked it up and I am still amazed at the picture quality of this set, especially on high def channels or with blu-ray and an HDMI connection. Although I haven't seen the xbr5, the only meaningful advantages (IMO) would be the 120 Hz refresh rate and 24 fps capability compared to 60 Hz and 30 fps of the xbr2. I have since compared TV's side by side to assess the 120/60 Hz difference - I can't see any (maybe the "eagle-eyed" can). The 24 fps issue is still to be resolved, but I wonder if it is that big of a deal. Also, the xbr2 would seem to have some advantages over the xbr5, including brighter lamp (180 vs 120 watt), 100 lbs lighter, possibly less-reflective display, and a highly discounted close-out price. So I would advise those awaiting the xbr5 to seriously consider taking a look at the xbr2, before they are all gone. I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with this set, and the money they have left over to put a down payment on a car will no doubt be a welcome bonus.
IF the XBR5 adds extra frames in 120Hz mode, extra interpolated frames that never existed before... that processing kicks ass. It improves motion tremendously. 24p by itself is nothing particularly useful since the frames are so far apart, many types of motion never look good because the frames are so blurred. The processing that adds frames magically produces sharp images from 2 blurred images in the original movie... it's amazing to see, like an unbelievable stunt in a Hollywood spy movie where they get a license plate number from an amorphous blur. This processing is available in a number of current and coming-soon LCD flat panels. I can't believe Sony hasn't yet switched to LED lighting to replace the lamp, especially if they were able to downgrade the lamp to 120w. And by the way, your assumption that the lower powered lamp is somehow less good or less bright... that may not be a good assumption. All they have to do is gain 1/2 stop efficiency in the optics through improved components or a lens that passes more light or a shorter optical path (less light lost when the path is shorter) a more reflective mirror behind the LCD panels... there are lots of ways to get more light without a brighter lamp. Even the type of screen used affects how bright the images appear to be.
The thing that surprised me most about the XBR5 sets... there's no "pedestal" extending below the edge of the screen. If you place it on a stand you install a table-top leg/stand arrangement, that I assume comes with it. If you buy the matching stand, it comes with 2 pillars that go into the bottom of the set so all you see is a small air gap under the screen with the 2 pillars supporting the display. How they got everything into a slimmer cabinet and no base to hold things is quite a feat.