Howdy. Long time lurker. First time in years posting.
I've had the HL-T7288 for about 10 days now. It replaced a Hitachi 61 RP HD from 2002. We had a new Sony KDL 40XBR4(LCD) occupying the space for a week until the Sammy got here. Of course there will be big differences between the LARGE DLP and much smaller LCD when viewed in same location but we were impressed with the Sammy as soon as we turned it on and, realizing the differences between two different types and sizes of displays, gave us absolutely no let down for the Sammy comparing the two. Amazing all round and incredible blacks.
SD is pretty lousy, especially on such a large screen, as to be expected (but still so much better than our old Hitachi especially in colors and blacks and overall clarity) and even more so in full screen but the HD from different sources is remarkable, almost as good as the 40XBR4. We normally view from about 14' away and have it elevated about 36" up from floor. I often view from about 20-25 ft away, about 50 degree from center while on computer in this room. Picture is relatively perfect from that angle and distance. During the day we have one large window behind and off to side of our view seating that allows in medium light. No problems from reflections. With the Hitachi we had to close the shade for comfortable daytime viewing without reflections. Sound very good considering coming only from TV. The "speech" setting is good for those with difficulty hearing spoken word along with music and other sounds and at the same time doesn't make the other sounds too muffled. I am still playing with all the "picture" settings but out-of-box was very good as was the "sound" settings.
DH is using Sammy some for surfing, email, and NetFlix from his computer. It is fantastic and very easy on eyes lowering the brightness considerably with a bit of other tweaking for maximum confort but not really necessary. I ran a DVI to HDMI out of computer video card, ATI 9600, for 30 ft to TV; no apparent loss of PQ. Was going to spend $300+ for cable but found a very good one, <$150, at CC, store brand. NetFlix, "watch instantly" has poor quality video no mater what displayed on; just poor quality from source. We don't have HD or BR DVD, nor an upconverting DVD yet, just progressive scan, but really look forward to that and hope to get a PS3 soon, although we are not "gamers", for the BR and other things it offers. DVDs or recordings from Pany DMR-E85H, progressive scan only, via component, vary in PQ; good as expected to okay. And, yes, depending on station and program, the over air HD varies considerably. We us an indoor antenna and get most signals 90-100 percent. Dish HD varies also, with the VOOM programing usually the best PQ (We had Voom in addition to Dish prior to its being absorbed by Dish. HD football, GO Cowboys, ........ what can I say.... to "die for".
BTW... I, also, helped set up an RP, 61 Sony at a friends house last week. The Sony Remote.... when you bring up some functions, like changing display, etc., the display stays on the screen for a very brief time. If you aren't quick enough you have to start over. The Sammy leaves the choices up on screen long enough for even the slowest person to take action. I started programing my new Harmony 890 last night. Too soon to make comments.
That being said the Sammy has about 1/4" vertical bowing on left and at least 1/2" on the right. Barely acceptable to me but DH (husband) is okay with it. We rarely watch anything but full screen so it is not perceptible most of the time. Getting anything large in and out of our wooded, country home is difficult to say the least, so we have decided to avoid the hassles and "be with" the bowing.
Is there any possibility that this bowing will correct even the slightest over time? If I understand correctly calibrating (it will be a while before we can afford this) this Sammy doesn't remove bowing? Surely it won't get worse?
BTW... we ordered from *******. It was "curbside" delivery only but very nice delivery man brought it across 60 ft of gravel drive, over sandbags, around two sides of house and some mud, up onto deck (up about 10"), up back door threshold barely fitting through door, through house, unpacked, lifted up to stand with a friend of mine assisting, and turned it on. Then moved the HUGE box out of our way (We've now kept the box a week, TV staying, so time to break it down. Did I say how HUGE that box is?.) Needless to say I gave him a very good tip.