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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Friends,


I need your help on this one. I have bought the GWII (for $4700, including the original stand, tax and a $100 component cable) and I can evaluate it for the following 30 days.


The biggest problem that I currently have with this set is, as some of you already guessed, is the poor blacks. I still haven't calibrated the TV using UMR suggestions, but I doubt whether it can improve the black level.


I had the chance to compare the GWII side by side with what many consider to be the finest CRT-based RPTV money can buy - the Pioneer Elite 530HD.


Now the Elite has the ultimate blacks, but in terms of picture clarity (with HD feed), the Sony looked so much better! The Elite picture suffered from jagged lines, and although the best in it's kind, it looked "soft" in respect to the LCD screen of the GW.


Now I must emphasize that the Elite was probably not calibrated (in terms of best focus, convergence...)


What would you do, guys? Would you wait for HD2-based devices? Go for the Elite? Help! I would really want the best TV money can buy for $5K or even $6K if it's flawless.


Thanks!
 

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Ear: I saw a GWII 60" alongside the 630 Elite yesterday and noticed the difference in sharpness...much better on the GWII. I also noticed the lowered black level and "haziness" of the GWII, but the store mgr said they had just taken it out of the box and had not tweaked it yet. He did take the remote and change from "Standard" to "Pro" to "Vivid" and that did give better picture in the other modes. You need to consider what you will use the TV for (OTA, cable, games, mostly watch wide DVDs?) because the no/burn-in of the GWII is a consideration. Calibrate the GWII (either yourself or pay a tech to do it), play with the different modes; you will probably get a better picture and/or get used to what the GWII gives you.
 

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I believe the tweaks do address one of the black problems with the GWII. The set actually has two problems.


The first problem with the GWII is that the absolute black level is greater than the Pioneer. This is not fixed.


The second problem is that all the default picture modes use a gamma of about 1.8 to 2.0. The low gamma causes the image to look washed out. Increasing the gamma really helps with this problem and that is included in the tweaks. I am also experimenting with another method not listed in the current tweaks for increases gamma above about 2.2.


A tweaked GWII is capable of about 100-50% more detail than a factory calibrated set on component inputs. You should be even more impressed with this aspect of the set once you eliminate the enhanced sharpness and chroma delay errors.
 

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Personal preference here, however, LCD has a sharper picture than a CRT no dought about it. But is a cleaner smooth picture? No way.. that Elite couldn't have been calibrated correctly.. The CRT image image wins every time.. the LCD looks fake, how do I say electronic or plasticy... However.. many plus's with LCD.. Burn In being the major one. I to really like the GWII, but agree blacks aren't to good... and it just doesn't produce the film like image of a CRT..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
UMR,


I haven't tried your suggestions yet, but be sure I will.


I've got an intresting question here, UMR: If your suggestions improve the picture as attested by many members, why didn't Sony put these as a default? Surely these guys attempted to do the best they can to give deliver the best picture.
 

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Finally saw a GWII today at a CC. I didn't see HD on it, but the 480i feed ,, well,, honestly for a set that price, too me it look really bad.


I played in the menu some, and yeah, I do know how and what to look for. I really wasn't expecting all that much with something like directv or cable, since I've already read many post in that area.


All I can say is, unless the set I saw has a problem, it's not even close to an Elite handing SD.


Thats what I have to watch most,, no OTA yet.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ear
UMR,


I haven't tried your suggestions yet, but be sure I will.


I've got an intresting question here, UMR: If your suggestions improve the picture as attested by many members, why didn't Sony put these as a default? Surely these guys attempted to do the best they can to give deliver the best picture.
Sony learned many valuable lessons from the tweakers for the VPL-VW10HT - 12HT LCD projector. Steve Smallcombe's SMART system and the addition of a CC filter, etc.


Sony engineers are probably using umr's tweaks on the GWXBR right now and evaluating how much better the picture can be over their "factory default" settings.


I think some of the CE manufacturer's are learning that the avsforum is a very valuable tool for improving their new products. Some OEMs have taken the right steps to form working relationships with some of the member here (HiPix is a good example).


I hope that Sony will contact umr and provide assistance with his tweaks. umr has pointed out that some of the SM settings are not documented in the Service Manual. Just think what we'd get if Sony worked with us.
 

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Ear, I too worried about the lack of 'absolute' blacks with the GWII before I bought it. I've done some tweeks but have not yet done UMR's (hopefully this weekend, and thanks again UMR for all the awesome tips.) But I can tell you I notice NO lack of blacks unless I really make an effort to make the viewing area nearly pitch black. My point here is that your watching area can greatly determine how important certain features or drawbacks are. The ability to watch all SD in it's original 4:3 has proven to be a HUGE bonus as neither my wife or I like the stretched picture, and since the GWII actually puts black bars on the side rather than grey, your eye quickly ignores the stripes on the side, something I couldn't get myself to do with grey bars. It's very similar to how you don't notice the black bars on a 4:3 TV when you're watching a 16:9 (or greater) movie. Just imagine if those were grey... If you watch TV in an area that doesn't typically get pitch black to watch TV, I don't think you'll ever notice the 'lack' of blacks on the GWII unless you're really making an effort to measure them.

Just my 2c worth, I was very hesitant to buy the GWII and cannot say how happy I am with the picture, even on SD quality. It's an amazing set, and I looked long and hard at the Pioneer Elite's. I wouldn't say anything bad about the Elite's, they're really great sets, but for me the drawbacks of the GWII were negated by the fact I don't watch TV in a really dark room (and haven't really noticed a lack of black even when I do!) and the Pioneer's were just so overwhelmingly huge my wife was less than happy about having a huge TV in the family room. The benefit of the GWII being smaller and less imposing was another factor for me.


Good luck, you'll be happy with either set I'm sure, just don't let some of the 'drawbacks' other people see affect your decision, go look for yourself. If someone put as much effort into evaluating me as they do this TV, I doubt I could live with myself :)
 

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I have a 60" GWII and a Pioneer Elite 710 and I love them both! But for serious movie viewing I use the Pioneer. Actually, the only time I ever use the Pioneer is when I watch movies. The Pioneer is in my home theater where I can control ambient light and the GWII is in the living room which has no ambient light control. I use the GWII for general viewing and for playing games. They both look great in HD in their own way.


You need to base your decision on exactly what you want to do with the TV. I do not recommend playing games on the Pioneer. I have hooked up an XBOX to the Pioneer component input and it looked great but that was just for a test. If your main purpose is to watch movies then I highly recommend going with the Pioneer. If you want a HDTV that can support many roles including playing games and black level is not a big issue I recommend the GWII.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I had the GWII for a week now. My impressions are that the picture is amazing UNLESS there's something dark on the scene... I really wanted to love this set, but it's going back.


I'm not denying that the set has many advantages over other sets/technologies, but for me picture quality (vs. set size, burn-in etc) is always #1 and this set just doesn't deliver.


The only question right now is whether to take the new Panasonic DLP 52DL52 (yet to be auditioned), the Pioneer Elite 630 or the Hitachi SWX.
 

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Ear: it gets back to what RAJH says: what you will use it for depends on what you should buy. LCD and DLP don't have burn-in so there should be little, if any worries about that if you use it for gaming, regular TV viewing or web-surfing. Hitachi and the Elites are great sets if you are OK with watching regular TV/cable in stretch mode, and don't game or "surf". I am interested in the new Panny myself, but I want to wait 6-9 months to see if the early purchasers have similar problems as the Samsung DLP owners have had. It sounds like you want a set now, so decide specifically what you will use it for, now and in the future. You can't go wrong with the Elites and Panasonic has a good history in this business. I don't know that much about Hitachi.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by ear
I had the GWII for a week now. My impressions are that the picture is amazing UNLESS there's something dark on the scene... I really wanted to love this set, but it's going back.


I'm not denying that the set has many advantages over other sets/technologies, but for me picture quality (vs. set size, burn-in etc) is always #1 and this set just doesn't deliver.


The only question right now is whether to take the new Panasonic DLP 52DL52 (yet to be auditioned), the Pioneer Elite 630 or the Hitachi SWX.
Did you get a chance to try any of the tweaks I posted?
 

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As someone else pointed out, don't forget the potential inkjet cartridge scam with DLP and LCD sets in regards to Lamp life and cost.. $250 to $500 a bulb, and heard quotes of only 500 hours on a single bulb...
 

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It's more like 8000 Hours/Bulb and $200 for bulb replacement!


Not bad considering you will have a back to new PQ after the swap! Unlike CRT's RPTV's!




Quote:
Originally posted by X01E
As someone else pointed out, don't forget the potential inkjet cartridge scam with DLP and LCD sets in regards to Lamp life and cost.. $250 to $500 a bulb, and heard quotes of only 500 hours on a single bulb...
 

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ear,


As a owner of a Pioneer Elite - that I have had for seven years - I agree that the Pioneer has one of the best pictures for a RPTV.


That said - mine is useless now - the tubes are going. If a GWII had been available then -all I would need to do is buy a new bulb instead of paying US$2.5K for a 40XBR700 to replace the Elite. Also, The GWII can be used in a room with windows - the Pioneer sucks at that. The Pioneer is subject to burn-in of logos - the GWII is not.


Just some added thoughts. I would consider getting the GWII professionally calibrated before I would return it.


Reggie
 

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umr - I can beleive that - one needs to shop around and ask questions. It's always a buyer beware world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't think that this is an issue of tuning anymore. The sub-standard black level is an issue with current LCD RPTVs. Let's say that if GW III pops up tomorrow with another 25% of improvement in the black level it just wouldn't be enough.


Gee, do all CRT RPTVs become useless after 7 years of moderate use...?
 
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