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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After spending a while in both the high end samsung lcd owner threads and the sony z4100/xbr thread, I am still undecided on which one I should choose. I thought it would be better to post my dilemna in one of those threads, but they are so large and cluttered I can't get any definative answers or analysis on what I should do.


So, as far as I understand, the PQ on the 650 and 750 sammy's (the 40 inchers, it's the size I want) are pretty much exactly the same. I don't have a need for any of the 750's features, so I figure that saving the few hundred bucks on the 650 is a good idea.


My main problem with the 650, primarily, lies with its glossy screen and at times unnatural colors (I know calibration can fix this but objectivly many people agree that sony has more realistic colors and darker blacks). I live in florida, and my living room (where the TV is going) has two fairly large glass windows on both sides of the wall where my couch is facing. I can close the blinds of course, however there is still light that penetrates because all around the house has a lot of windows and is generally "bright".


Now, to note I have to say that samsung's pricing is what is really pushing me closer to it. Atm it's going for 14xx at amazon, and the z4100 is going for like 21xx!! This is obviously significant for me, as I am concerned if I am truly getting "bang for my buck" with what I buy (I don't care about buying z4100/xbr4 just because its name is sony).


Aesthetically, the silver/slim sony frame is far more appealing than the ToC of the Samsung. I know that may sound somewhat irrelevant, but it is kind of important for me as I want the TV to look nice as well.(I'm so shallow
). Really though, this I suppose is the last factor I am considering, but I just wanted to mention it, in case it would help you guys help me out.


As for the sony's, I am leaning to the z4100 as it is the 2008 model, so it is improved all around (or so i think). I know that many regard the xbr line as truly unique, and even right now the xbr4 is going for like 200 bucks less than the Z, but I do not have much good first hand experience with either at any of my local electronics store (they all have **** source, no hdmi, etc.). Can anyone help out with making any noticeable differences between the Z and the xbr4? (Primarily with the older motion technology of the xbr and the newer Z motionflow).


So, after all that, my last few questions: Should I wait for the Z4100/XBR4 to drop a few hundred more bucks or not? Ideally I wouldn't want to spend more than 1700 bucks, but if I had to, I could. For the 650, can calibration of it reduce the potential problem of glare because of my house's lighting? Is the PQ really better on the Sony's or is it mostly placebo effect from buyer's bias?

Please guys, I really need help with these answers, I am really confused as to what to do
. Thanks everyone.
 

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Now that the A750's price is narrowing the gap, I'd even consider that model, too, since you'd get the DLNA connectivity and better audio quality. It's right within $150 of the A650, so it probably may be more worth it than ever before.
 

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Well, lacasner, let me respond to your concerns.


I just purchased a Sony KDL52W4100 for $2,700. I chose the 4100 series over the XBR series because of the small bezel - the XBR's have that huge bezel that would not fit in the space I had available - money was not a factor! I have had the Sony for about a month now. I chose the Sony over the SamSungs because of the highly reflective screens on the Samsung TV's. Now I wish I had never considered that variable.


When I first got the Sony. I was very happy with it. I was only using it to watch the local OTA shows that were being brodcast in HD. The HD is very good, as you probably know, and the very clear picture is so impressive that I was not aware of any inherent weaknesses in the picture.


The Sony boasts about it's propriety scheme of selectively limiting back lighting in darker portions of scenery in order to improve the contrast ratio and make the blacks blacker. I found out real quick all of the is a sham - at least in my opinion. That feature simply makes every thing else very dull also. I was watching the Lakers play the Celts, and I kept telling my wife that our old 25" Sharp TV which we had on right next to the Sony, had more detail of the people in the stands than the HD Sony! It didn't take us long to find, and turn off the contrast enhancing feature.


I have now connected my standard analog cable line to the Sony and I have set up two other TV's - one on each side of the Sony for direct comparison. One set is an 8 year old Sharp 25" cathode ray tube TV that I almost tossed out. The other is an 18 month old 26" Toshiba Regza LCD HDTV (but also now only displaying the analog cable programing)


The colors on the Sharp and the Toshiba are very similar - whites are white and skin tones are natural. The brightness on the Sharp is average at best, but the brightness on the Toshiba is excellent. I am very happy with both of those sets. I am glad i didn't toss out the old Sharp.


Now the bad news about the Sony.The colors on the Sony are unbelievably dissapointing. Basically the picture on the Sony is so noticeably dull (in comparison) and so predominately saturated with red tones that the picture cannot be corrected to produce anything comparable to my Toshiba or my old Sharp. The only method I can find for forcing the picture on the Sony to come close to the brightness level of the Toshiba is to max out the backlight level, the contrast level, and the brightness level on the Sony. When I do that the picture is simply not right - to much glare (or something), just not normal. When I back off on those variables, the picture, even in outside scenes of bright daylight (like golfing events) just does not seem bright enough. It is hard to describe in words, but the leaves on the trees seem to be so much more brighter on the Toshiba than the leaves on the trees on the Sony. And, the setting for the brightness, backlight, and contrast on the Toshiba are only at about 75% - 80% of the maximum levels.


Furthermore, the colors on the Sony are anything but accurate. I must keep the color level down on the Sony to about 15- 20% of maximum or the entire picture is totally over saturated, and the tones are so red, that it cannot be corrected for with hue or white level adjustment. I absolutely cannot get the Sony to equal the whitest whites on the Toshiba and the Sharp. But the real tell tale short coming of the Sony is in the skin tones The Toshiba and the Sharp both seem very natural - with that slight increased redness (most apparent on older folks) around the eyes and nose and ear areas evident. The Sony simply can't reproduce those variations in the skin tone - everybody, even 90 year old people, look like they have used "MAN Tan" color or "makeup" on their faces, and it cannot be corrected for. At least I can't manage to do it.


I looked at TV's for months before making the decision to buy the Sony. I loved the Samsungs, but was afraid of the reflection issues. Now that variable seems of little importance. I did not consider the Toshiba because the off angle viewing concerns of LCD TV's was very noticeable. Now even that consideration seems of little importance.


Call me crazy, I know how every review on the net raves about the great picture on the Sony, and I know how good they looked in the stores. I also know that I am simply disappointed with the picture in my living room.


Furthermore, I have no confidence in advising anyone about what brand of TV to buy. You can make the most valiant effort to arrive at the best decision possible, and then find out your decision was not the best one. Perhaps I got a lemon, but the fact is, if I had not had my old Sharp along side the Sony I likely would not have become aware of the limitations of the Sony. I would have just turned down the color level (to near zero) and assumed that everybody on TV have good complexions. I really don't think their is anything wrong my TV. It is simply what Sony and a lot of people believe makes a good picture - way to much color.
 

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That's what you'd expect from an 8-bit LCD, supposedly, you do get more limited gamuts over that of a 10-bit LCD, so that definitely explains that theory. Having that extra oomph to the panel and the processing will pretty much make for a better PQ overall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Jim Braun, are you talking in general about sony tv's or just your W4100, because how I understood there are significant differences in PQ between the Z4100 and the W4100 (that the 10-bit panel really makes a noticeable difference, plus maybe higher contrast ratio).
 

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I am referring only to the TV that sits in my living room.


However I must say that all of those questions about picture quality were asked at the local Sony Style store where I purchased the set. I was assured that the "W4100" series would have as good a picture as the "Z" (which isn't available in a 52" size, or the XBR series that only come with the huge glass bezels). There may be a noticeable difference between the two. I have no reference to make a comparison. However, I could not detect it in the show room, and I made the salesman go through some fairly extensive picture adjustments, with a top of the line 52" XBR sitting right next to a W3000 (the W4100 series was not yet out). I was told the new W4100 series would have the newer Bravia engines, the 120 HZ refresh and an increased contrast ratio - basically an even better picture than the W3000 series I was looking at, and it seemed to have a picture that was as good as the XBR. Both pictures appeared identical in the store. The only thing that I recall is that I kept asking the salesman to cut back on the color and brighten up the picture. And he did, illustrating that the Sony did have the ability to adjust those variables.


I can only say that, if in fact Sony is selling any TV that can't reproduce color variations as good as an old worn out Sharp cathode ray or a $600 Toshiba LCD, then all is lost. My Toshiba has a picture so natural and so vibrantly bright, that I didn't appreciate it. Now I do. It is not that the Sony has a bad picture. As I said, I now believe most people prefer TV's with the the dark,saturated color look, which I suspect is a predominate characteristic on all Sony's. If you like that look, you would love this Sony.
 

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For me, the Samsung was off limits due to the reflective screen. As a owner of both the XBR4 and now a W4100, I will say I would choose the W4100 (or I guess the Z4100 in your case) because of smaller bezel, the smaller pricetag, and the fact that it doesn't smear or ghost like the XBR4. Of course, if you don't play games, this may not be a big deal. The downside of my W4100 is the whole sparkle issue you might have read about. However, I rarely notice the sparkles (and when I do it is mostly during menu screens), and I think I will be keeping it.
 

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To the OP,


Go to a B&M store and check for yourself. I preferred the A650 because little to no blurring, crisp detail in dense foliage, accurate colors, unlimited tweaking options and just great PQ.


I noticed allot of blur and "blocking" in areas of dense foliage with the W/S series. The Z series may be better....I have not seen it "in action". Check the reviews on Cnet, read posts....but mostly go to the store calibrate both TV's and compare. You may have to go to CC,BB, Sears, Boscovs, Tweeter, Costco, etc and check them all out. it will take time, but in the end you'll end up with what you want. Heck, take along a PS3 or a Dvd (that your familiar with) and an HDMI cable and get a direct feed to each.


In the end it's what YOU think is best.
 

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I can't believe no one has mentioned the upcoming Sammy A630 TVs, due in august....



It Is an A650 with a matte screen and is even cheaper!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLee /forum/post/14191914


I can't believe no one has mentioned the upcoming Sammy A630 TVs, due in august....



It Is an A650 with a matte screen and is even cheaper!!!

I wish I could find the link regarding a comparison of matte and gloss screens. the difference in loss of "vibrancy" vs reflection is a 50/50 type of scenario.


Depending on viewing habits.....Example:light room, but you close the shades anyway to watch a movie? Sun shining directly on screen for 30 minutes a day, etc.


Honestly, I don't know what I like better....my Matte screen of my Toshiba or the Gloss of the A650. Both have pluses and minuses, but I feel the advantages of the gloss out weigh the disadvantages!!!
 

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I posted this in another thread but my observation of the matte vs glossy is that I can see reflections in both. The matte reflects the same amount but is blurrier, while the gloss has more detail in the reflection. I find the matte to have the same amount of potential for distracting glare/reflection as a glossy screen.
 

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geez... i am in the same dilemma.... not sure which one to pick
 

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I faced this very same dilemma when purchasing my tv. I was deciding between 650, z4100, and w4100. I personally went with the a650 after months of research so I can give you the pros and cons as I see them. The PQ on the Sammy is simply amazing. I don't see anything more that someone could want. SD is . . . SD, so it looks alright but not great. HD looks awesome. The colors are very vibrant. I am still fiddling with the calibration and haven't quite settled on the look I want for everything yet, but this set definitely pops and wows me every time I turn it on. Motion is handled very well. A friend of mine has the older version of this tv (the 71 series) and though his picture is very nice, I have noticed the reported issues on it (studder, judder, TBE, etc.) I see none of those things on my set. It looks perfect IMO. I don't use AMP very often, but I do like it sometimes for sports, cartoons, and video games. No issues with AMP on low or med also (honestly haven't used high).

As for the issues some have reported, I do not see any purple haze. Sure, from an extremely off angle the blacks become distorted, but this is to be expected. From all reasonable viewing angles, even off angles, the blacks are great, very deep. I have no clouding either. I do have slight flashlights in both top corners, more pronounced on the left, but they are so minimal that I do not see them except on completely black screen. (Don't notice them in letterbox).

In comparison to the Sonys, all I can say is that I am extremely happy with my purchase. Yes, the screen on the Samsung is reflective. I sometimes notice this during daytime viewing, but very rarely. The picture is so vibrant and deep that you can't really see the reflection. Also, like many others I believe the glossy screen actually enhances the PQ. When looking at the Sonys, I felt that the matte screen was good and bad. It wasn't reflective, and actually the colors had a bit more of a natural look out of the box, but there also wasn't any wow factor. I've also read about a lot of Sony owners who feel the matte screen washes the image out, and makes it seem dull. I think it is really a matter of personal preference.

From everything I have read and seen in stores, Sony has definitely improved their processing and motion features, just as Samsung has done. I definitely wouldn't but the xbr4, because of its well-documented issues with motion-handling, but the w and z models seem to have resolved this.

Looks wise, yes, I wish the TOC wasn't there, I would prefer black. But, it isn't actually as bad as it seems, and almost looks nice once you get it home. Wish I could change it, but I can't, so oh well.

In the end I went with the 650 for 4 reasons. 1- I was highly anticipating the w4100, and thought I would be purchasing that one, but after it came out it seemed very dissapointing, both from personal viewing and based on reviews. 2- I wanted 52". z only goes to 46". 3-Price: Much more bang for buck on the Sammy. I was ready to buy and wasn't willing to wait for price drops on the z. 4- IMO the 650/750 is the best LCD available right now. I fully expect it to be surpassed when the new xbr's come out in the fall, but those will be very expensive. Right now I think there is no comparison with this set.

As I said, I am not a big Sammy fan, in fact I've always been a Sony fan. But I am absolutely satisfied.

I say look with you eye and choose. Purchase at a brick and mortar and bring a set home to try out. Even if you like it, you can always return and buy online for a cheaper price.

If the reflective screen is a concern, buy the Sammy and test it out. You won't know whether it bothers you or not until you bring it home.

I think you will be satisfied with either set, so just weigh your needs with your pocketbook.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8IronBob /forum/post/14184016


Now that the A750's price is narrowing the gap, I'd even consider that model, too, since you'd get the DLNA connectivity and better audio quality. It's right within $150 of the A650, so it probably may be more worth it than ever before.

Here is a few more reasons, you have a better processor,you can use your

ATSC tuner on PIP (Picture in picture) feature.The 650 you cant they are saying.I guess that would mean that the 650 will only allow you to use your

NTSC tuner wich is analog and will die in 2009.The 650 will allow you to use

the other plug in features that the 750 will on PIP but not OTA High Def like you can with the 750.


Also, you can not compare the W4100 with the 650. They are 2 different

sets.you can not compare the W4100 with the Z4100.They also are 2 different sets.You can however compare the Z4100 to the 650 or 750.If

you want to compare the W4100, you need to compare it to the 550.

Nthstar
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
I can't believe no one has mentioned the upcoming Sammy A630 TVs, due in august....



It Is an A650 with a matte screen and is even cheaper!!!

Wow, same spec's and everything?
 

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Personally i wish i never discovered this forum heh.I used it to purchase the family room tv a 60a3000 sony and now im back at square one trying to pick me out a tv that will be only used for games.The price on the 52a750 from big river makes me wanna pull the trigger but since this is going to be used pretty much nothing but gaming all the lag talk has me scared as hell.that and fact the 46z4100 picture can be adjusted in game mode.Now i read yet another post of a no gloss A630 model.... god dammit
 

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I am pretty much in the same boat here. Not exactly as I am looking at the 46" Z4100 from Sony and the 46" 750 from Samsung. The set will be used primarily for playing my PS3, Xbox 360 (currently through component cables, eventually upgrading to an HDMI model) and watching Blu-Rays on said PS3, with the occasional HDTV programming. I eventually want to hook up a HTPC as well so connectivity with a PC is important, although it will mostly for viewing media and not as a monitor for viewing text.


I have been quite happy with my current 40" Sony XBR1 that I've had for about 2-3 years now, but with a brand new PS3, I decided it was finally time to upgrade to 1080p and to a TV with more than one HDMI port. I had been looking at the XBR4 for a good long time but when I saw the 46Z4100, I began leaning toward it and I've heard generally such positive things about Samsung's LCDs and particularly the 650/750 models, I figured I owed it a look.


Generally I am looking for which has the best picture quality, but I guess I should go ahead and say that while I love my glossy screen Macbook Pro and have seen the difference a glossy screen can make, I have been very happy with my XBR1 with it's matte screen so I would assume the screen of each model wouldn't bother me, although I do worry a bit about reflection off a 46" glossy screen. I also really cannot stand the Touch of Crap bezel on the Sammy. I like that it's supposedly less noticeable on the 750s but I'd be much more enthusiastic if Samsung dropped it completely. Those complaints aside, it seems the Samsung has a 16-bit processor compared to the Sony's 10-bit which should mean the Samsung has the wider color range and theoretically should have the more accurate colors of the two. Coupled with a better contrast ratio and I believe a faster response time (4ms v. 8ms on the Sony IIRC), it seems like the Samsung would be hands down the better looking TV, although I can't directly compare them yet myself (BB & CC don't have the Z4100 yet, no SonyStyle store within driving distance). Not to mention, huge price difference. I mean, I could get a 52" 750 for less money than the 46Z4100 right now. All that factored with the "sparkle" phenomenon that seems to plague the Z line, and I have become very hesitant to get the Z, and yet I still am leaning toward it more than the 750 for some strange reason. Sub-conscious brand loyalty perhaps? I dunno but every time I read about all these problems that seem to plague all these newer LCDs, I wonder how many countless complaints and "huge defects" people must have noticed in the 40XBR1 in it's time, while I have been almost completely content with it. It's not that I don't take the complaints seriously, I just wonder if they aren't blown out of proportion as to frequency and severity of the problem and just how many sets are affected.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacasner /forum/post/14196150


Wow, same spec's and everything?


No, Contrast Ratio is 10,000 less(40K:1) because it uses a matte screen and it loses one of the HDMI ins (3 total) but other than that it is like a 650



Apparently, the 52A630 has a $2,699 MSRP, which is $300 less than the 52A650...


There is some discussion about it in this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1043609



Your budget is 1700 and I am sure a 46A630 would street for that or less......shoot, with a 2700 dollar MSRP, I am sure even 52A630s will street close to that eventually....
 
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