I looked at it again yesterday and was underwhelmed. The picture looked flat, indistinct, not nearly as good as the 60" sitting alongside it and neither were as good as the 65" RPTV also there. I'll pass.
I have the 70 and very pleased. The key may be viewing distance; my seating area is about 15' from the set; absolutely fine. Picture quality in HD is comparable, whether over-air, cable HD or DirecTV HD via the Sony HD200 that I use (presuming the 300 would be equivalent). If your question about direct relates to plain (non-HD digital) then it's about the same as cable analog; but when using the panorama mode of the STB is slightly better, do to the proportionality changes made to the picture. In a nutshell (and after returning from CES0, I see no other available set that I would prefer; and that includes plasmas, due to the well-discussed issues (though I would consider DLP if there was a 70" version in the price area of the Sony; but there isn't so far).
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