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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just did the rounds at several Sony stores, Circuit City & BB, and I have to smile at the hype surrounding these new TVs. Watching the Qualia via Blueray left me unimpressed (Spiderman demo). I'm sure that side by side next to a 480p it would look much better, but I didn't sit there thinking, "Oooh, I've got to get me one of those." The good thing is that screendoor is none-existant. The bad news is that blacks are still wanting, compression artifacts show in background scenes that should be naturally-blurred, and on HDNET there is still perceptable timing gap. Blacks were a problem with all the Sony sets - it was so bad, that I actually wonder if they calibrate their own tvs!


Surprisingly the Panasonic flat panel had passable blacks and the Samsung DLP on the Pedastal had no lag (I guess because it's DLP). I could buy from either of those two pics IF I was given a solid reason to upgrade. But films are my primary interest - I could care less about watching MNF in HDTV, and Friends still sucks, even in hi-def.


Based on what I've seen, I'll be getting that power board fixed on my Pioneer and waiting until the TVs improve (especially the flatpanels!). A word of wisdom to all those shopping right now - view before you upgrade. Don't trust the reviews as there is far too much hype right now.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. 568
Just did the rounds at several Sony stores, Circuit City & BB, and I have to smile at the hype surrounding these new TVs. Watching the Qualia via Blueray left me unimpressed (Spiderman demo). I'm sure that side by side next to a 480p it would look much better, but I didn't sit there thinking, "Oooh, I've got to get me one of those." The good thing is that screendoor is none-existant. The bad news is that blacks are still wanting, compression artifacts show in background scenes that should be naturally-blurred, and on HDNET there is still perceptable timing gap. Blacks were a problem with all the Sony sets - it was so bad, that I actually wonder if they calibrate their own tvs!


Surprisingly the Panasonic flat panel had passable blacks and the Samsung DLP on the Pedastal had no lag (I guess because it's DLP). I could buy from either of those two pics IF I was given a solid reason to upgrade. But films are my primary interest - I could care less about watching MNF in HDTV, and Friends still sucks, even in hi-def.


Based on what I've seen, I'll be getting that power board fixed on my Pioneer and waiting until the TVs improve (especially the flatpanels!). A word of wisdom to all those shopping right now - view before you upgrade. Don't trust the reviews as there is far too much hype right now.
Interesting take, Mr. 568. You are a true connoisseur of the visual medium, clearly. I must confess, I am one of those recent purchasers of the latest wave of HDTVs to hit the market. Sony 50A10, specifically. And I admit I like it lots. Really lots. Lots and lots. At the same time, I totally understand your point of view and studied opinion regarding the state of the tech at this point. It's not perfect by a long shot. In fact, four months ago I took the plunge with a Hitachi DLP and was so dissatisfied with the low-light performance I took it back. After much viewing and comparing, the Sonys plusses/minuses fit me best.


Sonys and their LCD RPTVs are indeed notoriously not-completely-black. Odd thing is, I just don't notice it. Or, more accurately, I doubt I know how to detect it. To a trained eye, such as yours, it no doubt is glaringly apparent, the bad black levels. For me what turns out to be important is not necessarily the blackest black, but consistent picture quality within the bounds of what the tv can produce. If not perfect black levels, then please make sure that there is shadow detail in whatever black you do acheive. For me, DLP rainbows and unacceptable low-light performance (to my eyes) were deal killers, whereas for whatever reason less-than-perfect black levels don't irk me at all. Odd.


I think one of the biggest lessons I learned in going through the process of purchasing this TV is that one really really has to spend time with each technology, and pay attention to what irks you and what is pleasing. For me, after much viewing and scrutiny, the Sony combination of goods/bads was the most pleasing - quite pleasing, with few drawbacks that I noticed, and fewer still that bother me. For others, I know that DLP simply rocks their world and they can't stand the Sony picture. Given your level of discernment, you are more sensitive to the drawbacks of each technology, so none at this point will be a satisfactory choice for you.


I guess that's why any rave review of any particular TV is in some ways worthless to any given reader because what's acceptable to one is totally intolerable to another.


So with all due respect, you, my friend, are possessed of what I would call the Connoiseur's Curse: When you have refined your senses to discern subtleties and qualities that the uninitiated likely would not detect, then anything short of that perfection is intolerable. Case in Point: Sometimes I envy the guy who can crack open a gallon-box of $4.00 wine and really enjoy it. . . . .
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. 568
Just did the rounds at several Sony stores, Circuit City & BB, and I have to smile at the hype surrounding these new TVs. Watching the Qualia via Blueray left me unimpressed (Spiderman demo). I'm sure that side by side next to a 480p it would look much better, but I didn't sit there thinking, "Oooh, I've got to get me one of those." The good thing is that screendoor is none-existant. The bad news is that blacks are still wanting, compression artifacts show in background scenes that should be naturally-blurred, and on HDNET there is still perceptable timing gap. Blacks were a problem with all the Sony sets - it was so bad, that I actually wonder if they calibrate their own tvs!


Surprisingly the Panasonic flat panel had passable blacks and the Samsung DLP on the Pedastal had no lag (I guess because it's DLP). I could buy from either of those two pics IF I was given a solid reason to upgrade. But films are my primary interest - I could care less about watching MNF in HDTV, and Friends still sucks, even in hi-def.


Based on what I've seen, I'll be getting that power board fixed on my Pioneer and waiting until the TVs improve (especially the flatpanels!). A word of wisdom to all those shopping right now - view before you upgrade. Don't trust the reviews as there is far too much hype right now.
Interesting take, Mr. 568. You are a true connoisseur of the visual medium, clearly. I must confess, I am one of those recent purchasers of the latest wave of HDTVs to hit the market. Sony 50A10, specifically. And I admit I like it lots. Really lots. Lots and lots. At the same time, I totally understand your point of view and studied opinion regarding the state of the tech at this point. It's not perfect by a long shot. In fact, four months ago I took the plunge with a Hitachi DLP and was so dissatisfied with the low-light performance I took it back. After much viewing and comparing, the Sonys plusses/minuses fit me best.


Sonys and their LCD RPTVs are indeed notoriously not-completely-black. Odd thing is, I just don't notice it. Or, more accurately, I doubt I know how to detect it. To a trained eye, such as yours, it no doubt is glaringly apparent, the bad black levels. For me what turns out to be important is not necessarily the blackest black, but consistent picture quality within the bounds of what the tv can produce, all things being equal. If not perfect black levels, then minimize the problem and please make sure that there is shadow detail in whatever black you do acheive. For me, DLP rainbows and unacceptable low-light performance (to my eyes) were deal killers, whereas for whatever reason less-than-perfect black levels don't irk me at all. Odd.


I think one of the biggest lessons I learned in going through the process of purchasing this TV is that one really really has to spend time with each technology, and pay attention to what irks you and what is pleasing. For me, after much viewing and scrutiny, the Sony combination of goods/bads was the most pleasing - quite pleasing, with few drawbacks that I noticed, and fewer still that bother me. For others, I know that DLP simply rocks their world and they can't stand the Sony picture.


I guess that's why any rave (or bad) review of any particular TV is in some ways worthless to any given reader because what's acceptable to one is totally intolerable to another.


And with all due respect, you, my friend, are possessed of what I would call the Connoiseur's Curse: When you get used to the best, and have refined your senses to discern subtleties and qualities that the uninitiated likely would not detect, then anything short of that perfection is intolerable. Case in Point: Sometimes I envy the guy who can crack open a gallon-box of $4.00 wine and really enjoy it . . . . .
 

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I think what Captain Kirt 87w is trying to say is that most people notice the opposite. In other words lag on DLPs that is non-existant on LCDs.


Could be another influence that 'caused it other than the technology I guess.


For myself I would give anything to have my Elite 710 back. I read the A10 thread an get all excited about getting one unitl I go to a store and see the current LCD TVS and remember why I am leaning towards a CRT RPTV...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFFred
After much viewing and comparing, the Sonys plusses/minuses fit me best.


Sonys and their LCD RPTVs are indeed notoriously not-completely-black. Odd thing is, I just don't notice it. Or, more accurately, I doubt I know how to detect it. To a trained eye, such as yours, it no doubt is glaringly apparent, the bad black levels. For me what turns out to be important is not necessarily the blackest black, but consistent picture quality within the bounds of what the tv can produce. If not perfect black levels, then please make sure that there is shadow detail in whatever black you do acheive. For me, DLP rainbows and unacceptable low-light performance (to my eyes) were deal killers, whereas for whatever reason less-than-perfect black levels don't irk me at all. Odd.


I think one of the biggest lessons I learned in going through the process of purchasing this TV is that one really really has to spend time with each technology, and pay attention to what irks you and what is pleasing. For me, after much viewing and scrutiny, the Sony combination of goods/bads was the most pleasing - quite pleasing, with few drawbacks that I noticed, and fewer still that bother me. For others, I know that DLP simply rocks their world and they can't stand the Sony picture. Given your level of discernment, you are more sensitive to the drawbacks of each technology, so none at this point will be a satisfactory choice for you.
FFFred....extremely well put! I'm also a sony rp lcd owner and completely agree with your comments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Maybe I'm describing the wrong effect, but it certainly seemed like the delay/smear was most obvious on the LCDs.


As for the black level, I wouldn't necessarily chalk this up to a discerning eye. I looked at the bars above and below the screens of 2.35:1 demos, and the simply weren't black. More like a charcoal, if anything.


Another observation I'd like to share is that there definitiely is a visual threshold around the 60-70" mark for 720p. My brain told me that the Sony 720ps were hi-def. Then when I went into the next room to watch the Qualia from approx the same distance, that too was appreciated as being "hi-def". But, I could not say that the Qualia had higer resolution than the 720p. They both broke the hi-def threshold. I really think that 1080p is only going to matter once you hit about 90+"
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. 568
Maybe I'm describing the wrong effect, but it certainly seemed like the delay/smear was most obvious on the LCDs.


As for the black level, I wouldn't necessarily chalk this up to a discerning eye. I looked at the bars above and below the screens of 2.35:1 demos, and the simply weren't black. More like a charcoal, if anything.


Another observation I'd like to share is that there definitiely is a visual threshold around the 60-70" mark for 720p. My brain told me that the Sony 720ps were hi-def. Then when I went into the next room to watch the Qualia from approx the same distance, that too was appreciated as being "hi-def". But, I could not say that the Qualia had higer resolution than the 720p. They both broke the hi-def threshold. I really think that 1080p is only going to matter once you hit about 90+"


Very interesting.


I have wondered whether the excitement about 1080p was more hype than reality; whether the difference in, say, a 720p 50-60" set would even be detectable.


Thanks for your observations. Makes one wonder.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. 568
Just did the rounds at several Sony stores, Circuit City & BB, and I have to smile at the hype surrounding these new TVs. Watching the Qualia via Blueray left me unimpressed (Spiderman demo). I'm sure that side by side next to a 480p it would look much better, but I didn't sit there thinking, "Oooh, I've got to get me one of those." The good thing is that screendoor is none-existant. The bad news is that blacks are still wanting, compression artifacts show in background scenes that should be naturally-blurred, and on HDNET there is still perceptable timing gap. Blacks were a problem with all the Sony sets - it was so bad, that I actually wonder if they calibrate their own tvs!


Surprisingly the Panasonic flat panel had passable blacks and the Samsung DLP on the Pedastal had no lag (I guess because it's DLP). I could buy from either of those two pics IF I was given a solid reason to upgrade. But films are my primary interest - I could care less about watching MNF in HDTV, and Friends still sucks, even in hi-def.


Based on what I've seen, I'll be getting that power board fixed on my Pioneer and waiting until the TVs improve (especially the flatpanels!). A word of wisdom to all those shopping right now - view before you upgrade. Don't trust the reviews as there is far too much hype right now.
A few comments:


1. Unfortunately CC, BB and most retail establishments are awful environments for viewing displays. Do you have any higher-end stores in your area? Maybe you have some friends that have some of the newer displays to check out?


2. Your Pio Elite 610 is a great display. Once you get past the bulky size, convergence issues, off-axis viewing problems, etc., the PQ is tough to beat. IMO, the newer displays really are best for HD material - especially sports. If you don't watch this type of programming maybe these displays are not for you.


3. You might want to hang out in the plasma forum. The Pio Elite plasmas are excellent. The latest Elite plasmas are due out next month. They are expected to have black levels that rival and exceed RPTVs. The current generation of Pannys also have great black levels.


Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by TopJack
Very interesting.


I have wondered whether the excitement about 1080p was more hype than reality; whether the difference in, say, a 720p 50-60" set would even be detectable.


Thanks for your observations. Makes one wonder.
I wish I could have seen the Qualia right next to the other Sonys, but moving from one room to the next netted very minor differences. Even the XBR line from last year looked excellent in terms of resolution.


Mit07 - The blacks were actually the worst in the Sony Store NYC, and I'm most inclined to believe that someone with no clue had messed around with the brightness. I simply cannot believe that the blacks are that grey by design.


The net result of all this is that I'm going to repair my 610 and save for a front projection system at 1080p. While the Qualia leaves you in awe at its size, you can't help but think how daft it will look in a real room with other equipment and furniture. I mean, you would have to have a really huge room, or really small speakers, so that you don't feel like you are on the starship enterprise. What's worse is that if you have a serious system, with a serious center channel, all these thinner systems will be a challenge. So for me it will be front projection with my center channel on a stand. Anything more than 60" begs a projector IMO.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. 568
So for me it will be front projection with my center channel on a stand. Anything more than 60" begs a projector IMO.
Agreed! If you really enjoy films, a front projector in a dedicated, light-controlled room is the way to go. I have a 106" screen in my theater room. For the same money as the displays you are looking at - you can go progector today. Check out the PJs from InFocus and Sharp. Spend some time in the projector forum.


Good luck.
 

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Aren't the 1080P projectors expensive? No point in blowing up 720P to 120" when it doesn't look very good.
 

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This guy sent me a PM (see below) and I though my response fit in with this thread.


Hi,


I'm actually still on the sidelines. I'm having trouble putting more than $2k towards a set that has has some major limitations no matter which of the technologies I choose.


Here's my novice take on things.


Old CRT RPTV:some risk for burn-in, poor performance in daylight, heavy,need to be calibrated but still the best deal and under the right light control the best big screen picture possible. Brands I've been steered towards Sony, Mitsubishi, and some Toshiba (for tabletops especially).


DLP rptv: bulb replacement, potential rainbows and headaches for some people but very bright vibrant picture, lightweight, good bang for buck in larger sizes 50'+. Brands that seem to be favored are Samsung, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Optoma. Look for older models with H2+ chip which is preferred to the newer models.


LCD rptv: bulb replacement, also poor blacks, but many of the same benefits of DLP. Sony seems to be king here. This is actually my current favorite.


Other technologies (e.g. SRXD, LCOS, HD-ILA) the JVC units seem to have been well recieved by some, but to have had quality control issues, many of the same concerns and benefits as LCD rptv. JVC is the main player here but folks are waiting for some Sony's to come out this fall (SRXD) but will likely be very expensive.


Plasma: relatively expensive (especially for 50" or larger) and can be susceptible to burn-in. There also seems to be major variability in quality between the cheap off-brands (Maxent, Hyundai) and the favored Panasonics. If I didn have kids who leave images paused for hours at a time, this would probably be a good choice.


For around $2k you will not be able to get any decent sized LCD flat panel yet but this may be the dominant technology TV's as prices come down


Thats what I've learned from spending way to many months researching this. My hope: High quality 50" plasma's break the $2K barrier in the next 6 months. 50" LCD rptvs come below $1.5k in the same time frame.


Good Luck,


Matt

Quote:
Originally Posted by austintx01
Matthew, I'm totally on the same page wrt to a big screen dominating our living area. I, too am very interested in the Samsung HCR4755W, sam's has it for $999 with stand INCLUDED. I recently bought the Sony A10 50" RP LCD and have 30 days to return it (Crutchfield). It looks gorgeous, but I'm having a hard time justifying the $2200 I spent. Did you end up getting the Samsung, Toshiba or Sony 47/46"? I see one guy bashing athe SS PQ, but there is a totally different thread on the SS 4755 and people seem to love it. big screen purists probably won't like it because it is "old" CRT technology, not DLP, plasma, or RP LCD. I'm a value guy, looking for the happy medium. I liked the Sony and it gets great reviews, but it is frankly just too big for my room. Any advice you can share?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mit07
Agreed! If you really enjoy films, a front projector in a dedicated, light-controlled room is the way to go. I have a 106" screen in my theater room. For the same money as the displays you are looking at - you can go progector today. Check out the PJs from InFocus and Sharp. Spend some time in the projector forum.


Good luck.
I agree the projector is the biggest bang for the buck today, and does the "cinema feel" pretty much like no-other technology.


Personally, although I have the room for a projector it looks like I'm headed for a 65" 1080p plasma. Having compared Panasonic's current 65" plasma to various projectors (over a wide price range) I find myself more attracted to the dense, palpable reach-in-and-touch it image of the plasma, which for me makes up for the size difference between it and a FP. (I also prefer the plasma to RPTVs, but to each his own).


But the Sony Qualia RPTV is fantastic. I agree though with some of what others have said, that there are possibly two factors to Mr. 568's lack of enthusiasm for what he's seen. 1. The set-up may not have been optimal for seeing the best of those displays (that includes surrounding lighting ect) and 2. His own Pioneer is great and likely performs so well that there isn't that much of a difference between it and even the new Sony Qualia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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Originally Posted by R Harkness
But the Sony Qualia RPTV is fantastic. I agree though with some of what others have said, that there are possibly two factors to Mr. 568's lack of enthusiasm for what he's seen. 1. The set-up may not have been optimal for seeing the best of those displays (that includes surrounding lighting ect) and 2. His own Pioneer is great and likely performs so well that there isn't that much of a difference between it and even the new Sony Qualia.


At this point I'd rather spend my cash on a 1080p projector, but I could probably be quite satisfied with 720p at about $8-12k. With films I'm very happy with 480p at 58", so 780p at 90" might hit the hammer right on the nail.


I think people who are mostly into films need to really be wary of the hype. Ever notice that 99 out of 100 HDTV demos are on sports or other TV based entertainment? I don't think that it is merely because HD-DVD and Blue Ray are not out yet. Rather, the jump from regular TV and dishTV is greater than the jump from DVD to HD-DVD. Expecially on smaller TV sizes 50" and below, I sincerely doubt that people are really going to be psyched about the increase in resolution. But the other side of the market that loves to spend hours watching sports on TV are far better targets for this new technology. I was more impressed with the HDNET demo on just about every sized HDTV than the Blueray Spiderman demo on the Qualia. That told me a lot about what to expect.
 

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there may be many other factors involved with your viewing... connection, dvd player, tv settings.... I was unaware there are players out that can play BLUE RAY....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. 568
As for the black level, I wouldn't necessarily chalk this up to a discerning eye. I looked at the bars above and below the screens of 2.35:1 demos, and the simply weren't black. More like a charcoal, if anything.
Ah, the black bar comparison test. Perhaps this is why less-than-perfect black levels bother me less than other shortcomings. For my eyes, what matters is not how grey/black these top/bottom or side bars are, but how the picture appears to me. Especially for material where there are no bars (full 16:9 for example), I find it difficult to tell if the blackest blacks in a picture are truly black or just almost black. And if I can't tell, it doesn't bother me. I agree that, if black levels were particularly atrocious (so that, perhaps, a space scene looked noticeably grey), I would have issues. But I don't find that situation very often.


So, I agree it's not hard to discern less-than-perfect black levels by simply looking at the top/bottom or side bars. But when viewing just the picture without bars, or focusing on the picture between the bars, I do think it takes more of a discerning eye to detect less-than-perfect-blacks. In the end, I don't really care if the bars on the top/side are less than black; I care whether I notice this in the picture/scene itself, and generally speaking my eyes tolerate/do not notice these less-than-blacks when considered as part of an entire picture. Maybe I'm just lucky I don't notice it - saves me a lot of grief and hassle I suppose.


I wonder if a lot of people simply view these black bars, find they are less than perfect black, and then conclude that they don't like the picture because of less-than-perfect black levels. I would think the real test is how the picture looks, and whether the blacks in a particular scene are troublesome to one's eye, irrespective of the darkness of the side/top bars.
 

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Mr. 568


You obviously haven't seen movies in HD on a calibrated 9" gun CRT-RPTV (CRT being your preference). Do yourself a favor and get a Mits with 9" guns while they are still making them. Also take off the protective screen, viola no reflections and virtually no glare. You ARE at the movies
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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Originally Posted by digimat
there may be many other factors involved with your viewing... connection, dvd player, tv settings.... I was unaware there are players out that can play BLUE RAY....
Well supposedly the Spiderman demo at Sony NYC was blueray. It looked great, but not "480p looks like crap on my TV now".

Quote:
You obviously haven't seen movies in HD on a calibrated 9" gun CRT-RPTV (CRT being your preference). Do yourself a favor and get a Mits with 9" guns while they are still making them. Also take off the protective screen, viola no reflections and virtually no glare. You ARE at the movies
No I haven't, but I've seen 1080 on a Qualia (and 720 on many others), and also go to the movies quite frequently. So I have a good idea of the performance gap between what I have and what is out there. Really, at 60" the difference isn't anywhere as significant as the jump from VCR and laserdisc to DVD - at least on the Spiderman demo.


The overriding point I'm making is that I feel my picture looks excellent enough at 480p, thus I feel no need to upgrade to another RPTV - especially if my film limitations are going to come from an HDTV satellite feed. My Elite actually surpasses several of those new TVs on 480p content, so with a solid HDDVD library being 12-36 months away, it makes an imminent upgrade even more foolish. Obviously I am out of luck at 720p.


Now if I'm satisfied, and amongst the very few who spend oodles on HT gear, then I know for sure that HDTVs will primarily be marketed towards those who primarily watch TV. I make these comments in respect to upgrading from a 58" TV. If I only had a 32" set, then that changes things quite dramatically.


I'll put it this way. Before seeing these sets I was curtailing my DVD purchases in anticipation of the hi-def formats. After seeing them on the Qualia, I've decided to continue buying 480p material.
 

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I think your missing the big part of the reason why people buy hdtv tv's...... for HD.


sure dvds and most material is still low res... but with more and more hd channels being broadcasted you can be sure your investment will be worth it in the long run.


If you don't want to upgrade then don't no one is holding a gun to your head.
 
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