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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start by thanking everyone in this forum in helping me make my very first HDTV decision. The constant flow of information about the 507 and GWII made it simpler for me to make a decision. Not to mention that the tip about the IKEA stand was the BEST ever! Thanks guys!


This is the weirdest case of buyer's remorse I have ever had. I am only sitting about 8-9 feet from my 50, but I keep thinking that I am missing the HT experience. So, I start thinking maybe, I should have waited for the 60?! It just doesn't appear big enough. Aside from this *minor* quibble--I do love this set. I am no videophile, but the PQ appears awesome to me.


Anyone have some thoughts about my dilemma? Anyone think the same thing? I purchased this set from Myer-Emco in the DC Metro area--not even sure what my options are...


--monakh--
 

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I too have recently joined this forum and enjoyed the wealth of info it has provided me. I was trying to decide between the 507 and the GWII and I too have decided on the GWII. Like you I was set on the 50" until I realized that I can sit anywhere from 10' - 15' from the set and I'm wondering if the 50" is going to look to small?


The problem is that I'm not sure the 60" is worth the extra $1000 and if it is then I'm gonna have to wait another month or so before I can afford it :( Oh well I've lived my whole life without one so what's another month? Actually the dilemma at hand has almost pushed me to looking at the 55" Mits and 57" Hitachi.


Whatever your chose please post back here with your thoughts on pq from sd at that distance and how everything works out, as I am in this exact situation right now.
 

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We sit 9-11' or so from the 50". The 60" would be fine for this distance (I stood 6' from the 60" in the store and it looked great to me, better than a CRT at that distance -- Your Impression May Vary -- but our room size is too small for a 60" -- it would look out of place. Plus, the side speakers on the 50" make it the same size as the 57" Sony.


I decided on the 50" for the above size reason, and also because for me it's not worth the extra $1,000. I feel I can easily put at 50" in a bedroom in another house somewhere down the road, whereas the 60" would be a problem, and I figure that in 3-4 years I will be in a different living/TV room and also have a newer TV because the technology is changing so fast these days.


To each his own, though. If you sit 10-15' away (is that the distance to your chair, or the distance to your eyes when you lean back in your chair/couch -- if it's the former, you're actually sitting back an extra foot or two), you can easily get the 60" and it will give you a real theater effect. I assume HDTV on the 60" will blow you away. In fact, if that's your normal viewing distance, I think you would want the 60".


In which case it comes down to the $1000 difference. . . . .
 

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I have a 32" Wega in my living room in a nice armoire


Everyone says " That is a nice TV, nice picture, etc.."


Sometimes it is the surroundings and fit ....
 

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Cut out a cardboard rectangle 52" wide and 29" high, and mount it over your existing display. I think you may find that at 8-9 feet, it's just too big. At 9 feet, I did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for your responses.


Once I lean back in the sofa that I sit in, I would say that I am still between nine and ten feet away from the screen. My room is about 22X18--you guys think the 60 would appear too big? How much bigger is it than the 50, anyway?


I know, it is primarily the 1K price difference that had me purchase the 50 in the first place. Decisions, decisions...
 

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My wife and I spent the majority of the day looking at the Grand Wega II 60XBR800. We were highly disappointed. I was going to buy one today after I saw it 2 days ago at my local Ultimate Electronics store. However after reading a few posts here about the picture looking “CRAPPY†on non high-definition I decided to take my Ultimate TV into the store and see what it would look like with something that I use most of the time. I would also like to thank you guys that brought this to our attention, you saved myself and the store I was going to purchase it from lots of headaches by preventing a purchase and a return.


I will tell you that the picture was completely unacceptable. We tried really hard to tweak and get it looking good, but those artifacts will just not go away. Now granted people say the picture is as good as the source, but why then is the picture almost flawless on my 50†XBR rear projection? To continue with the story, we spent most of the day at one home theater store, and even the salesperson agreed that the picture was crap.

We decided, ok, let’s see how DVD’s look on this thing, we may be able to live with the artifacts, and possibly just use it to watch DVD’s , sorry to say that the picture was better, but there were still significant amount of artifacts.

We then looked at other rear-projection non-LCD sets to see if it’s just the Sony. We looked at the Mitsubishi WS65712, and WS73909, both very nice and almost no artifacts, one of them of course being a 73†picture which of course blows the theory of the larger the picture the more artifacts, not true on this 73“, the picture was almost flawless. .

We only played DVD’s through the 2 Mitsubishi’s but their picture was many times better then that Sony.


We did play our Ultimate TV unit on the Pioneer Elite Pro-720HD at another reseller and we were pretty impressed with the picture. We are not sure what we are going to buy now, possibly just keep our 53XBR and wait for the technology to smooth out. We were so excited about getting the GWII but our expectations were shattered when we actually spent time with it.


We learned a few things from this experience:

-High Definition is not where it needs to be yet.

-If you are going to test out these TV’s insist on them not showing you high definition. After all there are only 1 to 3 channels off the air, and only 3 on Direct TV (and that’s if you spend about $800 on an HD tuner/receiver)

-Bring your own DVD’s with you. I was very disappointed in the quality that the Sony 60XBR800 displayed with DVD’s that were not very high quality, we did see Star Wars II Attack of the Clones on a 50XBR800, and we were fairly impressed, but again, that is a very high quality DVD, and most DVD’s people watch are not going to be of that caliber.

-Also pay really close attention to the HD programming. I did like the Sony 60XBR800 for the HD picture, but upon closer examination it seems to have more artifacts then the other HD TV’s mentioned above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Although, I am a proud owner of the GWII 50, I am, by no means, a zealot. SD quality out of my DirecTivo is not great, but it is not terrible by a long shot. 80% of my viewing is in this medium, and if it was not up to par, I would be the first to return this expensive behemoth.


All that I have seen (and read on this forum) goes against what you have written above--are you sure the set you were viewing the material on was not flawed by the settings, or even hardware? It just doesn't make sense. Any decent DVD should appear gorgeous on this set, it excels at it. I have yet to see one bad DVD (have tried everything from LOTR to MI2 to the Matrix and Farscape).


I would recommend, that you try this at another store, preferably one that has knowledgeable salespeople and a decent setup.
 

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As the owner of a GWII 60", I can agree with some of what mmerios said. Other points, especially about DVD artifacts puzzle me.


When I took delivery of the GWII, I immediately fired the set up to my OTA NTSC analog signal. Most showrooms don't show you that kind of picture. Keep in mind, I also owned a 53" Sony XBR 4:3 set. This GWII replaces that unit.


The NTSC signal did not look as good as it did on my old Sony. I can't explain why. Blame it on the LCD technolgy? Over the next few days I was constantly adjusting and experimenting with the GW settings, using mostly live broadcasts to get the optimum. In those first couple of days the only signal input I had was OTA analog from a broadcast perspective. I was a bit disappointed with the PQ.


In parallel with that, I proceeded to watch several DVD movies. This is where I disagree with mmerios. I have yet to see a DVD movie on this set with artifacts. Every movie I have watched through my Sony Progressive Scan player has been awesome.


I then proceeded to hook up my Sony DirecTV SAT-HD200. It's still on the old round dish from my previous set up. DirecTV Sat channels looked comparable to how they looked on my old set. Tuned to HBO HD ch 509 and that picture was gorgeous!


Next I hooked up my attic antenna to the SAT-HD200, which had been used previously to view analog on the old XBR. I then took my first look at OTA HD local channels (there is a good selection here in Atlanta). These pictures are also gorgeous. Watch Jay Leno live and you get to see what real HD TV should look like.


Occasionally I get pixelation on windy days (trees interfere) with the digital OTA signal. Now comparing OTA analog to OTA HD; you don't ever want to watch NTSC analog again!


By the way, another move I made this week: I removed my VCR. It's going to Goodwill. I haven't recorded anything in years and sadly, my VHS video library will probably be given away. 240 lines of video is no longer acceptable. In fact, it's painful to watch on any set.


Bottom line, OTA analog channels don't look as good on this LCD set as my old XBR rear projector. This set begs for an HD input, which is what you see in the showrooms. Most sets can't compare on a side by side viewing with a quality input signal.


The light output from this set is extrodinary for a rear projector. I used to have to shut down the blinds in the family room to view in day time. Not anymore!


If the only OTA signal you've got is analog, there are probably other rear projectors that will manage to look significantly better. If you're moving beyond that to HD or even regular Satellite, then this set is the one to buy.

There are no bad DVD's movies for this set. If you experience DVD artifacts, check your player. Maybe that's what's not managing the signal properly.


In short, the GWII is a jump between CRT rear projector and plasma. Just don't try to view OTA analog. Garbage in, garbage out!
 

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The one and only time I saw the 50" GWXBR in the store, I was highly disappointed in the picture quality with DVDs. The TV had it's own DVD player attached (a Sony), so it wasn't like it was being split 50 ways. It was a progressive player, and I switched it from progressive to interlaced and back again several times, with little improvement in picture quality.


I'd seen last year's 60" Sony LCD a dozen times or more over the summer every time I went to Circuit City, and I liked what I saw on that one. It didn't make sense that this year's model would be worse, so I took a chance and went ahead and bought the 50". I figured I could always return it within 30 days at no expense.


I love my TV. I have no regrets. The picture quality on this one blows away what they had in the store. Granted, I didn't have time to tweak the one in the store as other people were waiting to play with the TV. Others who have seen the same TV in the same store have mentioned that the TV must be defective. I don't know if the store ever changed that TV out, but I don't know how they are making any sales using that one as a demo unit.


Not to say that there aren't better TVs out there in terms of PQ, but for what this TV offers (small space requirements, no burn-in, etc.), I'm very happy with it. If the majority of your TV viewing is not going to be HD or DVD, then you may want to consider another TV. I find the standard definition signals very watchable much of the time, but some won't. Now that I have HD, I avoid SD whenever possible because the PQ difference is that great.


You certainly did the right thing by putting the TV through its paces before buying. I'm sorry it's not going to work out for you. It really is a cool TV, but that's just my opinion.


BTW, I sit 7' from the TV, and I often wish (though not as much as the first weekend I had this thing) that I could afford the 60". For HD and DVD it would be fine, but sitting that close with a Dish signal would probably be hard on the eyes.


Dave
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by lrc
As the owner of a GWII 60", I can agree with some of what mmerios said. Other points, especially about DVD artifacts puzzle me.


When I took delivery of the GWII, I immediately fired the set up to my OTA NTSC analog signal. Most showrooms don't show you that kind of picture. Keep in mind, I also owned a 53" Sony XBR 4:3 set. This GWII replaces that unit.
What year and model TV are you referring to? I didn't know Sony made rear-projection XBRs before a couple years ago, and those were 16:9. My ignorance, no doubt.


Other than the black level issues, I have yet to see a bad DVD on the 50" either. As I wrote, I can't even find a bad pixel on mine. FINAL FANTASY is stunning -- and I have an interlaced Sony 560 DVD player. MOULIN ROUGE is great. Only GALAXY QUEST looked a bit "artifacty", if that's the term (exactly what is meant by "artifacts"?), and I think it's the DVD itself. EXORCIST, MONSTERS, INC., FIGHT CLUB, JURASSIC PARK III -- I've viewed parts of these to check it out. If anything, I think this TV points out the deficiencies of the DVD format -- once I saw HD in the stores on a good feed, DVD looks second-rate.


[When we move next spring we'll probably make the HD plunge -- because we'll be able to pick up the Dallas HD stations, and then can decide between Dish and DirecTV (our current source) -- why don't they make a receiver that's both DirecTV and Dish compatible/usable? A plain OTA HD receiver is just as expensive, though, isn't it?]


Maybe my DVDs look artifact-free (again, what are artifacts -- stair-steppy things? jaggies?) it's because I'm still using cheap $30 AR component cables -- which I'll likely upgrade to Better Cables if I decide to keep this TV.
 

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Thanks for all the quick responses. That's why I love this website, it is always active with knowledgeable individuals, and enthusiasts like me.


Unfortunately I did not bring my own DVD’s with me and I was using the stores DVD’s. The ones they were playing were Starship Troopers, Fools Rush In, and some Tarzan (The Disney Animation)

There was a scene on Fools Rush in that shows Salma Hayek sitting in a wall with Hoover Dam behind her, the picture looks very pixilated (or artifacty) whatever you want to call it. Then Mathew Perry pulls up and gets out of a car and starts talking to her from the background, you literally cannot see his face, in this scene, it looks like a cartoon character talking. Granted this is a poor quality DVD it shouldn’t be that terrible in a $5000 investment. I played this same scene on 3 other TV’s in the Home Theater Store in Dallas, and even though the DVD was definitely the source of the problems, it looked worse on the 60XBR800, and it was very acceptable on the other Digital rear projections I looked at (both were the Mitsubishi’s) there was no artifacting. Also these were not LCD.


I consider myself a Sony man when it comes to television sets. I’ve owned my 4:3 53†Sony XBR for about 10 years now and I still love it, I was intrigued by the HDTV’s that were released and really thought the Grand Wega was cool last year, but with the blacks looking like greys I really didn’t think it was a good investment for what they were charging for the TV last year. This year I saw the GWII and was very impressed by the blacks, granted they were still grey, but it was a major improvement, and the price drop made me want to go out and get it over the holiday. Even though I liked the other set better, the fact that I am so big on Sony makes it very difficult for me to make the jump to another brand of television, so I’m sure you can understand my disappointment wanting to get the latest and greatest, but not being able to because the Sony that I really wanted is not ready for prime time yet 
 

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eweiss,


To your question, yes Sony made rear projectors in 1995 and probably before. The one I just sold, that the GWII replaced, recently was bought on e-bay for $760. Not bad for a 7 year old set. I paid $3700 when it was new, well below MSRP. Stats below:


KP-53XBR45

MSRP$ 4399.99

Advanced Pro-Opticâ„¢ System

Bi-Cmos Picture Adjustment System / 3D Digital Comb Filter

First Surface Mirror

Twin-View 2 Tuner Picture-and-Picture

Dolby® Pro Logic® Surround Sound / Orchestra Seat™ Sound Effect (BBE)

XBR Express Navigatorâ„¢ System

Integrated Micro-Beamâ„¢ CRT

Program PaletteTM Presets with Video Memory

5 Sets of A/V Stereo Inputs & S-Video Inputs

222 lbs. (101 kg)

48 3/4' x 55 7/8' x 25 1/2' (1238 x 1442 x 647mm)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by lrc
eweiss,


To your question, yes Sony made rear projectors in 1995 and probably before. The one I just sold, that the GWII replaced, recently was bought on e-bay for $760. Not bad for a 7 year old set. I paid $3700 when it was new, well below MSRP. Stats below:


KP-53XBR45
Oh, I knew they made RPTVs. I just didn't know that they were labeling some of them as XBR (their "top of the line" designation). I mistakenly thought XBR was limited to direct-view until a few years ago. Thanks for the clarification.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes, yes, I needed to hear that, I wonder how much money I am gonna lose to do this little upgrade...
 

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monakh,


O.K., you want the 60"! But only if:


You've got the footprint in the room for the physical size. You know the dimensions and you've got the 50" already sitting there to measure against.

Your room allows you to sit at least 8' or more away from it.


By the way, talked to mmerios last night and he went back to the store to re-evaluate and bought the 60" GWII. He figured out he was sitting too close to the set for his initial evaluation. I'm sure we'll hear more from him today.
 

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Here is a pic of my 60"GWII.
 
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