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At Sony's web site they describe the KP-57HW40 as having a Microfocusâ„¢ CRT and Microfocusâ„¢ Lense System. For the KP-57XBR2 they list a Hi Definition Microfocusâ„¢ CRT and Multi-Element Microfocusâ„¢ Lense System. Does anyone know if both these sets are actually using the same CRTs and lenses, or is the XBR indeed using superior elements. I've seen both sets side by side and they are very, very close. Could it be that Sony is embellishing their description of their XBRs to just pump them up a little (for the extra dough you pay)? Thanks.
 

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This is a good question, especially given the recent posts concerning how wonderful each of these sets apparently looks. I've seen both in the same general space, showing the same broadcast, and the difference is perhaps subtle. I might describe the XBR2 as having better clarity and depth, but that could also be due to how they were adjusted in the showroom.


My guess is that this is similar to the difference between the Pioneer and Pioneer Elite lines. They share a lot of the basic quality and clarity characteristics; but the Elites have incrementally-better internals in severals areas, from the line doubler to the lenticular screen to the mirror system, etc., etc. Based on the quality of programming being projected you might not see any difference, but on some of the best HDTV and some of the worst NTSC you will typically see that one outperforms the other.


The final question is whether this difference is personally worth another $2K or $3k to you. That is a personal decision which may be partly based on your obsessive need for the absolutely best display -- whether anyone else can see it or not.
 
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