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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my Pioneer Elite 530 for a few days now and I thought I would give it a mini review. This was the first 530 I saw when it was delivered. I was able to see the 730 and 520 so I thought is was worth the chance. I sold my HD tuner with my old HD set so I have not had the pleasure to see HD on my new set yet.


As a point of reference, I owned a Toshiba 50h81 for a short time and my last HD set was a RCA 32MM110. The room I purchased this set for has not finished construction yes so I am a little closer then I will be (9’ vs. 11’). I have not used Avia yet as I want to let the set stabilize a bit.


General construction – I am very happy with the fit and finish of the 530, all the panels line up and are perfectly finished. There appears to be an attention to detail in this set that others may be lacking. This is only a 53†set but it is very heavy. (over 250 Lbs).


Screen – It does have an anti-reflective coating on the outer shield and it works fairly well. I believe that there are better anti-reflective screens out there like the Samsung DLP’s and the Hitachi XWX and TWX. I would rate this set on par with the Mitsubishi Diamond in terms of screen reflectivity. The screen is user removable per the users manual. There are no dust spots or smudges on my screen.


User Interface – The menu controls are very easy to use and have a multitude of settings. Most of the settings are the normal ones you see on every set. You can adjust convergence for 480p and 1080i in center mode or multi-point mode. The remote is programmable and usable but a bit awkward. Most of the TV settings are close at hand but the DVD/Tivo buttons are at the bottom and not comfortable to use.


Inputs – This can be a little confusing. There are a ton of jacks on the back like 3 s-video, 3 composite, 2 component, 1 RGB 15 pin, 1 set of BNC professional, and 2 DVI. This totals 5 inputs. Yes 5, the 2 DVI inputs are for 480p/1080i only and are direct selectable via remote as inputs 4 and 5. Inputs 1-3 are a combo input with the different video. It works nicely once you figure what to hook up where.


General Viewing – I can see an open window in the screen during the day and table lamps at night however they are muted and you have to look for them in dark scenes. The viewing angles are not as good as my old Toshiba 50h81 or RCA. When standing or sitting way off the side the screen is noticeably darker. This can take away from the wow factor as a neighbor came over to see the set and told me it did not look that bright, then he sat down and said wow, that is stunning! I may look into raising the set using a 1’ platform.


Picture DirecTivo – This was a very important issue in my house because it is 90% of the viewing. I started using the 1080i mode and the reference theater picture mode. I like the picture mode because it disables most of the things like auto color, SVM, etc. While the shows looked great in the 1080i mode, the credits and commercial text have shimmering effect (dot crawl?). I could see some compression artifacts on some channels however at 9’ it was minimal. I started using the 480p mode last night as a test and the text in the credits and commercials are solid. I did not notice the compression artifacts but the picture was slightly softer. Overall, the picture was great on both with the stuff you want to see. The set has bright-saturated colors with a beautifully rich black that I could not find on most sets. Shadow detail is wonderful and the stretch modes are all fantastic.


Picture DVD – This is where the 530 starts to truly shine. I have a non-progressive player and I like the 1080i mode here. You can see some of the text stuff mentioned above but the picture in the movie is wonderful. I had some friends over and several of them can’t believe the picture can be that good. I again used the reference theater picture mode and I think that we may start watching more DVD’s in the future. I can’t wait to get my HD back! Please Tivo, can I have an HD DirecTivo for Christmas?!?!


General Comments – While I love my new Pioneer Elite 530 it is a little pricy. While I found a great deal, most dealers quote between $4000 and $4500 for this 53†set and there are some good sets that can be had in this size for under $3000. The Toshiba’s 50HDX82, Hitachi 51SWX20b, and Mitsubishi platinum sets are all good for the money, but I still feel that the 530 is the best in the class. I notice that people frequently compare to the Pioneer Elite line and I think the reason for that is it is that good. IMHO, the 530 takes the best of all and wraps it into one. FWIW, I think the stretch modes are as good or better then Toshiba, the picture is as bright and saturated as the Hitachi or better, the blacks and grays are as good as the Mitsubishi or better, and the new line doubler is the best of them all.
 

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Tom,


Thanks for the review. I'm hoping someone will buy one of the new x30's that has owned either a x10 or 20. I'm still wondering just how much they improved the set, especially the line doubler.


When using Directivo , can you see a big improvement using 1080i , in the actual quality of the picture. Does it seem to be clearer? Is that why you see more artifacts you think? The text on directv never really looks good , far as I can tell, like credits after a movie.


Have you done much in the Pro mode yet? Like the gamma and while balance adjustments they put in this model. Just wondering exactly what one can do with those, and how much control they gave the user.


In another forum they are trying to figure out if the x30's will display a 720p signal without converting it. Nobody has figure that out yet apparently. They will accept a 720p input, something the x10's & 20's wouldn't, but not sure what it does with it.


Thanks
 

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Thanks Tom.


I currently own an Elite 720 and am getting the 730.


The 720 is great. I can't imagine a set being significantly better, but my fingers are crossed. I'm hopeful the 730 will display a 720p signal without converting it to 1080i. Wish someone would post the definitive answer, but it seems that all the folks who have an x30 set don't have an HD decoder box, at the moment.


Tom - when you look at the multipoint convergence grid for any input, does the blue line look defocused? That's the case on the 720 model, and with most if not all RPTVs. Curious, because Pioneer is making a big deal over the new "more tightly focused" blue gun in the x30s.


Does the remote allow you to access each of the 5 inputs individually????? You mentioned the non-DVI inputs being combined (1 - 3) in some way. That would be a bummer. The 720 lets me access each input directly with it's own remote control button.
 

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Well I have a 610, and based on just years alone, it has been surpassed in pq by Mitsu and Hitachi. Thus, a glowing review by a major mag is all I need to replace it with a 630 or 730. Most dealers (yes, even the Elite ones) don't know how to cal a set, so store demos are too misleading. I'd sooner trust someone on AVS than a salesman, anyway. Thanks for your review, Tom.
 

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I am so annoyed by the overscan of my 610 that I would be hesitant about purchasing another Pioneer.


How is the x30 line in this regard on HD material?


(It may require trying to display a Windows desktop from an HTPC to get as annoyed as me.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by nhey
Thanks Tom.


I currently own an Elite 720 and am getting the 730.


The 720 is great. I can't imagine a set being significantly better, but my fingers are crossed. I'm hopeful the 730 will display a 720p signal without converting it to 1080i. Wish someone would post the definitive answer, but it seems that all the folks who have an x30 set don't have an HD decoder box, at the moment.


Tom - when you look at the multipoint convergence grid for any input, does the blue line look defocused? That's the case on the 720 model, and with most if not all RPTVs. Curious, because Pioneer is making a big deal over the new "more tightly focused" blue gun in the x30s.


Does the remote allow you to access each of the 5 inputs individually????? You mentioned the non-DVI inputs being combined (1 - 3) in some way. That would be a bummer. The 720 lets me access each input directly with it's own remote control button.
The remote has 1 through 5 buttons for the inputs you can access each directly. 1-3 combined, I meant is that input 1 can have S-video, composite, or component


I do not see the blue line at all unless I move it off the grid. It would appear sharper to some degree then my old 50H81.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Larry J
Tom,


Thanks for the review. I'm hoping someone will buy one of the new x30's that has owned either a x10 or 20. I'm still wondering just how much they improved the set, especially the line doubler.


When using Directivo , can you see a big improvement using 1080i , in the actual quality of the picture. Does it seem to be clearer? Is that why you see more artifacts you think? The text on directv never really looks good , far as I can tell, like credits after a movie.


Have you done much in the Pro mode yet? Like the gamma and while balance adjustments they put in this model. Just wondering exactly what one can do with those, and how much control they gave the user.


In another forum they are trying to figure out if the x30's will display a 720p signal without converting it. Nobody has figure that out yet apparently. They will accept a 720p input, something the x10's & 20's wouldn't, but not sure what it does with it.


Thanks
I think that directv is more clear then the x20 series I have looked at. The 1080i makes an improvement on the better channels, I am liking 480p for the Cr% channels. The text looks very good at 480p, the picture is sharper at 1080i.


I haven't used the pro mode settings yet as I keep leaving town Like I am tonight. I'll report on it when I get back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Larry Hutchinson
I am so annoyed by the overscan of my 610 that I would be hesitant about purchasing another Pioneer.


How is the x30 line in this regard on HD material?


(It may require trying to display a Windows desktop from an HTPC to get as annoyed as me.)
I hope to borrow my Friends Panasonic STB so I can check the overscan, 720p and general HD picture. I may be able to do that this weekend if the honey do list is not too long.
 

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Thanks for the info Tom. Would you happen to have any non-anamaphoric dvds that you could use to test the 530's strech modes? One of my big concerns is laserdisc performance. non anamaphoric dvd would be pretty similar to LD performance. Again, thanks for the review. I will finally get to see the 530 this Friday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by gtaylor74
Thanks for the info Tom. Would you happen to have any non-anamaphoric dvds that you could use to test the 530's strech modes? One of my big concerns is laserdisc performance. non anamaphoric dvd would be pretty similar to LD performance. Again, thanks for the review. I will finally get to see the 530 this Friday.
I used the DVD of "Romancing the Stone" and it is a very bad transfer and improperly flagged. The stretch modes looked great, The best mode for this DVD was zoom as it is a 4:3 letterbox. The 1080i mode made this DVD look fairly good where most built-in doublers I tested with it looked horrid.
 

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Thanks Tom. I have one more question. When you played the non anamaphoric Romancing the stone dvd, did you try both the 1080i and 480p upconversions to compare them? Which of the two do you prefer so far? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by gtaylor74
Thanks Tom. I have one more question. When you played the non anamaphoric Romancing the stone dvd, did you try both the 1080i and 480p upconversions to compare them? Which of the two do you prefer so far? Thanks.
I did try both, with DVD, I think I prefer 1080i, with bad Directv 480p, with good Directv 1080i. I think the 1080i looks the best with better signals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Mfusick
What about RED PUSH?


is it there?


and is it correctable?
I would be suprised if there wasn't red push, I find out more when I do the Avia later this weekend.
 

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Considering that according to Pioneer Elite the first unit in the US isn't even finished yet, and as a result of the Longshoreman strike, the prototype hasn't even passed all tests, that is truly amazing.


Where did you get this TV, and why isn't Pioneer aware of it's existance as of last Monday?


I seriously want to know.:p
 

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Amazing!-I just got a call last week from my salesperson at the local B&M and he told me that they are getting 75 Pioneer Elites in their warehouse on December 3rd and I should be getting my Pioneer Elite 630, thereafter, within a day or two.

I have been waiting for the 630 for about five weeks. I know he has no reason to mislead me as I have been using a brand new Elite 620 provided by the store at no charge. So no pressure for the store to deliver from my side.

More Amazing!-I had called Pioneer the same day (I got confirmation of the expected delivery date) to get a brochure on the Elite X30's and they told me the model does not exist and they have no information or specs on it, even though I have read a press release put out by Pioneer during CEDIA. They told me they would send me out brochures on the X20's. These people at the call centre at Pioneer are so low on the totem pole that they are the last people to know about new products. Plus it's not a hobby for them, it's work and they are less that excited about it. To them a TV is a TV and not the 'Holy Grail' as some of us videophiles believe the X30 might be! Simply Amazing!!
 

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My 730 was delivered on Wednesday from Tweeter. Man, is it big! I've just been playing around with it so far, but I do have a few observations to make.


It has plenty of red push: when a scene fades to black, the black is really very dark red (slight exaggeration on my part).


The manual states clearly that 720p is converted to 1080i.


In spite of red push, HDTV is stunning! (HD is from a Sony HD200)

I haven't really had time to compare component input to DVI yet.


When watching DVD, the image from interlaced component that is processed by PureCinemaIII looks almost identical to progressive output from the DVD player.


Aspect ratio still locks to full when receiving 1080i or 720p input.


SD Directv is a real letdown after watching HD. It doesn't look worse than it did on my old analog RPTV, it just looks crappy compared to higher quality sources. Frankly, I didn't really expect much from SD satellite anyway.


The anti-glare protective screen panel works, but I don't think it's as good as the Hitachi XWX / TWX panel. I may remove it. (It now comes pre-installed).


That's all I have for now.


Boot
 

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Well, if the blacks look somewhat red, thats sounds more like a grey-scale thing, rather than red push, IMO . Have you look into that pro mode yet to see exactly how much control of the white balance it allows?


Look at something in B/W and see it the dark areas look a little red.


Yes, SD satellite isn't anywhere close to HD , but saying it doesn't look any worse than a analog RPTV is saying quite a bit. Especially on that size screen.


Do you (Boot) think upconverting some of the SD channels to 1080i looks sharper than 480p?
 
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