I was going to go with the Mitsu 65807 but I'm only going to be about 8-9 feet viewing distance from the screen and I think it's too close for 65" I'm now thinking of going with the Phillips 55pp9701 and I'd like some feedback on it.
I have the 60PP9601, which is apparently the same set but with a taller (4:3) screen and lower price tag ($2199 at Costco a few weeks ago.) It's funky in a lot of ways, such as lacking discrete input selections for a universal remote, but the HD picture is vastly superior to non-ISFed Toshiba and Mitsubishi sets. The color is weak on interlaced input, and the line doubler is unimpressive, so an external line doubler is desirable, like a 480p DVDO iScan Pro or a 600p Faroudja or a 1200i HTPC. Philips sets usually look bad in showrooms, because they are usually fed 480i. Rest assured that with HD input or an external line doubler, the color is exceptional on these sets.
On most sets, when an input can accept progressive it can also accept 480i, but on Philips sets each input is either progressive or 480i. Here are the inputs on this set:
ANT A - 480i OTA
ANT B - 480i OTA
AUX 1 - composite, S-video, or 480i component
AUX 2 - composite, S-video, or 480i component
AUX 3 - composite or S-video
AUX 4 - HD component
AUX 5 - HD RGB/VGA
AUX 5 accepts 480p/960i, 540p/1080i, 600p/1200i, and I'm pretty sure AUX 4 also accepts all those formats. The horizontal resolution is flexible, so you can use 1440x960i, 1800x1200i, etc. However, AUX 4 and AUX 5 do not accept 480i. Likewise, the component inputs on AUX 1 and AUX 2 only accept 480i (interlaced), not 480p or 1080i or anything else.
I personally don't even use AUX 4 (!) - it's begging for an X-Box!
I just purchased one. DVD and hi-def OTA looks spectacular from 9 feet. Over-compressed Directv channels look acceptable to me, all things considered. The US Tennis Open is absolutely stunning in hi-def, especially on close-ups.
A word of caution: I found that the only component input that will take a progressive signal (at least from my Toshiba 6200 DVD player) is AUX4 leaving only AUX5, which is RGB, for a high-def input. The other component inputs would only accept an interlaced signal from the Toshiba. The other component inputs could not sync to the Toshiba 6200 in progressive mode. Your mileage may vary. Fortunately, I have a DTC-100 so I just hooked it up to the RGB input.
I also just purchased a 60PP9601. It has an absolutely spectacular picture. I must have visited about 30 or 40 stores that sell HDTV in the LA area (many multiple times). I also researched thoroughly this site and other internet resources for about 2 months before making my decision. I started out wanting a 16-9, but realized that with owning a large 4-3 movie collection and loving sports, I was really better off going with a 4-3 set. So, I got one big enough to still display a 55 inch letterbox image. I got an ISCAN pro to watch standard NTSC input, but in reality I found several ways of achieving a very nice picture with out the ISCAN. One of these is not attaching my antenna or cable directly to the set. I ended up after tons of consideration with a Toshiba set top box which was perfect for my needs. I have an antenna that has been on the roof for probably 20 years and without any tweeking gets me a great picture on many digital OTA stations in the LA area.
I first became aware of this set after I was completely blown away seeing Marantz showing a progressive scan DVD of Gladiator. The store had a Mistubishi diamond set as well as a couple of others and the Marantz was so far superior that I couldn't believe it. I asked the salesmen several questions and he volunteered that Marantz was approximately 1/2 owned by Phillips who had previously insisted that the TVs carry the Phillips name. I don't really know the dynamics, but from what I could discover, the Marantz and Phillips were at worst very similar in characteristics. Even poorly displayed through a disadvantageous hookup in the stores, I could see the Phillips quality. The 55PP9701 is basically a widescreen version of the same TV. When I saw that Sears was closing out the 60PP9601, I jumped. I was too late to get a boxed set, but found purchased a floor model for $2449 that was in absolutely perfect condition. I absolutely couldn't be happier with it. It is more appealing to my eyes than any other set I've seen short of a Plasma. If you want to check out the 55PP9701, they should be available at Best Buy. Good luck trying to find a 60PP6901 as they are getting scarce fast. You may get lucky and find a floor model at Sears like I did.
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