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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you debating between the Sony 57HU40, Toshiba 57HX81 or the JVC I'Art 48", personally I have to say there is no comparison to the Pioneer 533HD5.


I am completely blown away by the quality of the picture for the money. Nothing in my opinion comes close. Prices have come way down and I am glad I took advantage.


The line doubler is excellent. Satellite on the other sets pales in comparison to the Pioneer. The line doubler is first rate.


Progressive DVD is outstanding.


Blacks are black and there is plenty of light output. The picture was good even with the sun shining in a window to the right and in front of the screen.


The screen protector is reflective and almost acts like a mirror when the set is turned off but is not an issue once a picture is displayed. I klnow some people who have removed the protector. So far I have had no reason to do so.


The 72 point convergence is great.


The only negative is the number of inputs. Pioneer should have included more. I guess they had to do something so that people with money to blow would opt for the more expensive Elite.


If you are in the market for rear projection I strongly recommend you check out the Pioneer before you buy and don't be concerned about seeking a huge discount from the MSRP.


No I don't work for Pioneer nor do I have any connection to the television industry.
 

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Greetings


And you could make that determination by staring at a lot of uncalibrated TV sets on a showroom floor ....


uh .... okay ...


Regards
 

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Quote:
I am completely blown away by the quality of the picture for the money.
Might I ask how much you paid?


Is this the first HDTV you've evaluated in a home environment?


I may agree that this may be the closest thing to Pioneer Elite and better than the competition...but I highly doubt that there is no comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Michael:


"And you could make that determination by staring at a lot of uncalibrated TV sets on a showroom floor .... "


I agree that the showroom floor is not the best place to thouroughly test and review all of the capabilities of a unit. Obviously one can't just carry home a 53" set and test it and carry it back to the store. This does not mean that you can not draw meaningful comparisons. First, you bring Video Essentials or Avia with you and do a basic calibration. You also use the calibration features built into the sets, ie 72 point convergence on the pioneer. You go to several stores that have the sets you are interested in and cross reference your results. if you find one set consistently out performs another then I suggest one can make those determinations especially with respect to line doublers dealiong with interlaced sources such as satellite and 480i DVD. It is possible that a store may sabotage one set to push another. That is why you visit several stores with the products you are interested in or visit stores you trust.


Marc:


I have owned several front projection units and have spent many hours calibrating and comparing them in a home environment. The advantage with these projectors is that you can take them home and demo them at length with many different sources, scalers etc. Unfortunately you can't do the same with large screen TVs. There are calibrations that are impossible to perform in a showroom and require an expert with proper equiptment and access to service manuals. The majority of us I expect don't fork out huge dollars for ISF professionals although many of us should. Basic calibration can therefore assist in drawing comparisons.


I realize that stating "no comparison" may offend the owners of these other units and that was not my intention. The other units I mention are fine televisions and made my final list. For my tastes, however, the competition didn't come close at the same price point.


With respect to price I paid Canadian dollars which probable won't assist you. I can say that based on the MSRP of the Pioneer, the other sets were in a different price bracket and this would obviously affect their value. I paid a price equivalent to what the Sony and Toshiba would have cost. Of course the JVC was considerably cheaper.
 

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Knuck,


Don't know if you're aware of it, but Michael TLV actually is one of those ISF Professionals you mention. Just FYI.
 

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I have one. I agree its a wonderful set and value, wouldn't have any other in the price range you're discussing. The point of contention is that there are no absolutes. Differences are generally incremental. The Pioneer was several notches above the rest.
 

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WHAT is the price range you're discussing? Quit beating the bush.

Onecall has it for $2800, and that's pushing it for some people. THey can get the same size for $1800 if they look (in toshiba, panasonic etc) - which leaves a niche of people who are willing to pay $1000 more for a better set.


-ELmO
 

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Although I personally don't recommend buying from them and will never do so again, I'd guess you can get it from onecall (if you call and ask for the special group buy or actual bottom line) for probably around $2500 or just under. I paid $2800 locally in December, when onecall's group buy price was $2750. Lesser-reputed internet dealers have it for $2300 and under. If your budget is $2K and you'll settle for a 47"-51" set, then this Pioneer isn't for you (yet). The quality difference was perceivable to me. and I was willing to pay $500 more than Sony and about $200 more than Toshiba HX for something I'm going to be looking at daily for around 5 years.
 

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This set has been at my local Costco for a while. I'll check the $ next time I go... I think it was between $2000 & $2500.


Unless a set (any brand) has features that drive you nuts, most people will be satisfied with a 1080i picture. I use and love my Elite 610, but would be foolish to think it blows everything else away just because I think it has a great picture.


Back to the 533HD5... Knowing what I know about the 610, if I had a use for another set I would jump all over this for less than $2500.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by John Tillman This set has been at my local Costco for a while. I'll check the $ next time I go... I think it was between $2000 & $2500.
From what I've read, Costco has last year's models: 532 and 582...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mike:


Perhaps that explains Michael TLV's negative attitude.


GC3:


I agree there are no absolutes. I also agree that we each have our own preferences. What I like may not be what someone else likes. That's why I would never make a large ticket purchase based on someone's opinion without looking at the unit myself. My point was that based on the direct competition, specifically the Sony 57HU40 and the Toshiba 57HX81, the Pioneeer was noticeably superior in most areas. I emphasize that was my opinion only and I would suggest that anyone looking at these units also check out the Pioneer. Because of the high MSRP, $5999.99, I almost didn't consider it as it was way out of my price range. Fortunately someone on this forum suggested the selling price had come way down. It is this type of information that makes this forum so valuable.


Elmalloc:


I paid $4200.00 CDN which is the equivalent of approximately $2650.00 US. I agree that there are similar and larger size sets for considerably less. Obviously, the general rule is that you cannot compare the quality of a $1000.00 set to a $3000.00 one although the 533HD is not far offf from the Elite which is several thousand dollars more. In my comparison I was only referring to the Sony and Toshiba models listed above as these were in the same price range.
 

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MichaelTLV has proven himself to be anything but negative as far as I am concerned. The guy is very generous with his time, answering questions on a daily basis in multiple forums. His detailed review of the Panasonic 47WX49 helped me work wonders in the tweaking of my set.


:cool:
 

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Knuck,


I agree Michael TLV was in and out pretty fast, wasn't he? :)


He truly is a fount of knowledge however. Maybe he'll chime back in here with any specifics he's encountered relative to the set--or alternatives that, in his opinion, might represent a better value.
 

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Greetings


When people start threads with such inflammatory language ... I chalk it up to trolling. If he didn't mean to put it in those words, why are those words still there? There is such thing as an edit feature.


It is one thing to take VE to different stores and try them out on some TV's, it is another thing to declare a champion as has been declared here. The playing field is still uneven ... especially when you set up a situation where you do 72 point on one set and 9 point on another.


Not quite fair ... especially when you know all too well that there is also a multi point convergence system on the competing brands. If you want to declare a winner, qualify the statement instead of throwing fuel on it.


This is a tweaking site ... people tweak here, the information is available. No one really cares too much about how the sets looked in the stores. Because it just doesn't matter that much. Some sets are notorious for coming OOTB looking really bad. But put half a day's effort into it ... and it can look superior to anything in the showroom. No one needs to spend the extra dough for a pro to come in. You can make most set shine without special instrumentation.


Case in point ... he declares Pioneer the king ... well, I can spend $1000 less than him on a Panasonic and with some tweaking, I can make the Panasonic look much better than that Pioneer set.


If he tweaks his Pioneer, the end result is a stalemate. Both sets end up looking just fineand pretty much the same. But my set still cost $1000 less than his.


What you get with most Pioneers is a set that is closer to optimum OOTB. But at a price.


Coming in and stating the obvious isn't really going to convince anyone ...


The car has a flat tire and we are in the process of repairing it. He comes in and declares that the car has a flat tire and because of that, it isn't as good as a car with out a flat ...


Well, duh ... that is why we are fixing the flat.


I'm simply sketical when someone comes in and makes wild claims without providing sufficient evidence to back up what they are saying.


Regards
 

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Michael TLV:


A "forum" is all about opinions and what Knuck gave at the outset of this thread was just that. What you gave in return was a "you are too stupid to be posting your opinion" response. Your latter response was in contrast a well thought out discussion pointing out that one of Pioneer's biggest positives is that it has better OOTB picture quality and has calibration capabilities that are more accessible to the typical user.


Having seen a large number of RPHDTVs very very well calibrated I agree that most all are able to do stunning renditions of an HDTV source when calibrated successfully. That's why I would recommend that people do their side-by-side comparisons in a higher-end A/V store where people know what they are doing and know what they are talking about.


Another plus for the Pioneers is their built-in line doubler. Again, this can be mitigated by $$ for an external line doubler that can beat the Pioneer's built-in one.


So, what we have is a unit that looks good OOTB both in terms of HDTV and NTSC output, and a clustering of lower-cost units that with service-level tweaking and additional hardware can look just as good or better (if the Pioneer is not service-level tweaked as well). If I were an ISF technician I would definitely go for the lower cost option. If I were an average Joe I might very well go for the slightly more expensive but lower maintenance approach, since the other stuff sounds like far too much trouble.


I think there is a mix of all of the above on this forum. Your role as a more-experienced and educated member may be to inform those of us that are taking the "average Joe" perspective on things by pointing out how we might save our $$ and get just as good of a picture if not better, with a little more effort.


I know that the sloppy job done in most retailers makes this sale harder, but that is what most people are seeing. Maybe you could take up a side job of telling these guys how to properly display their sets?
 

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Of course, I have also seen a lot of poorly set up Pioneer sets in people's homes too. So sometimes, throwing more money at something does not guarantee that it will be better.


It's just that odds are, the set will look better ... but maybe not.


Always room for improvement though with additional tweaking ... and you don't have to be ISF either. Remember, at the heart of it, I am just an enthusiast like most others and the ISF'ing is merely done as a hobby for me ... and the ISF thing is just a label anyway. All the learning was done on my own initiative.


No different than the guys who can do their own oil changes or tune ups for their cars. They learn it all on their own.


And ... believe it or not, I am slowly making in roads at some of the local big box stores making believers out of the sales staff and management. Recently took a dreadful looking panasonic 47" in a group of 4 sets displaying HD from worst to best in 45 minutes (Toshiba/Hitachi/Panny/Sony). And suddenly the sales staff start selling a whole lot more of the Panasonic units as a result. (I worked on the Sony yesterday and now that unit looks pretty much identical to the Panasonic. Now only the Toshiba and the Hitachi look dreadful. I can image the Hitachi rep dropping a load when he sees what the store has done with this display.)


Regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Michael TLV:


I am not going to respond to most of your latest rant.


I do, however, ask you to be cautious with your statements as it appears that some readers of this forum seem to consider you an expert of sorts. Mike Matheson believes you to be an "ISF Professional". You tell us now, however, that you like the rest of us are just a hobbyist.


Most sets look great with HDTV. How much HDTV do you have in Alberta. Probably the same as I have in Vancouver, almost none. Most people, therefore, I assume spend most of their time watching cable or satellite and DVD. Please tell me what ingenious callibrations you can perform on the built in line doublers. I would love to see you take the Panasonic you mention and make it look as good as the Pioneer fed a satellite signal.


Unlike yourself I make it very clear in my posts that these are only my opinions. I don't expect anyone would run out and buy the pioneer without looking at it based on my post. I only offer my opinion to assist others in deciding what sets they may want to spend their time looking at and my personal conclusions with respect to those sets.


By the way, are you now saying that you actually could callibrate a set on the showroom floor.


As BTDT suggested why don't you share your wisdom and post your theory on the best way to set up and display a set so that the readers can save a thousand dollars as you advise. Or is it necesaary that they spend $500.00 for the services of an ISF professional and perhaps $3000.00 for an external scaler that may not assist in any event.
 

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and I always thought Canadians were such friendly people.... :)


There are apparently some hurt feelings here that are unproductive. I applaud Michael TLV for helping to make at least a few showrooms respectable. If he can get paid for this all the better :), but it is probably a labor of love.


As per the line doubler issue: I have seen some recommendations that you use a more-mundane set for such watching. For myself, I watch everything on the big screen. Yes, Pioneer has the built-in line doubler down pat, and NTSC is *oddly* what you typically see in a show room. I usually spend a little bit of time retuning everything to an OTA HDTV station (PBS is nice) so that the picture is more representative of what is possible. However, a lot more content is now available in HDTV, and if I had my HD-TiVo it would be most of what I watched. Then the line doubler would no longer be an issue. I will admit to having a lot more HD content in Dallas than you probably have up north (Mark Cuban is cool!).


As pointed out in some other posts normal folk can do wonders on their own with the right information and documentation. www.***************.com apparently has some nice information on getting a Mits to look just spendid. I think it comes down to several factors: 1) how much money do you have, 2) how much time do you have, 3) how much are you willing to learn, and 4) how important is highly-massaged NTSC to you vs. the dollars?


Everyone will have different answers for the above, needless to say.
 

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For the record, the www.panny.tv website is LOADED with information on how to tweak the set in the service menu. Much of the info comes from Michael. I have used this info to make my Panasonic look perty darn good.
 

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Greetings


I'll take two thanks. :)


I'm firmly on the side of the tweaker ... realizing that since I can do it ... why not others. :)


Oh how I wish the stores would pay me to do that stuff ... but you hit it on the head ... labour of love. It's all done for free ... (well, not quite, but in exchange for advertising space.) The freedom in this is that I can play with any sets I want in the stores and calibrate as many or as few as I feel like.


I shouldn't be too mean to the Hitachi reps though. Fine sets too. Problem with them is that they tend to be really red OOTB and while they look nice standing alone ... the moment you place them next to sets that are now more properly set up in terms of grayscale ... you really understand why they look like a red sea.


My take on the line doubler issue is that all the sets out there now have pretty decent linedoublers. (Some Mits people might argue that. :) ) It is no longer a question of one being crappy ... they are all decent, but you can get slightly better with Pioneer.


Now the problem here is that the source material that we feed the line doubler is the weak link. And no matter how good the built in line doubling is, it just isn't going to make cable or satellite that much better. Cable and satellite is crappy. When you line double it with a decent set ... it still looks crappy.


When you line double it with an iscan ... it still looks crappy. I've joked that even an iscan won't salvage a bad source. It's like going from 30% on an exam to 35% ... woo hoo! ... Then when you think about it some more, you realized that you still failed the exam. :) There is simply too much wrong with the overall cable and satellite sources that cannot be addressed by line doublers. They simply are not line doubling issues.


Cable and satellite are exactly what they are. I simply look at them with a different set of eyes. Although we'd all like better, to me, they are ... "good enough" so I just cannot get that critical. And when you consider that the great line doublers just don't do much for video based material like sporting events ... then just what is the advantage that is left? Great looking TV movies and sitcoms.


Regards
 
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