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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Choosing the right RPTV is now getting more and more frustrating than enjoyable. Since that my current direct view TV (Mitsu 35" bought in early 1994) lasts more than 7 years; which is longer than many marriages, I have to be very cautious in making this decision. But it seems like the RPTV technology still hasn't matured enough yet. I will explain why.


I have been eyeing on the aforementioned 3 sets and spent many hours so far researching on them at different shops. Each has its own advantages & disadvantages.


Sony KDP-57XBR2 (57"):

Good - picture looks absolutely stunning & 3D; as long as the objects don't move and are in dark color tones. Firewire & HD receiver built-in.

Bad - once the object moves, a visible 'cloud' of artifacts forms around the object and creates a mess, totally unacceptable.


Pioneer Elite PRO-520HD (53"):

Good - I totally understand why most people view the Elite the top within this price range. It creates the least amount of artifacts.

Bad - but the picture is so flat! An exact opposite of Sony's 3D-feel. No future upgrade available?


Mitsu WS-55908 (55"):

Good - picture quality is between the above 2. IE: More 3D than Pioneer but not Sony. And less artifacts than Sony but not Pioneer. Amazing Mitsu support from this forum. A promised upgrade module but at a steep price.

Bad - mediocre integrated line-doubler for SD? The store was running Mummy Returns DVD on a Pioneer Elite progressive-scan DVD player via Component Video output, the picture quality is not that impressive, a lot of jagged edges on characters can be seen. Too bad I can't view the same DVD on the other 2 sets.


In short, I will describe the Pioneer experience as "viewing at a beautiful and clean 2D drawing". While the Sony experience as "viewing out a dirty window". And the Mitsu experience as "wish that I could time-travel when they have perfected it a bit more..."


So, still no verdict.


Note: I will be using DirecTV HD-reciever with this set.


Thanks for reading.


Hilux Surf
 

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You might also want to check out the Toshibas.


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Juan
 

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Hilux Surf:


What was the source used during your demo of the Sony? I have spent HOURS looking at one of these sets at my local dealer and have NEVER seen any of this. I have only seen the set on HDnet off of a Directv HD receiver. I have been most impressed by this TV and do plan to get one soon. I would ask your dealer to show you HD on what ever TV you are looking at before you make your choice.


Todd

 

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I have also been contemplating a new set, and have been considering those three sets. I am have the same exact problems coming to a decision


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RCA Ultimate TV

Sony Tivo

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As a Mits 55857 owner who is very satisfied with my set after some tweaks using Vid Essentials DVD, I can't imagine purchasing an RPTV without any "promise" from the manufacturer to upgrade the set. I looked for a couple of years and finally decided I was not getting the viewing quality I wanted now. This became more important than waiting. The promise made it possible to get the quality I wanted and the peace of mind that the company would stand behind their product. Good luck. If you see what you want go for it!
 

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Personally, I'm down on Mitsubishi RPTVs because their line

doublers have not improved from last year's, and their doublers

had problems even last year. Of course if all you watch

on your RPTV is HDTV then Mits is probably fine. But

as for myself, I expect a year 2002 set to display regular

(non-HiDef) TV without noticable artifacts, and without using

an external line doubler. Speaking just in terms of their

internal line doublers, the year 2002 Mits RPTVs are sorely

lacking, in my opinion.
 

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The Mits is a good choice but as Will said, the line doubler is very poor. My brother in law has a Mits and when he looks at my set he can totally see the difference. I would not worry about the promise module to much because that is going to run you another $1000.00, for that price I rather put in another $1000.00 and have a newer TV. Good luck on what ever you decide.


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Juan
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by ToddD:
Hilux Surf:

What was the source used during your demo of the Sony? I have spent HOURS looking at one of these sets at my local dealer and have NEVER seen any of this. I have only seen the set on HDnet off of a Directv HD receiver. I have been most impressed by this TV and do plan to get one soon. I would ask your dealer to show you HD on what ever TV you are looking at before you make your choice.

Todd
Todd, he was playing the self-looping football footage all this time. I assme it was one of the demo HDTV channels off DirecTV HD? If the Sony doesn't have the artifacts, it wins over Mitsu Diamond & Pioneer Elite big time. I urge you guys to go see its 3D look. It is amazing. But then you may be discouraged by its artifacts. Todd, you don't happen to be in Mass, do you?


Hilux Surf (Edward)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A lil' update. Today, I went to another local Tweeter where they have the Sony KDP-57SXBR2 as well as the Mitsu WS-65908 (Diamond) side by side. They were playing Toy Story 2 (DVD) from a progressive scan player as well as the self-looping HD video source from a Mitsu box (all scenery stuff). This time, I didn't see the artifacts on the Sony set which I described in my original post. Its black is a lot blacker than Mitsu's. It is still very 3D, picture quality is better than Mitsu Diamond (I will not say a lot) which seems to be on the soft side. Too bad they don't have the Pioneer Elite Pro on display.


So, it appears that the first Tweeter has a bad Sony set? Does Sony have a history of poor quality control on their RPTVs? This Tweeter will have a SD feed installed next week, I will be back there to test out the integrated line-doubler on both units. I am now back to leaning towards the Sony set again.


<sigh> When will this end? I just want a good HDTV which I will not regret......



Edward
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Hilux Surf:
A lil' update. Today, I went to another local Tweeter where they have the Sony KDP-57SXBR2 as well as the Mitsu WS-65908 (Diamond) side by side. They were playing Toy Story 2 (DVD) from a progressive scan player as well as the self-looping HD video source from a Mitsu box (all scenery stuff). This time, I didn't see the artifacts on the Sony set which I described in my original post. Its black is a lot blacker than Mitsu's. It is still very 3D, picture quality is better than Mitsu Diamond (I will not say a lot) which seems to be on the soft side. Too bad they don't have the Pioneer Elite Pro on display.


So, it appears that the first Tweeter has a bad Sony set? Does Sony have a history of poor quality control on their RPTVs? This Tweeter will have a SD feed installed next week, I will be back there to test out the integrated line-doubler on both units. I am now back to leaning towards the Sony set again.


<sigh> When will this end? I just want a good HDTV which I will not regret......



Edward
Edward:

This is what I hoped you would find. No I have not seen Sony have a problem with quality. I own quite a few Sony products and have had nothing but great luck with them. I am sure they have bad units just like every one else. The 57XBR2 set is made in a new facility in Pittsburgh so there could be some start up issues but I am sure if they do exist that Sony WILL take care of them and anyone that ends up with any of the affected products. My main TV that I will be replacing with the XBR2 is a 25XBR that is now going on 17 years old. It still works as good as the first day I had it. This is what I have come to expect from Sony.


By the way,it is funny how fast things change in this business. In the 2001 model year that just ended a few weeks ago,the Mits would have killed the Sony. Now its the other way around. Well the Mits is not killed by the Sony but I think the Sony is better. You called it exactly right. The new XBR2's look like a SONY. I know some might say of course it does it is a Sony But Sony projection TV's have not had the Sony look until now. The Picture is tack sharp.This is the 3D look that you describe. The colors just jump out of the screen and grab you. But the thing that I just love is the black level. This TV can do Black. That is SONY black. No light. We have waited a long time for Sony to build this set and if you can not tell I am excited.


Hope this helps

Todd




[This message has been edited by ToddD (edited 10-10-2001).]
 

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Hi Guys..


I posted a detailed note about my Sony 57XBR2 a couple weeks ago; that besides the usual distortions with 16X9 analog was the best HD set I'd ever seen; and I have a year old Mitsu, in the BR. Both have Sony HD-100 boxes and OTA digital from 4 local stations. Artifacts are non-existent except in rare moments of signal loss; and even from CBS are completely gone after (interestingly, if any connection at all) running cables and power through a Monster 5000, of which I was reluctant (line conditioner).


Color superb, but varies. You can be watching a show which appears to be too green; then it changes to another show on the same channel, and appears to have too much red push. In reality it's probably a question of programming quality vs. the excellent sensitivity of the set to whatever's coming in. About 10 miles from local towers and using Terk TV 50's flat-pointed in that direction (had to move several times; but perfect now..with 93-100 readings on all network O&O's)


Basically, wanted to suggest that other than minor geometry concerns (common with projection), convergence holds and is excellent, locks unlike last year's (friend has a 65 Sony from last year, not nearly as defined, or blacks as black in HD) ... and the OTA/cable surfing feature is quite cool, even though I initially thought the tuner likely redundant.


All in all... and compared with everything else at Sound Advice.. the Sony XBR 2 was the best for now, unlike last year, and a nice fit for entertainment centers too...due to the tapering of the box, which I guess noone else noticed.. makes it possible to fit into older spaces without much carpentry work in some cases. Sound excellent too..remote redisinged, and generally about all I expected from it.


cheers...


gene


gene inger www.ingerleter.com


 

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I ran over to my local Frys for lunch today and took a look at the 57XBR2 and 65XBR2, along with various Mits models. According to Pioneer, they were also supposed to be dealers of the Pioneer line, but the only one there was a "slightly damaged" old model.


The 57 and 65 were side-by-side, but the 65, due to various settings, looked much better. I took the time to make some minor adjustments which synced them up a bit better.


Compared to the Mits (various) sitting nearby, the Sony had a DEFINITELY better 3D display. The Mits were very flat looking. I can't exactly say, however, that the Sonys looked better than the Pioneer Elites that I have seen, which also have a very vibrant, 3D image. I will have to wait to see two side by side to know for sure.


However, the Sony XBR2 series is definitely very nice, and with a built in receiver and firewire support, is very enticing. The pricing also appears to be better than the Elites.


I did notice that content has a lot to do with appearance however. The Sonys looked rather flat when displaying a sample of the "King of Queens" but nicely 3D for "Everybody Loves Raymond" and some outdoorsy material on the tape. The Mits looked flat for everything.


The only NTSC I saw on the Sony was a bad OTA NTSC signal. It was probably as good as could be expected. They had some kind of lockout set on the tuner so I could switch to an OTA ATSC station. Bummer.


BTW, despite the Fry's "poor customer service but great prices" reputation, the Sonys were priced rather high, I think. What is a good price on these things?
 

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I'm having a hard time deciding too. I notice the talk here is all on the three RPTV lines mentioned. What do you think of Hitachis?
 

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incidently the cheapest prices i've been able to find is from www.crazyeddie.com


my preference though is to buy from a big chain that can deliver and/or swap the unit if i have problems with it. shipping an RPTV just doesnt seem like a great idea and I've read a few horror stories on people trying to get their RPTV's serviced after getting it and something goes wrong a month or two later. Unfortunetly no big chain seems to carry the XBR2's..
 

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Hi...you're in Sunnyvale? Should be no problem finding a dealer that carries XBR 2's, which come in 34 and 57" sizes (although there is a cheaper non-xbr in a 51" size, and a non-XBR 57). Only certain dealers handle the XBR line.. as a part-time Californian; I'm aware that Fry's, Good Guys, Circuit City and probably smaller higher-end retail dealers of Sony equipment, are among them. Just a thought; as you are in range of San Fran. OTA signals, I'd only consider the XBR 2, because of the integrated OTA tuner, unless you are content with the OTA capability of the HD100 box for instance, and use/want DirecTV too. Be ware of the first XBR 1 or 10 from last year, as while cheaper, definitely an inferior product, particularly as being much softer, with less black blacks than the XBR 2's. Personally I wouldn't even consider purchasing an RP over the 'net, preferring a local dealer for service/support (don't even like dealing with the manufacturer if anything goes wrong). Happy with it so far.


cheers..


gene


gene inger www.ingerletter.com
 

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a) it's obvious the sources used for comparison were different. This causes all sorts of issues including that the "3d-ness" of the image depends a lot on the source (HDCam vs film, for example - HDCam is MUCH more 3d than film).

b) the sets were probably all at factory settings (i.e. too bright). Lighting was probably different.

c) The set doesn't (generally) produce artifacts on HD material; it's the settop. If you're using 480i inputs to HD sets, the internal upconverter does come into play (and the Elite has a really good one).

d) TV set line-doublers are NOT used when you're displaying the output of a progressive-scan DVD player - that's the doubler in the DVD player.


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-- Randell
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by BTDT:
I ran over to my local Frys for lunch today and took a look at the 57XBR2 and 65XBR2, along with various Mits models.
You say you actually saw the KDP-65XBR2 in a store? That makes 3 shipping 1394/DTCP sets, with the Mitsubishi 2002 Integrated models due out any day now. Cool.
Quote:
BTW, despite the Fry's "poor customer service but great prices" reputation, the Sonys were priced rather high, I think. What is a good price on these things?
According to this old press-release from the end of February, the 57" and 65" XBR2 RPTVs were expected to list at $5K and $6K, respectively. I did a search at mysimon.com and found a price listed for the 65XBR2 at crazyeddie.com for $5199.95--they have the KDP-57XBR2 for $4399.95, at this writing. I then did a straight portal search for "65xbr2" and found that Audioexcellence.com is listing them for a tiny bit less, as is audiovideobonanza.com. Absoluteaudiovideo.com only wants $4698 for the 65" and $4195 for the 57"er--these things are poppin' up all over the place.


Of course, ordering something like this by mail sounds like it could be dicey.


What did Fry's want for them?


-- Mike Scott
 
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