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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, if you own the Sony KE 42XBR plasma, don't read this.


Today I checked out the Sony KE 42XBR 42" plasma WEGA (the 42" version of the "Jetsons-style" beautiful translucent casing design). I was able to see it with a couple of my DVDs, in good lighting conditions (lights on, lights low). It was a high-end store and the salesman said that, while not ISF calibrated, they had done their best with AVIA. The Sony uses a proprietary Media Box, into which you run all your sources for switching (and I assume conversion). Apparently the Sony plasma itself uses it's own proprietary type of cable connection - more computer like, no component or S-Video inputs. So you are really stuck when you buy this thing with whatever that media box spits out.


The GOOD: Nice and sharp. Impressively so, at least from a proper viewing distance of 7 feet and beyond. Any closer and the image tended to break down in pretty rapidly - more so than many other plasmas like the Panasonic, Pioneer, and the better Fujis. (I mean the Sony image looked softer, smudgier, more pixelated the closer I got to the display). But from a distance, it looked very nice on bright day-lit scenes, like the opening of Jurassic Park 3. The Sony was crisper than the very expensive Runco (Panny-based) plasma in another room. Colors were bright and vibrant, although not quite as rich as the Runco plasma.


NTSC looked pretty sharp too - sharper than on a lot of plasmas I've seen. The difference between my Panny and the NTSC I saw on the Sony was the Sony image looked flatter, more digital and processed. NTSC looks more analogu, more fluid and natural like an analog CRT on my Panny.


THE BAD: And, oh, it IS bad! The black level performance just plain sucks.

The only scene it performed well on was a blazing day-light scene set on water (opening Jurassic Park 3). After that it was down hill fast. The blacks were quite light - very much like an LCD projector if you've seen one of those. Whereas some plasmas with lightish black levels only fall down in dark scenes, the crummy blacks of the Sony affected everything. Every bit of "black" or shadow in a scene looked awful - a metallic, solarized look.

If people's faces fell into any bit of shadow or shade it suddenly looked like they were a paint-by-numbers painting. Just awful. Very few shots escaped this ravages of this effect.


Frankly, I thought this kind of performance was a bloody crime, given the price of this Sony. This is "old school" plasma performance; we shouldn't be seeing this given how many other plasmas from NEC, Panasonic, Pioneer and Fujitsu offer much improved black performance at this stage.


Yuck. The aesthetics are awesome, the look with bright scenes is great. But I'd do everything in my power to steer a friend away from purchasing one of these throwbacks.


If you own this Sony....I told you not to read this. :eek:
 

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Rich, thanks as usual.


My problem with this beast is that there is no possibly was to justify it's cost given that you can get a Fujitsu 50" at retail for about the same dough.


Mark
 

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At the risk of further perpetuating this belief that we are all a bunch of Sony (player?) haters - what our motives would be I have no idea, I agree with both of you on PQ and cost vs. getting the best from Fujitsu.


It's a shame that the ppl that have bought the recent Sonys are not more articulate in their observations. They would be doing ppl a favor if they could post more detail rather than the usual "this plasma blew me away".

Anyone that has been reading this forum for a while should have a pretty good idea where the consensus seems to be with respect to the strengths and weaknesses of Panny, Pio and Fuji. Pity the poor person trying to glean similar insight into the newer Sonys. They either look inferior (as some of us have posted) or blow ppl away.
 

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I can't comment on much else other than the black levels, but I wholeheartedly agree.


I tested the 42" Sony XBR and TS2 against the 50" Fuji, 42" SD Fuji, 42" HD and SD Pannys, Pio Pro and some smaller LCDs and both Sonys were clearly outmatched when it came to displaying true blacks. Sony just isn't ready.
 

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I would love for some of the Sony Plasma "haters" to check out the 30" XBR LCD screen. Especially Rich H seeing as you have access to a high end store that lets you take charge and watch something other than a horrible split feed. I'm getting tired of trying to sift through all of the propaganda in other posts regarding Sony and would appreciate a real answer like the one provided for the 42". In additiion to comparing it to other LCDs, is it really that much poorer in PQ than Plasmas?


Remember all I have for reference is a slew of uncalibrated plasmas running a split feed in an extremely bright warehouse electronic store atmosphere so I'm beginning to think looks in these environments are deceiving.


Thanks,


The Captain
 

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The Sony 30" LCD is very nice. At 30", it is inherently more forgiving than a larger screen.


I think you will enjoy its picture. You can go see it at Mangnolia, Good Guys, Fry's, et al.


Mark
 

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Frys is horrible if you want to compare anything to plasmas. I've never been to Magnolia however. Do they have all of their tv settings optimized and such? I assume you go to the palo alto location rogo?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by CaptainJanky
I would love for some of the Sony Plasma "haters" to check out the 30" XBR LCD screen. Especially Rich H seeing as you have access to a high end store that lets you take charge and watch something other than a horrible split feed. I'm getting tired of trying to sift through all of the propaganda in other posts regarding Sony and would appreciate a real answer like the one provided for the 42". In additiion to comparing it to other LCDs, is it really that much poorer in PQ than Plasmas?
Yes we are all biased against Sony and we get kicks from posting propaganda against their products. Why? I'll have to get back to you on that one. Haven't really thought of a reason yet.

Now, having qualified myself as a hater, this post should make you happy ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
CaptainJanky,


I'd have to agree with Divvy here. Starting with a scatter-shot accusation of bias and propaganda - and in particular painting me as a "Sony Hater" - isn't the best way to persuade me or anyone else to go out of our way to help you.


I have nothing at all against Sony products. I simply report on any product's picture quality as I see it, and that's it.
 

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I didn't mean that as an insult. Sony just seems to divide people into two camps. People who love Sony aren't necessarily the best people to ask for an opinion about Sony products because they are likely to reply with unfounded opinions about how great the product is. I was hoping you guys, not necessarily sony haters (just a term of convenience), who aren't on the Sony bandwagon could help me sift through the propaganda and figure out the actual quality of the 30" LCD.


Rich H said "I have nothing at all against Sony products. I simply report on any product's picture quality as I see it, and that's it."


That's exactly why I want to know what you think.


As I said before I don't know of a great place to put the TV through it's paces and there are no useful specs online from Sony. I thought Rich H in particular with his high end store in Toronto might be able to give some sound advice.


So to review, the term "Sony hater" was used to signify that you guys just aren't part of the "Sony Lover" faction, even though in all likelihood you fall somewhere in between the two. So don't be offended. Moreover I lifted the term from divvy's post to begin with so give me a break.


The Captain
 

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I owned the first Sony 25xbr and it gave me 15 plus years of great pq.I owned the Sony 32 xbr wega and it was fine until I saw a plasma.I compared the Sony to the pioneer plasma and the pioneer was better so I bought it.I don't hate Sony but I do hate bad pq.
 

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I neither hate not love Sony fwiw.


Magnolia, btw, doesn't set up their stuff perfectly, but it's an order of magnitude better than Fry's.


Yes, I go to Palo Alto. Most of the sales guys there are pretty cool.


Mark
 

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Yes, divvy, that was a great review. Just what I was looking for. Yes, divvy, that was a great review. Just what I was looking for. Yes, divvy, that was a great review. Just what I was looking for. Yes, divvy, that was a great review. Just what I was looking for. Yes, divvy, that was a great review. Just what I was looking for. Yes, divvy, that was a great review. Just what I was looking for. Yes, divvy, that was a great review. Just what I was looking for.


Thanks


:D
 

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Now thats FUNNNNNNNNY! Thanks for the laugh Rogo :) :) :)


Dave
 

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I aim to please.
 
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