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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After weeks of research, I decided that it was time to go and purchase the Sony GWII. The present Hitachi that I've owned for a couple of months will be a gift to my aging mother who loves the set. As I walked into the store the first thing I saw was the 50" GWII and it looked GREAT from afar. As I began to get closer, I noticed literally right next to it (6" apart) was the 42" Sony XBR Plasma both displaying a night concert in HD. I must say that at this point the GWII looked real good but the Sony plasma looked absolutely stunning. So much so that the closer I got to it the more I could not take my eyes off of it. As I began to pan my eyes back and forth from the GWII to the Plasma and looked even closer, I began to notice the drastic difference between the two images. The area outside of the concert stage (the dark night sky and the background) looked like a weird blue green and a green and light blue dot was at the top and bottom of the GWII. Of course, I was aware of the LCD drawbacks prior to going to the store but I did not think that they would be that distinct. It would be a stretch to pay the extra $ for the plasma but I will if I feel that I will be completely satisfied with the set. If I get the GWII (which I love the exterior aesthetics) then whenever I watch sports at night such as MNF and Baseball in HD I will constantly think about what could of been. DARNITT WHY DID THEY PUT THE @%@$ PLASMA RIGHT NEXT TO THE REAR PROJECTION GWII!! I ought to strangle the guy who decided to do that. The question I want to ask to all of the GWII owners is, Are you completely happy with the set? How is it to watch sports in HD at night? I would greatly appreciate if someone would be kind enough to post pictures of the GWII displaying a night game. If you were to do it over again would you? or would you invest and another set that displayed blacks better and with no green and blue dots (if you had the money of course)? I honestly do not know if the GWII is worth the money. I just want the set for HD sports and movies no computer display or video games. GWII owners help me I have no other place to turn to!!!!.



Stephen
 

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I am COMPLETELY happy with my set. The only issue I have had is a slight 'tilting' effect of the screen which is going to be serviced tomorrow. The store I bought it from is an authorized Sony dealer and they are extremely well equipped to correct the problem.


I do not have HDTV yet, but regular TV for me is a total joy to watch. Night sports games look great. Granted, dark scenes is the TV's weakest point, but to me, that weak point is still way above weak points of all other sets in its range !!!


As for the plasma comparison, I watched the 50" GWII right next to an $11,000 Fujitsu 50" Plasma for well over an hour and I was STUNNED and how well the GWII kept up with it. That is what ultimately sold me on the Sony. Again, dark scenes were better on the plasma, but everything else was REALLY close. This was from an approx. 10 ft. viewing distance. It couldn't believe that the Sony was $7,500 cheaper.


Well, it is even more spectacular in my house. Everyone here really suggests the UMR tweaks to bring out the best in this set. Well, I did them and, while they are fine, I personally enjoy the other modes on which I did not do the tweaks. I am NOT knocking the tweaks, rather, I am trying to let you know that the set looks GREAT right out of the box and just using the User Menu settings.


DVD's look 3-D to me. Video games are at a whole new level. My standard cable signal looks better than it ever has (now apparently Direct TV is not as good and is where UMR's tweaks really help).


Anyway, I am NOT a Sony 'fanboy', I just am so damn happy with this set that I like to share my opinion with people who are interested.
 

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Please keep in mind that with the Sony GWII there's no "burn-in" issue. However, the plasmas do have the "burn-in" issue, if you're not careful.


My opinion is, if you're spending that much money, you shouldn't have to worry about "burn-in." I personally would get an LCD or DLP rear projection before I'd get a plasma.


Good luck!


-diVe-
 

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Stephen,


This all sounds familiar, I can't tell you how many times I went back and forth between plasma, GWII, Samsung DLP and Panasonic DLP. In the end they all have their strengths and drawbacks:


* Price vs. size - compare 60" GWII to a plasma!

* Plasma suffers from burnin

* GWII lack of blacks and shadow detail

* DLP suffers from rainbow effect


and one could go on...


So, pick your poison!


-Rob-


P.S. I'm very happy with my 60" GWII. HD and DVD is awsome and SD much better than expected after hearing all the problems on these forums. Don't have any of the issues mentioned either, no stuck bright pixels, no geomitry issues, no banding, it just works. My 3 year old daughter loves to see Elmo live size on it!
 

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Stephen -


I've had my GWII 60" for about 2 months now and would never look back. I personaly don't think the extra $$ for plasma is worth it... especially if you want a large screen!


HDTV (and DVD's for that matter) look *STUNNING*


I will be honest though... when I watch programming (all kinds) that takes place at night or just have dark scenes, I find it better for me to put on, and then dim, a light I have about 3-4 feet to the right of my set. Many people have suggested doing this and it DOES make the sets "blacks" look blacker because of the additional contrast the light creates. Even putting the light in a very low dim helps greatly.


Would I consider any other set -- absolutely not. I had looked at Plasma's, DLP's and CRT's and the HDTV from the GWII just LOOKS BETTER!


Also remember - that when umr's tweaks are applied, I bet the image compared to what you saw at the store will look EVEN BETTER!


Good Luck and let us know how you make out!


Aaron
 

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Love my 60" GWII. I would love to have a 60" plasma to replace it with, but I've got to maintain my car habit as well as my audio/video habit.


So, for the $$, the GW was a great way to get the BIG screen effect without the BIG empty pocket effect.
 

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Also isn't Sony dropping the price of the GW 50" to a MSRP of only $3000 this Fall?


At that price point is would seem to be a real winner (discounts could bring the TV into the $2500 range).

Not bad for a top brand large screen LCD HDTV.


Luckily I'm not buying til after this Christmas, so by then the new Samsungs should be out along with the new Grand Wega's.
 

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I am happy with my GW2 but not totally happy with my GW2.


The black levels really bug me. More so than they did a tfirst when I was viewing the set in the showroom. I thought I could live with it but it bothers me.


Also, after much tweaking I still cant get the colors just right. They either look too saturated or too washed out. I realize that part of this lies in the source, but color differences are very apparent in this set. And a washed out source can make the black level problem look all the worse.


I dont have any stuck pixels, and none of the dead pixels are visible even from like 2 feet away.


I would be able to say I am totally happy with the unit if it didnt cost so damn much. If I paid $2000 or $2500 for this TV (I got the 50") I would be alright, but for the almost $4k I paid (after tax, delivery, warranty etc) it makes me have some remorse.


One of the main things that drove me to the GW2 is the burn-in resistance since I play a lot of videogames. The reason I didnt go DLP is I get physically ill watching the set for more than 20 min, and I see rainbows a lot. I think once 3-chip DLP becomes mainstream and drops in price I will be more receptive towards it and probably upgrade (talking like 3 - 5 years from present) but by then there might be something new thats more appealing. Just going to have to wait and see. In the mean time, I am satisfied with my GW2, but not fully and completely.
 

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Stephen, after much trial and tweaking, I opted to take my GWII back and, even with their issues, I went with a Pioneer Elite RPTV (58") and for my viewing habits, it's working out well.


Here's my comparison:


The GW II I had, had literally 50 dead pixels. The VAST majority of them were not a even anything you could see from more than 2' away so they were a non-issue except that I knew they were there. 6 of them were an issue and 2-3 of them I could see in nearly every scene from 12' away.


I also did not like the washed out look of the set. Everyone commented on that. Some people are okay with that and find it "cinematic". I found it washed out.


The MAIN reason the set went back was due to LCD motion blur. I literally could not enjoy a hockey game or any fast action on the set. LCD is well known for having ghosting issues and this is what I'm talking about. I looked at over 7 GWII's and they all had it. I seem to have noticed it more than others. Tivo screens that panned showed it clearly, but they're just menus. Hockey games were a mess in my opinion. The boards blurred when the camera panned, the players ghosted, the puck was easy to lose sight of on fast shots, etc. Others say they haven't seen this and I think they've just learned to live with it. I couldn't.


Note, plasmas clearly have this problem as well. Get someone to show you a basketball game or hockey game on one. I suspect football would have been similar.


I do not have this issue on my Pioneer, blacks are black (though I never minded that on the GWII really), no dead pixels and the Standard Definition picture is MUCH better on this set than on the GWII though with the Peaking tweak you can improve things dramatically on the GWII. That said, I now have to worry about burn-in, the set is deeper and it doesn't have as good a side viewing angle. But for the TV I watch, the Pioneer was the better way to go for me.


I do miss being able to watch standard 4:3 without stretching it (though the Native Wide mode of the Pioneer is really excellent) and not having to worry about burn in.


I am putting a lot of hope into Sony's SXRD technology and hoping it delivers on everything we all want without the drawbacks but only time will tell.


Best of luck with your choice. Just take solace in the fact that no choice today will come without sacrifices. For some, the best choice may be to just wait for the next round. I was just tired of waiting.
 

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Stephen D,


That was rude of the store to do that to you. That is like sitting a Caddy next to a Cavalier! :)

I really like the look of the 50 GWII but it just wont fit in the space I have for a TV. I was at 4 different places looking at Displays. I too am up in the air, but I think I have it narrowed to Plasma or DLP. If frustrates me that when I go into these stores (Tweeter, BB, CC) that sometimes they all look horrible! I don't know what the problem is. Even the independent stores I go to. I looked at the 42XBR Sony plasma. (Which would be my pick for my space if $ were not a concern) The guy had Ausin Powers DVD in and it was pixelating like mad. He then tells me that they are over stocked on that and now they are a 1k off the retail price. He then switched to SD cable and the PQ was nasty with snow and ghosts. With that display looking like that its no wonder they are over stocked. I know (or at least hope) that unit is capable of a stunning PQ.

This whole experience is getting very disappointing. It bothers me when I know more about the products that someone else is trying to sell me! Plus I would NEVER hear the end if I bring home this multi-thousand $ set and the PQ is worse than my 10 year old 27" Proscan. "But dear, everything will be in HD in a few years. Don't worry what SD looks like now!" LOL


Anyway, just keep in mind that you will have that big beautiful GWII in your room and you wont have a plasma next to it. It will look superb. I on the other hand may just give up until the 46" DLP comes out and do this all over again.


Good Luck,

Barry
 

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If you're now considering plasma, go over and read the plasma forum. I understand that the Sony plasma is high on looks and low on performance. Imagine how much you'd like a nice plasma!


...So stuck on the fence it's not funny.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Barrybud
This whole experience is getting very disappointing. It bothers me when I know more about the products that someone else is trying to sell me! Plus I would NEVER hear the end if I bring home this multi-thousand $ set and the PQ is worse than my 10 year old 27" Proscan. "But dear, everything will be in HD in a few years. Don't worry what SD looks like now!" LOL
Barry,


That IS the way it is. My wife is still not sure we made the right decision. Now we're in a game of wait and see. Standard TV will never look as good on these larger sets as it does on the smaller tube-based sets. The best you can hope for is a picture you can live with. I've found that with my Pioneer, but I would NEVER call it a good picture.


I was actually thinking that a programming provider could really grab some market share if they could optimize their SD picture for presentation on these sets. It would still look great on smaller sets but just imagine if DirecTV was suddenly viewed as the only choice if you want great SD on your large screen TV. Nearly all of us would dump cable overnight and move to DirecTV. As this problem is going to last a while, they'd have a real chance to gain market share until the HDTV wave kicks into high gear. The real problem is that HDTV bandwidth is coming right out of SD bandwidth in many cases. Looks to me like we need a real technology leap at this point.


HDTV for the most part looks great. So when most of what we watch is in HDTV we'll be set and there will be no question. The problem is, the TV's we get now are potentially not going to be around when that shift occurs.


On the plus side, each season more local networks are showing more in HDTV and the big guys are all moving that way (ESPN, HBO, Showtime, Discovery, etc.) but I suspect it'll be quite a while before Nick at Night is in HDTV.


And again, for anyone considering plasma make SURE someone shows you very fast moving action before you say yes. I saw it and for me, it was not a pretty sight.
 

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Hi-

I'm going to say that the jury is still out. I took delivery on a 50XBR last Tuesday. The guys I got the TV from did a gray scale calibration but held off on plowing through video essentials/avia because it was getting late and they made a bit of a trip to come out to me. Local news in HDTV (I live in Raleigh/Durham area) looks absolutely stunning. Coming off of 3 non functioning Toshiba 50HDX82's the brightness and clarity of the picture absolutely blows away anything I've had before. However I'm still working with black levels and a washed out picture. Right now dark scenes look slightly bluesh and there is very little detail in these scenes. I have a few stuck pixels-but not viewable at all from 6-8 ft.


I have yet to incorperate umr's tweaks yet-waiting to see how it looks when the guys from the shop come back this week to do their tweaks. If I can't get the black detail a little better (right now it is really distracting-tried to watch Spirited Away last night and aborted) I might think about a Samsung DLP or go back to the much cheaper CRT RP TV and wait until technology has improved a bit-
 

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Vigga,


Don't send your set back until you've at least had a chance to apply umr's tweaks. Doing the user menu settings helps a little bit, but the service menu tweaks are ESSENTIAL to set gamma, black level, etc...


I have *none* of the washed out look several people have stated here on the forum. With my avia disc and service menu settings - my pictures are vivid, nicely saturated and just look great - even with standard def images.


Remember though - that not all channels are created equal. Even with my great looking picture, some channels do look terrible at times, and that is due to how they have their equipment calibrated!


Hang in there and let us know how you make out.... you won't be dissapointed - the GWII has the best DVD and HD picture of ANY set I've seen (even CRT and DLP).


Aaron
 

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aaron.s

GREAT TO HEAR! I will hang in there. I'm mostly concerned with HDTV and DVD's. Standard def cable is a nice bonus-but living where I do I'm lucky enough to get a large number of digital channels and high def. And it will be super nice not having to stretch an image (low picture quality is even worse stretched-try watching a Duke BB game on Fox Sports stretched to fit the whole screen)-

So I'm mostly concerned with the look of high quality source material. I'll keep you all posted-

vigga
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the support forum users. I apologize for not being able to get back to you earlier. I pretty much spent my weekeend at tweeters fully examing and analysing the performance of the GWII vs Sammy DLP and the Sony Xbr 42" plasma. The guys actually let me take the 3 sets into one of their "home theater like" isolated rooms so that I could compare and contrast them. They let me turn off all the lights and watch a little of the two DVDs that I brought with me "Lord of the Rings" and "Monsters Inc." I also watched a little MLS on HDNet. Here is how things went: The GWII did not fair very well especially when watching "Lord of the Rings" (again, dark scenes looked dark blue-dark green) and MLS on HDnet (a ghost trail followed the ball everytime it was kicked). I guess I should of asked to place a dimmable light a few feet from to the screen like Aaron S. suggested to see if that would of helped while watching Lord of the Rings. (Thanks for the suggestion Aaron but my wife likes to watch DVDs with the lights off as part of the "home theater" experience so that would be an issue for her). Aaron S. do you still have to do this even after you have applied to the UMR tweaks to your set? The resolution display (text and graphics) of the GWII looked the best out of all of the sets. The DLP looked great while watching MLS and Monsters INc. but not so good on LOTRs (clay faces). The Dlp set also made the most noise out of all of the sets. The salesman told me that the M-series is known for this (?). Unsurprisingly, the plasma performed extraordinary well at displaying Monster INc., Lord of the Rings and MLS on HDnet but not so good at displaying Directv standard digital programming. I will be watching the majority of programming from Directtv. The plasma was the favorite however the idea of spending over $10,000 for a television that is only going to last 7 to 12 years depending on usage just does not sit right with me (needless to say that my wife would probalbly never look at me the same again). The GWII and the DLP definitely had the advantage in that area. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!! This is alot more stressful than it should be. I feel the same way DrakkenFire feels. At 4K you expect a great display image with good contrast. I think I hear that most of you like the GWII but feel that the inconsistent black levels are a major drawback. The route that Agrajag decided to take seems to be more and more conceivable. CRT RPTV now LCos or Sxrd in a few years or maybe even plasma once the "kinks" are worked out. Thanks again for everthing. I think I will be able to sleep a little better now. I'll keep you posted.


Stephen D
 

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Stephen D,


Even with a color correction filter the GWII is not the best TV in a totally dark room (I do not watch mine that way). You can get consistent black performance with tweaking and a color correction filter though. The filter also lowers the black levels to about the same point as a Samsung DLP.


I am really surprised you liked the 42" plasma XBR. I have looked at a 50" XBR plasma and I thought it was not as good as my GWII. I spent a considerable amount of time with a 32" Sony plasma that I also did not like as well.
 

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Stephen,


I understand what you're going through and want to make the best decision since you're goin to lay down a lot of money.


My opinion - although you liked the plasma - is take it out of the equation for at least 2 reasons.... 1) Price and 2) Screen burn in, which you never mentioned and plasma sets ARE prone to - especially if you watch a lot of standard def 4:3 programming and will end up having bars on either side of the picture. You can always put the TV in some sort of zoom mode - but I *hate* distored pictures and I like to watch my 4:3 sources as 4:3. My Sony has no problems with burn in.


The dimable light source I use - and only on occasion - I use because I choose to. I do watch in a completely dark room at times and am OK with the picture - only a problem on dark scenes - and chances are you will get used to it over time. If you ended up getting the Sony and tried the dimable light, you and your wife may feel differently - who's to say? I used to always like watching in the dark - now I have a choice depending on my (need) to see "blacker blacks".


I personally attended the Samsung demo in NYC and saw 4 of the Samsung DLP sets calibrated - and in my opinion - my Sony GWII beat them hands down. Rememer too that some people sometimes have troubles with rainbows and feeling ill after watching a DLP set for some time. Although I didn't encounter either of those conditions when watching the 4 Samsung DLP models, my opinion remains - the Sony looked better to me.... Now all I could compare was HD sources - they didn't have any DVD's running - but DVD's on my Sony (using my new Bravo D1 DVI Digital out DVD player) looks stunning.... truly film like as if I was in a real theater.... how could any TV be better (in my opinion).


As for the "blurriness" you saw on MLS on HDNet - yes, I do see that effect at times - and I believe it's because of the source, not the TV. I see some sporting events and see no blur during the action.... and really never see it on HBO-HD and SHO-HD. HDNet does capture and compress to MPEG2 a lot of their events in realtime - which are prone to more artifacts and may be the culprit. But I have seen other sports on my GWII with NO blurring at all.


I feel that the only issue with the Sony GWII is the black levels... period. In time you will adjust - and again only with dark scenes.....


Remember too - UMR himself is working with putting different black filters in his GWII and has already reported some preliminary results that sound very encouraging.... Not all of us may want to go to the effort to install one of these filters, but those that feel they really NEED the extra black level may end up doing so.


I hope I've been of some help. Remember that these are my opinions after months of my own research - and should be taken as such.


Regards,

Aaron
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for responding UMR. The only reason I examined the three sets in the dark is because I wanted to closely simulate the "home theater environment" setting my wife and I create when we watch moves at home. I understand that this may have been an unfair disadvantage to the GWII however I do not think that I am asking too much out of a $4K set am I? Please correct me if I am wrong? Yes, the XBR plasma looked the best but the size for the price and the lack of longevity issue was a major distraction.


One thing I failed to mention is that I asked the salesman at Tweeters if I could apply some of your (UMR) tweaks to the set and he said No (of course).


Stephen D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Aaron for your response. O.K Aaron I think you are on to something. I think I should take the plasma completely out of the picture. I thought 100 percent that the GWII was the set for me until the idiot at the store placed the Sony Xbr plasma set right next to the GWII. This has probably distorted my perception of what I think the image of the GWII should be. I will take this into consideration.


Stephen D
 
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