The casters do make it easy to move on carpet, but the thing is definitely a beast if you want to move it vertically. I'm dreading the day when I have to move it out of my apartment (and hopefully into my new dedicated HT-equipped house http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif ).
Hmmm, challenging question. Short answer: not great, but the reasons have little to do with the 532 at least in my set-up.
First, the general rule of thumb is that the optimum seating position is 3.2 times screen height for HDTV and 7 times screen height for standard analog signal. The 532 has a screen height of 26" so for HDTV you want to sit 83" from screen and for standard tv you want to sit 182" from screen. My seating is about 83" so great for HDTV, but way, way too close for standard TV. So regular TV looks like it is made up of very large pixels.
Second, regular analog tv signals do not seem to have the same amount of color information as HDTV or dvd through the component inputs. Regular tv doesn't have the vibrant reds, rich greens, or natural fleshtones that are achievable by the 532 from better sources. After seeing HDTV or good DVD on this machine, you are spoiled and regular TV looks bad.
Third, I live on Eagle Mountain Lake which is about 10 miles NW of Fort Worth and about 40 miles from the DFW TV towers. We are served by a rinky-dink cable company that put out such a poor quality signal, it was hardly tolerable on a 25 inch TV let-alone a big screen TV. When I got the 532 tv I switched to the DISH satellite with the 6000 receiver and over-the-air (OTA) HDTV module. Everything (both satellite and OTA) is upconverted by the 6000 to 1080i.
Analog signals from satellite - everything I have read is that the satellite signals are much more heavily compressed now than several years ago to get more local channels on the satellites. Apparently, DirecTV and Dish went different directions on their compression methods. Dish has a 'softer' picture while DirecTV has a sharper picture, but more pixellated. I haven't seen DirecTV on a large screen, but Dish definitely has a soft very flat (little 3-d depth) look. Picture quality varies a lot from channel to channel. One of my favorite picture qualities from an analog channel is the old Avengers show from the 60s on the mystery channel. Of course, a lot of it is the bright colors of the clothing on that show.
Analog OTA. I am a long way from the towers, my house is in the lake valley with effectively a 150 foot hill about 1/4 mile from my house, and I asked my installer to find me an antenna that was optimized for HDTV. Anyway, the couple of analog channels I tried are very snowy, so I mostly watch the local digital channels. In DFW all the major channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, UPN, FOX, WB) have their digital channels up, eventhough they are transmitting mostly just their analog signal on the digital channels. With digital channels you either get a 'perfect' signal or 'no' signal. So I probably get the best possible analog signal over my digital channels. The picture sharpness is probably better than your average analog channel from Dish. But items 1 & 2 above are still the main limiting factors.
Long, rambling answer. My final thoughts after about one month with the 532, hdtv, and satellite --- [A] If you are going to get a 532 also get HDTV. There is enough HDTV content between HBO, Showtime, and the networks that I watch HDTV probably 70% of the time. I only watch shows I really like in analog any more. HDTV is so incredible on the 532. The local ABC channel runs HDTV documentaries after midnight on their channel. When you realize it is 3 AM and you are watching Mardi Gras in New Orleans shot with HD-cameras for the 3rd time in a week, you know you are hooked. I looked at a lot of RPTV before buying and I wouldn't consider any other brand than Pioneer. Their machines always seem to have better colors and a more film-like and less digital-look than any others I have seen.
The picture temperature was horribly misadjusted and way too red. I have heard from other Pioneer owners about the same issue (Red Push, a marketing driven decision). Once I had it ISF'd it has a picture quality I didn' realize was possible. One more point, when the ISF tech took the first temp. readings, the red was OFF SCALE of the test equipment. That is how bad it was.
I suppose this doesn't necessarily mean you could have the same problem. It only points out that Pioneer doesn't (and probably can't, see other forum threads on this topic) critically adjust color in the factory. Once you have owned the set for about 6 months or more you might want to consider spending the $250 for an ISF job. Your eyes will thank you.
I love my 532, for the same reason that DuaneAA said. It seems the Pioneers just produce better pictures than others I have seen. Don't know why, but it was the best in the showroom when I bought it.
I have a DTC100 for OTA HD (no DirecTV until they get more HD channels) and the pictures are stunning (especially the NCAA Final Four last weekend http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif )
I have also hooked my computer into it once or twice. Picture was awesome, but I still like my computer in the office, not in the living room.
[This message has been edited by wirehead_rick (edited 04-06-2001).]
The one gentlemen suggested viewing analog content a considerable distance from the screen. I believe this rule of thumb he gave is for analog sets. The Pioneer set has a line doubler which facilitates closer viewing.
Thanks for the replys. The 532 is the one I am planning on buying later this year. We live around 75-80 miles east of Dallas and I don't know if we can get an HD signal out this far so that is why I asked about analog signals. We don't have cable where we are and satellite doesn't offer enough HD signals yet to go that route. I do have a progressive scan player so I guess that is what we will be watching until we can get HD signals out this way.
When you had your computer hooked to the 532, what resolution were you running? VGA or could you use a custom 16 x 9 format like 960 x 540 ?
I purchase a Matrox G400 Video Card and used custom resolution settings to get the timing the same as standard 33Khz HDTV video (856x480p and 1712x960i). I got all my info from the HTPC forum elsewhere on this site.
If you chose not to go that route, standard VGA 640x480 at 60Hz will work, but everything will look squished and you will have to contend with overscan issues.
Thanks for the info. I hadn't come across any info about using a computer with the 532 (not that I have tried hard yet). I just got a new computer to go with a Starband satellite internet service. My old computer (a pentium 400) needs its hard drive reformatted, but then I may install a matrox G400 video card and hook it to my 532. My main interest would be to occasionally display still photos from my digital camera. If I am showing still photos I don't think using an interlace mode should be an issue, so I would be most interested in the 1712 x 960i mode. From your comments I am assuming the G400 will drive this resolution?
I STRONGLY urge you visit the Home Theater PC forum before making any purchases or attempting to hook your computer up to your tv in other than 60Hz 640x480 mode.
What was good for me might not necessarily be good for you. The G400 is an old card in Internet time (a year?) and I believe that there are newer ones that may be easier/cheaper/etc. to use.
I spent over two weeks reviewing that forum before I tried anything and it was well worth it.
It takes a little "hacking" to dial in the custom resolutions. They do NOT come automatically set up for you when you install the Video Card drivers.
It took an additional 2 weeks to get the resolutions set up and they might even need more work as is.
Anyway, I'm doing a little CYA here because I don't want to be responsible for you messing up your TV. Remember these TV's don't have the robust synching circuitry that modern computer monitors have today. So it is just like the old monitors from 5 to 10 years ago. Putting in the wrong frequency/pixel combinations can destroy the sync circuitry in the TV. I've never heard of this happening but I don't think we want to spend $3000 to determine whether the risk is there or not.
The HTPC forum has experts far more knowledgable in setting up video cards than me. I urge you to use them.
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