Sony KDS-R60XBR2 coming today

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Harpozep, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. Harpozep

    Harpozep Stunt Coordinator

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    I got a call from my local home theater specialists. They said a Sony KDS-R60XBR2 set was arriving today and they would set it up for me to audition next to their KDS-R60XBR1 set from last year. I have been running last year's set through a number of tests in their showroom, and they know I'm interested in this next iteration, hence the phone call.

    I told them I'd be in and likely just take it home , I mean it is a lot of extra work doing the setup at the store, testing then re packing it, and I'm going to take it home anyway.........How much worse can it be from last year's set ? While thinking out loud , How much better will it be than last year's set? Hmmm, perhaps I should open it and do some side by side testing after all...?

    I hooked a Samsung Blue Ray into the KDS-R60XBR1 and did a lot of testing. I was not convinced I had seen anything great. Previously I had auditioned the older set with standard DVD player and digital cable HD in their showroom and I was more impressed. Then I read here in the forums many of the shortcomings of the Samsung and the Blu Ray titles we were using.

    One thing I noticed a lot of with the Blu RRay through the older Sony was a lot of haloing outlines that could only be minimized , not removed. This is despite several hours of tweaking both the Samsung and the set. During this time I got to know the KDS-R60XBR1 pretty well, so getting the newer model seems the right thing to do as I really like the set and its output.

    This year's set has a brighter bulb ( by 60 watts ) as well. My only concern is my room may be too small for a 60". I know my 43" plasma seemed small after a bit . My XBR 400 36" 250 pounder took up a lot of space and had a smaller picture than I wanted as well.

    I'm running a Pioneer EliteDV-59 AVI which upscales pretty well into 1080i , or so the specs and forums tell me. The new XBR has a newer upscaling firmware from last year's model and even the A2000 series models that just came out. In fact the A2000 models seem to be using an older upscaling firmware than last year's XBR sets.

    I guess its time to upgrade our cable to digital HD Comcast and see what DVRbox they give us.
    I currently use the HDMI out on the Pioneer Elite DVD player and look forward to the multiple HDMI inputs on the KDS-R60XBR2. Time to get another cable for the Comcast box too I imagine.

    Anyway, I'll report back with the results. The set seems likely to be a winner based on waht I saw in last year's set, but now this year's set offers 1080i input straight through! Now to get in the middle of that other great debate, HD DVD or Blu Ray........... I'm thinking Blu Ray for the long term.

    Funny though, my home theater custom installer friend figures both formats are doomed unless they software is priced for consumers not old LD aficionados like many of us. Market penetration and all..... He may have a point.

    Link to the Sony's specs etc:

    http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-Start?CategoryName=hid_tv_newbravia&ProductSKU=KDSR60XBR2&Dept=tvvideo&INT=sstyle-tv_Full_HD_1080-deptfeature-KDSR60XBR2|sstyle:sy_cat_content_p:tv_full_hd_1080
     
  2. Harpozep

    Harpozep Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, the set is installed. [​IMG]
    I guess it even weighs a bit less than last years model. The price was great and I took out an extra four year parts and labor as well as the two extra bulbs within three years policy.
    Speaking of bulbs, the set came with one installed and an extra one as well. Bravo Sony!

    Had it on for about six hours, so it is not nearly broken in ,but ya gotta start somewhere. It does overwhelm the room. I could use a few more feet, but we'll live with it.
    I wanted the DRC 2.5 upconversion and NOT the five year old algorithm used on the A2000 set. Otherwise an A2000 50" or 55" set would have been here. Which brings me to SD upconverted. Not nearly as bad as I have seen. Sony seems to have done their work on the upconversion software. I only have standard cable and got it to look reasonable on most stations. Granted things would look that much better with a few more feet of room....................

    The Sony set found fifteen digital cable stations that our old Pioneer plasma did not. These stations look better. I even found NBC in widescreen HD and watched Conan O'brian. The visual signal froze every once in a while and the audio continued smoothly. I figure it is likely the cable company teasing us with this HD signal. Dunno. I figure on stopping by Comcast today and learning the wide world of digital cable.

    What would I gain lose by using a cable card vs an external box? The external box cost a bit more per month but gives us a DVR and perhaps a better ability to go out 5.1 to the receiver. The Sony set has an optical digital out that could go to the reciever. This output could be used to get the TV signal to the receiver. Sony also mentions this output has some time syn adjustment for any synchronizing problems.

    Which brings me to delays. We have a small TV in the kitchen and had it playing while the big set was on. There was quite an echo happening between them as I imagine the Sony set/receiver etc took a few milliseconds to process and deliver the signal. Also, I cannot use the Dumbo ears and the receiver at the same time as there is a delay between each of them though not so much as to go out of sync with the picture. If I have all three going, the TV in the kitchen, the Dumbo ears and the receiver, it almost sounds like you're in a giant echo hall! I've tried various settings on the Integra receiver and the on board sound in the set, but cannot get them to sync. The Dumbo ears will stay on , though the manual says I could take them off. There are times when , since it is mainly a family TV, the onboard sound is fine enough for those watching. When movies go in though, it's time to fire up the Integra and the B&W's!

    The color can be fabulous, but I still think my XBR 400 36" CRT is better. That set has some real geometry problems though, and of course weighs over 250 pounds! We dropped it once while moving it and I swore off large CRTs ever since.[​IMG] So too has the world as it seems....less being made all the time.

    Of course the Sony was set from the factory to "bake" and all that. So I had a few hours of tweaking to bring it in line with my reality. I used a Spiderman 2 superbit through the Pioneer Elite DV-59 avi set to upconvert to 1080i, going HDMI into the Sony. The HDMI straight through is cool as it carries the sound as well. I am not used to this as the Pioneer plasma had DVI and I had the HDMI-to-DVI-converter thing going on so never had sound going to the onboard speakers . No great loss or gain, just handy for some things when the larger sound system may prove overwhelming. The movable iris function is nice. I have it set to minimal for one preset as this minimizes blown highlights, which really annoy me on anything except a CRT for some reason.

    The set allows for three preset groups of, well presets. The vivid setting is the "bake" setting and of course can be set to anything. The standard and custom settings start the same from the factory, but are quite different now after a few hours of playing. All in all a pretty decent set that does an admirable job with SD, a decent job with DVD ( Lost season two looked great ), and seems quite happy with HD from the glimpse I got from the NBC feed ( Except for the image stalling, which I still attribute to Comcast ). Can't wait to get HD/Blu ray.... now when is that combo player coming out............?

    The HDMI on the front panel will be handy for gamers.
    The two in the back are on inputs seven and eight and are separate from the usual pile of inputs which are on the opposite side of the set.

    Oh yeah. my six year old daughter Katy loves it. She went to sleep with a smile on her face after we watched the Disney channel Halloweetown movie. She awoke this morning still smiling [​IMG][​IMG]

    And the Dumbo ears, I don't mind the look, but they do make it hard to move around to the side of the set in my cramped quarters. So while I'm not in the camp of hate that many are in regards to them, I'm not as thrilled with them as I had hoped. They do make for a real imposing package![​IMG]
     
  3. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Gregg Loewen
    congrats!!
    You will find that the image will change dramatically over first 50-100 hours. Color shifting and much darker.
    Happy tweeking / viewing!!
    Gregg
     

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