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I just a bought a Sony XBR2! (16x9 Direct View HDTV)


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#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert D Davis

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Posted August 26 2001 - 12:13 AM

Well, I went out and took the plunge last night and bought what was supposed to be the first floor model of the Sony KD-34XBR2 for Colorado Springs (good timing on my part). Fortunately, I bought it before they had a chance to unpack it so it was brand new in the box and untouched. Well, I have to say, it's the most beautiful TV that I've ever seen in my life, and I haven't even had time to properly calibrate it yet. It stinks that the Springs doesn't have HD broadcasts yet, but hopefully that will change by next year. Anyway, this set still doesn't show up on Sony's website, so I'll try and give a few specs. First, it has a great ability for aspect ratio switching, and makes non-anamorphic DVDs display in a 16x9 format with no distortion of the image (the modes are normal, full, zoom, and wide zoom). Oh, and it has a truly stellar bitmap menu system that's a real treat for the eyes. It's 206 lbs. and comes with an ATSC tuner built-in. The Cinemotion 3:2 pulldown just simply is awe inspiring. Ok, now for my question. I have Video Essentials, and in the past, I used it to calibrate conventional sets. However, are there any discs out there that could help me calibrate an ATSC 16x9 set, especially with regards to correcting overscan (since VE appears to be shot in a 4x3 format, I'm sure you can see the problem with trying to use "overscan templates" with this set)? I would really appreciate any input on this, and feel free to ask any questions about the set as I'll do my best to answer them. BTW, I paid about $3425 for the set, with the store price being $3879 and their cost being $2800. I obviously got a pretty good deal, although be forewarned that if you try to get it this cheap, you're going to go through plenty of hassles with salesmen since the set officially won't even be released until September (I had to pit three different stores against each other to manage this price). Anyway, I've always wanted to buy an HDTV, and thank God I finally own one.

#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Garrett Adams

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Posted August 26 2001 - 11:31 AM

Congratulation Robert. It is one sweet set. Mine was delivered yesterday by the GoodGuys, who picked up my two week old 36XBR450. Unfortunately I was unable to bargain for the kind of low price you bought yours for. Paid the $3,999.99 list. Considering the weight and bulk of these TV's I didn't want to chance buying through a online discount vendor. My rooftop antenna picks up all 5 of the Sacramento HD and SD stations and with a new antenna on order I should be able to reliably get another 4 or 5 San Francisco Bay Area digital stations. Also my AT&T Broadband analog cable looks pretty good, whereas they (and my analog broadcast channels) were unacceptable on the 36XBR450. Obviously with either set some channels would look better than others, which often can be attributed to the content provider rather than the carrier. All in all I'm extremely pleased and believe I can live with this set for many years to come. Garrett

#3 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert D Davis

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Posted August 26 2001 - 12:18 PM

I'm envious that you can pick up HD stations. Unfortunately, Springs is taking their sweet time. Glad to hear from someone who owns one as well... we should start an early owners group or something, Garrett- LOL. Anyway, have you had your set calibrated yet? And any ideas on if there are DVDs available to help one self-calibrate it? BTW, have you been able to find Sony i.Link cables anywhere? If so, where and for how much? Thanks and congrats to you too!

#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Chuck C

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Posted August 26 2001 - 01:44 PM

Here's some more glee to add to you happy fest:

If you went for the new 40" XBR, 16:9 would be roughly 33" measured diagonally. The XBR outdoes it by 1 inch minus the needless 4:3 area!

lucky guy

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Chuck

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#5 of 10 OFFLINE   Garrett Adams

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Posted August 26 2001 - 01:47 PM

I haven't calibrated yet. Will probably apply a few of the Wega 400/450 service menu corrections to see if I can lessen the red push a bit. I'll order the KD-34XBR2 service manual next week (part number 996591601). It can be ordered from Sony at 800-488-7669. $64.00 plus shipping with delivery in 5 to 10 working days. I own the Avia calibration DVD and will soon utilize some of its' tools.

Can't help you on the i.Link cables. Have no need for them yet. I understand one can connect newer model Sony digital cameras to that connection. For now I'm more interested in the iLink connector in its' capability to connect to the future "approved" digital recorders and similar equipment.

There are a couple of informative threads from users over on the AVS Forum's HDTV Hardware section: http://www.avsforum....gi/Ultimate.cgi

Garrett

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   bently

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Posted August 27 2001 - 05:17 AM

_you may want to try "ultimate platinum dvd" since it has test patterns for anamorphic or 16x 9 display, another plus is that this disc also calibrates dts sound systems __________________________________________________ _________ QUOTE: Ok, now for my question. I have Video Essentials, and in the past, I used it to calibrate conventional sets. However, are there any discs out there that could help me calibrate an ATSC 16x9 set, especially with regards to correcting overscan (since VE appears to be shot in a 4x3 format, I'm sure you can see the problem with trying to use "overscan templates" with this set)? I would really appreciate any input on this, __________________________________________________ __________

#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Richard Burzynski

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Posted August 27 2001 - 02:28 PM

RObert: I'm curious, does your set have a firewire input? I remember reading that some of the newer Sony sets would include one. Thanks. Rich B.

#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert D Davis

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Posted August 28 2001 - 05:47 PM

Yes, my set has two firewire or I.Link connections. However, there is only one device that Sony has verified as working with the set, it's a Sony digital cable STB. I'm hoping that perhaps my JVC GRDVL510 MiniDV cam will work with the set when I get a firewire cable. If it doesn't, there is still hope, as the back of the set has a special box that contains a port for a Sony MemoryStick for future firmware upgrades.

#9 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert D Davis

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Posted September 01 2001 - 05:20 PM

I received the official Sony 3 meter I.Link cable yesterday, and I hooked up my JVC GR-DVL510U to the set. The set recognized the make and model of the camcorder, however, when I selected the camcorder for viewing under the I.Link menu, I received a "NO SIGNAL" message on the screen, even though the camcorder was playing. I spoke with a tech briefly on Friday morning, and he said that the I.Link chipset on the XBR2 uses a different protocol than most other I.Link devices. However, he said the issue was be addressed by technicians and he said to keep checking back for updates. It would only make sense that Sony issue a MemoryStick firmware upgrade (FYI- there is a MemoryStick input on the back of the set) in the coming months to make all existing I.Link devices compatible with the set. However, the specialist I spoke to was under orders to not confirm or deny this.

#10 of 10 OFFLINE   DaveSt

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Posted September 02 2001 - 07:16 AM

I was just looking at that set yesterday at Good Guys. Actually I was drooling over it. Its out-of-the-box picture was astoundingly good, even on the bright showroom floor. Must resist temptation to buy... Must resist... Must resist... Resistance Is Futile ™.




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