55411 or SD-533HD5?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Lehner, Oct 24, 2002.

  1. Chris Lehner

    Chris Lehner Agent

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    OK, I posted this once before, but I think it got lost in a 311/411/511 debate. I've narrowed my choice down to the 55411. Now all I have to do is convince myself it's a better choice than the Pioneer SD-533HD5.

    From what I've gathered so far, Mits looks great on high-quality material, after a little break-in and lots of tweaking. But does not look so great with mid-def sources like non-HD dish & cable and has some problems with stretch modes. I have not heard many specifics about the Pioneer set except that it's been well rated in general, has friendly stretch modes and looks better OTB than the Mits (or really that everything does).

    So, opinions to help me sell myself?

    Thanks,
    CDL
     
  2. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    I think you would be equally happy with either one of these sets.
    Don't kid yourself you will be tweaking on whatever you buy. As hard as you are looking and making an "informed" decision tells me that you care about the quality of the display and you will do whatever you can in order to get the good out of it.
    I think the "purist" like both of these. Do you really think you will put up with the "junk" signal you get from most cable companys.
    Flip a coin, you win either way. . .
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    So, Chris....inquiring minds want to know what you bought!

    The Pioneer is available for about $2200 delivered (curbside) from One Call as we speak (though 10/31). The reviews at AudioReview were very positive......and mama said I can but a new RPTV set this week.

    Can you tell that the Pioneer is high on my list? I am just slightly concerned that there don't seem to be a lot of reviews pro or con on the HTF. I don't normally trust AudioReview, but is the set gets a Thumbs Up from the HFT membership, then its a safe bet.

    Regards,

    Brian Leduc
     
  4. Chris Strasz

    Chris Strasz Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian,

    I am in the process of getting an SD533HD and let me just say from the reviews/opinions I've heard the set is supposed to be terrific. It has what are some of the best stretch modes on an RPTV and an excellent line doubler to boot. The video quality is also great out of the box. I've heard in general that it's an excellent set and reliable as well.

    While I don't have one yet to give a formal review, it's the set I will be getting.
     
  5. Chris Lehner

    Chris Lehner Agent

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    Brian(et al):
    I am still pondering. My GF is giving me the familiar "just buy the damn thing already" attitude, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet. One of the reasons is I haven't been able to see the 533HD5 in my area yet. Yes, I'm aware of the great deal OneCall has right now, and I've mostly heard positive things about them, but I'm still not sure it's smart to but a RPTV off the Net.
    I'm trying to find a dealer in Wilmington, DE. I'm in NE MD and Wilmington is only about 45 miles from my house and there's no sales tax in DE [​IMG] If anyone can help, it would be much appreciated.
    I'm really leaning 55411, but here is my fear. All my buddies know I'm finishing the HT and getting the big set. First Sunday after set-down has already been deemed Game Day at my house. And I just know and expect that the 55411 will look like sh*t; colors all over the place and visible scan lines. I can just hear it now: "you paid HOW much for that thing"? Try explaining to this bunch "letting the lenses settle" and "calibration". I'm almost positive the 533 would look better OTB. On the other hand, almost all of MY watching will be progressive-scan DVD, not standard TV signals and I'm not going to let these yahoo's determine which TV I buy. The big question is just how much better does the 55411 look really dialed-in than the Pioneer. If the 533 is both luminous and forgiving, then that's a hell of a thing.
    Ugh [​IMG] Gotta decide soon. I'll be sure to post once it's on its' way.
    CDL
     
  6. Chris Strasz

    Chris Strasz Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris, I hear what you mean. But in the end, get what makes you happy - screw what the buddy's opinions are [​IMG] Let them know it's still breaking in and to see it in a few months.
    I'm sure you'll be happy with either set but i'm sure the ISF calibrators on here can give more of an expert opinion. Do you have a costco near you? They have the 64 " version of the pioneer and it's the same internals as the SD533HD.
    I did a search for the authorized dealers in the Wilmington area for the category of "Pioneer home" and the results that came up were at this link.
    I would check that out, or do a search for those in your specific area just to see the set. Then I'd give a call to a few of them to see if they carry the pioneer non elite televisions.
     
  7. Ted Ross

    Ted Ross Second Unit

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    I recently narrowed my rptv down to the 2 models your looking at-I went with the Pioneer & couldnt be happier!
     
  8. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Hmmmm...

    I have been debating between the Mits 55411 & 55511... this is the first time I have heard of the Pioneer 533HD5. Is it brand new? No one in my area seems to carry it and I would love to check it out. Any details on this Pioneer or first hand experience would be most appreciated.

    Also, after hearing about the Mitsy's red push, and not being able to adjust it on the 411... I'm thinking this might be the better choice.

    Of course, I can go back to my old choices of the Mits 411 vs 511... The 511 has no Quad Focus (whatever that is) but does have a connection for Firewire, a built in HDTV Tuner, and from what I understand, a way to more accurately adjust the red push.

    I do not have HDTV yet in my area, Though I believe my cable company is offering a HiDef version of HBO... would I need the tuner for that or would the cable box be sufficient? Who knows when we will have Hi-Def here. How much would a separate tuner cost by that time? (Say 2 years?)

    What's with this Firewire? I can record off the TV onto a digital VCR? Wouldn't a digital VCR have it's own tuner?

    How bad is this Mitsy red push thing?

    Is the 511 really worth the extra bucks for me? I do not want my set to be obsolete a few years down the road.

    This turned into alot more questions than I intended and I probably should have started it's own thread!

    Ric
     
  9. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    I just bought a 533HD5 myself as an upgrade to my TW40H80. I’ve had it for about a week, and here are my impressions:

    1) The size differnce is enormous. I had no idea how it would appear so much bigger. I did some basic math and figured a 53” set is 32.5% bigger than a 40” set. That's wrong. It is 75% bigger in area, and it looks it.

    2) Line doubled and progressive scan DVD’s look phenomenal. The appearance is movie-like for well mastered DVD’s. Even well mastered non-anamorphic DVD’s look incredible. Of the few movies I’ve seen on the new set, the old Tosh can’t compare. BTW, the upconverted progressive scan mode (called purecinema) is so good, I probably won’t buy a progressive scan player until my current one bites it.

    3) Colors are spectacluar. I was able to set the saturation and hue according to Avia in a few minutes. I couldn’t even get close with my old Toshiba.

    4) Gaming is bliss. I’ve been playing Mario Sunshine with SVHS cables, and it looks magnificent. Pioneer even has a Game mode that brings down contrast levels to stave off burn-in. The manual warns you not to play for more than two hours at a time, a vast improvement from other RPTV makers who threatened to void the warranty if you played games on their sets.

    5) The geometry is not perfect, but it is exceptional for being out of the box. Compared to the geometry OOTB for my Toshiba and considering the jostling and handling during shipping, it’s outstanding. And although I can see that there are geometry problems in the convergence pattern (exclusively at the very edges of the screen), there aren’t any distracting wavy end credits and whatnot. And user menu 64 point convergence is just awesome.

    6) Stretch modes are really good, but I only use them when watching sports only because the zoom mode usually hides the score box. I find most network TV is shot protected anyway, so I almost exclusively use zoom mode, which preserves the correct proportions.

    7) Wheels! It’s on wheels!

    8) Having separate settings for each input should be standard, and the 533HD5 doesn't disappoint. The set allows for separate picture, screen mode, and screen height settings. I can go from cable to DVD ready just by hitting the input button. With the Tosh, I would have to cycle to the input, cycle to the screen size, and fiddle with the picture settings if the compromised cable/DVD default settings were still too dark or whatnot.

    There is one problem and it’s a major problem for me since 90% of what I watch is via PVR. The bigger size is double-edged sword. Bigger magnifies source problems. Stuff my Tosh hid because it could not resolve are glaringly evident on the Pioneer. The line doubling creates distracting artifacting on top of it. Cable flat out looked better on the Tosh, as the noticable scan lines were less bothersome than the artifacting. It is at its core a reception problem, as MNF looks great but Survivor is real sorry looking (my CBS reception via cable is worse than I thought). I am still reflecting on what to do (satellite perhaps?), although tweaking picture settings definitely helped reduce some of the noise. In the end, I will probably have to get used to it. Getting an HDTV box will probably make me feel a whole lot better about the set as well.

    Considering I paid $2100 for the TW40H80 4 years ago, $2250 for this set delivered is a steal.
     
  10. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Well, I pulled the trigger.

    The 533HD5 is on the way. Did the Onecall 10% off/free shipping deal. $2240 bucks.

    FWIW, the sale is slated to end on 10/31 and the link says only 6 more hours. I guess it was time to fish or cut bait!

    I will let every know how it looks. It will be used with a Pioneer DV-45A player (progressive), Sony 650D (interlaced S Video) and DirecTV (interlaced S Video, no HDTV yet).

    To quote from the great philosopher Garth Algar...Schwinggggggg!

    BL
     
  11. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Good news for procrastinators......they extended the deal until 12/2. When I called, they said they still had a bunch of these in stock.

    As an aside, after we consumated the deal, the sales guy (Mike) said that, in his view, Pioneer sets are some of the best built, best performing sets out there.

    I was happy to hear that, since he already had my credit card and shipping info!

    BL
     
  12. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Sounds like a great deal Brian. Let us know how it turns out. I want to hear your review of the set as well as your impressions of OneCall. I am more than a little nervous about doin biz thru the internet on something so big. I see that they have a no return policy on their digital TVs.

    I sure would like to read some more reviews on this set. But more so, I would like to see it for myself. I have yet to find anyone in the Albany, NY area that carries it.

    Ric
     
  13. elMalloc

    elMalloc Supporting Actor

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    I was goign to get this set too, but onecall no return is scary and so I am goign with the Toshiba 57HDX82.
    -ELmO[​IMG]
     
  14. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    So far, dealing with OneCAll has been great. I spoke with the same salesman throughout the transaction (there was a minor issue with my credit card, so we had to go back and forth with OneCall and Discover a bit), and their communications has been very prompt.

    I agree about the risk of the no-return policy, but I have read enough good things about the quality of this set (AudioReview.com has a bunch of reviews) that I took that risk.

    Another factor for me was that the dealers in my city had lots and lots of widescreen high def TV's on display. Unfortunately, most looked like crap. I think some sets were getting a freakin' RF modulated feed. I saw sets that were highly regarded (the Mits 55411 for example) and it looked horrible.

    I know that any set I buy will need tweaking to deliver its best possible picture (some more then others). It is just not possible to judge the quality of a set based on the typical in store displays, at least where I live.

    So, given that the Pioneer had one of the most extensive list of user adjustments (72 point convergence for each screen mode, defeat-able SVM for each input, full user adjustments for color, contrast etc., for each input) PLUS the universally good feedback that I have read, gave me the courage to pull the trigger.

    Of course, if its a POS out of the box, I will probably want to shoot myself, but I don't think I will have to worry!

    BL
     
  15. Ted Ross

    Ted Ross Second Unit

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    Let us know how it goes, Brian L. I love my 533-its the 1st RPTV/TV I bought that I never had anything to nit-pick about(I actually had one-the dealer insisted it came with a lighted remote & showed me the one it came with-even thought the literature said it didnt, but when I opened it up my remote wasnt lighted-fortunately they exchanged remotes for me).
     
  16. Chris Lehner

    Chris Lehner Agent

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    Brian:

    I also pulled the trigger and ordered the 533 from OneCall (Mike in fact). I feel happy with the choice. I've heard a few whispers that the new Mits are still seeing red. And I have to be honest, the ones I've seen in showrooms have looked just awful (usually SDTV in a bad stretch).

    I know the Mits can be dialed-in and I'm sure it's a nice set once you tame her. But I haven't heard one bad thing about the Pioneer. Looking forward to sharing tips and tweaks with all you new (and old) owners.

    CDL
     
  17. Chris Lehner

    Chris Lehner Agent

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    After I posted, I re-read some of the previous posts and I wanted to share my 2 cents on OneCall's "no-return" policy. First, my sales guy (Mike) was VERY clear about dos and don'ts of accepting the set. He said once the set arrived, before it is brought into the house (btw, now would be a good time to mention I opted for White Glove service), the delivery guys would ask me to sign. He said it was very important to inspect the box before signing. He advised that if the box had ANY signs of damage that I should write (and he was very clear about this vernacular) POSSIBLE HIDDEN FREIGHT DAMAGE on the delivery slip. Now, the box comes in the house and is removed and if something is wrong with the set, I can refuse delivery, based on the noted damage, and get a replacement.

    Now, I too grilled Mike about the scenario of I have the set a day, a week, a month and I'm experiencing a problem that I can't seem to shake. Mike explained it like this, and even though it's truly sales-speak, I happen to agree: if you drive a new car off the lot and it turns out the taillight doesn't work, they do not replace the whole car for you. Pioneer's warranty will make good on any serviceable issue the set might have once it's dropped off. That still wasn't quite good enough for me. What if you don't have a broken taillight; you have an issue that essentially makes the set defective. I opted for the Extended Service contract, because of a "no lemon" clause. It states, if a problem persists with the set that cannot be corrected in 4 service visits, the set will be replaced.

    It's not perfect, and I'm not crazy about the fact that the ESP runs concurrently with the Pioneer warranty, rather than as an "extension" of that period. But for my $100 I've bought 2 years of coverage and a little piece of mind. (BTW, big props on OneCall's policy of "refunding" 50% of your ESP...as a store credit...if you do not use the service within that period.)

    Again, just my 2 cents,
    CDL
     
  18. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    The no return policy is for buyer remorse. You will not be left out to dry if there is actually something wrong with the set.

    I took the OneCall plunge as well -- the set was so highly regarded and reviewed that I didn't even bother demoing it.

    What can I say -- I made the right call. The set is spectacular. And I've dealt with OneCall in the past -- they're good people.
     
  19. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    The set arrived yesterday, finished re-arranging my den and fired it up at about 6:30pm.

    Short Story: This is an incredible set. Buy it while you can.

    Longer Story: First impressions....HOLY CRAP is this thing bright!!!! Airplanes flying overhead were complaining!

    No surprise there, headed into the menu and knocked the contrast down a ton....still seemingly bright. Watched a few segments from Monsters Inc. via Pioneer 45A Progressive DVD player (Component Input of set). Decent picture, but still needs some tweaking.

    After supper, popped in Avia, and dialed in the user controls properly. Contrast and Black Level needed to come way down. Color, Tint, and Sharpness were pretty good out of the box. Turned off Flesh Tone, Enhanced Black, SVM.

    FWIW, the center convergence was dead nuts out of the box. Multi-point looked fine too. I may need to revisit that after the set breaks in.

    Turned out the lights, and screened Spiderman. My family and I had never seen it before. All I can say is WOW. I went from a 32 inch Sony to this, which is my first RPTV.

    I felt like I was watching film. The set is about 14 feet from my eyeballs, and the picture was outstanding. Smooth, great colors, great blacks, no visible scan lines......I was awed by this set.

    Added bonuses: Each input has its own user settings, from which you can adjust/tweak the usual suspects (Color, Contrast, Black Level...), but also color temperature, SVM, and a few other things.

    Right now, the Progressive input is using the Standard Settings (tweaked of course). There is a Reference Theatre setting that is said to turn off certain video enhancements (they do not specify). I am going to switch to that setting for the progressive input, and re-tweak.

    The screen modes are also very good. I find that Natural Wide gives the best compromise setting for blowing up 4:3 material. Full is great for 1:85 anamorphic titles, and Zoom works well for no-anamorphic letterbox stuff (Titanic, for example). Still experimenting, but so far so good.

    Down sides? As other have said, this set does not suffer crappy signal quality gladly. While my DirecTV channels look good (some better then others) my locals via cable are noticeably grainy and noisy (again, some are better then others).

    Then again, pop in a good anamorphic DVD, and your jaw will drop. I can only imagine what true HD will look like.....anyone got a grand they can give me for a JVC D-Theatre VCR??????

    BL
     
  20. Chris Lehner

    Chris Lehner Agent

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    Nice post Brian! My 533 is supposed to arrive "middle" of this coming week. I'm hoping to have it dialed-in and share the same kind of feedback by the weekend.

    CDL
     

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