Buying a TV in this day and age...

Chuck Mayer

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It's not easy. I just started looking and I feel overwhelmed. But HTF has helped me enormously in the past few years, though my hardware hasn't changed in that time. It's starting to change now, and I need real help.

I currently have a 53" RP Sony XBR that I bought in
1997. It's served me well, but 4:3 and SD have GOT TO GO


But since I never need to keep up...I didn't. Now I need help.

I'd like to get a TV for HD usage, starting with the HD and Blu-Ray formats. I'll probably upgrade to HDTV next year, but I don't watch enough TV to care right now. I am doing this for the movies and video games


I want the best possible film reproduction, with games secondary, and TV tertiary.

I've noticed my money will go farther with rear projection...but do I lose quality or convenience. I am more willing to part with convenience than quality.

My size range is: 40" - 56" (approximately)
My cost range is: $2k - 4k

Obviously, lower cost is better. It speeds my access to the format (HD, BD) players. But I keep my TV's for quite some time. So it's a big investment that I have to get right.

Thanks for any and all advice. I don't want to pay for a name. If there is a cheaper product with equivalent quality, I want it. Or better quality at the same price.

Take care,
Chuck
 

Arthur S

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I would suggest that you buy the current edition of Consumer Reports (November) and wait a month for the December edition. This month they only tested LCD and Plasma. Next month, they should test DLP and LCoS/SXRD.

Off the top, I would suggest the 60 inch Sony 1080P SXRD, for about $3150.
 

Larry Sutliff

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If I were in the market for a new tv, I'd go with the SXRD. They also have a 50" version of the same set for a good deal less money. Best Buy and Circuit City have them in stock.
 

Chuck Mayer

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Thanks, I'll get the magazine. I figure I have about six weeks until my first decision point. I appreciate the help, as I feel like I am drowning in information


What does the SXRD do? I know it is Sony propietary. Is it for RPTV's?

That's my basic question. Can a rear projected HD image look as good as DLP, LCD (flat), and plasma?
 

Arthur S

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Chuck

I think you will need to spend some time looking at the displays to answer your projected image question to your satisfaction. LCoS/SXRD are about the same. JVC has LCoS, the Sony version is SXRD. Projected image. Excellent PQ. Prices on these have come way down. The 60 inch 1080P Sony is less expensive than the previous generation 50 inch that was not 1080P.

So, get out of the information pool, and into a few stores and start looking before the holiday rush. The stores are empty now and you can take as much time as you like. It won't be like that 6 weeks from now
.
 

Chuck Mayer

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That's great advice, and I'll take it. I wanted to know what to ask when I walk in. I actually have a Sony Style store local to compare the Sony's, and several high end HT stores I've never bothered to visit (envy is a bitch
).

Anybody know what the XBR2 upgrade buys me at the SXRD 60" level?

KDS-60A2000

KDS-R60XBR2

It's a pretty steep price jump, and I am not sure why I'd want to pay it. I'm sure there is a reason it's there.

Thanks,
Chuck
 

Arthur S

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I don't know about the XBRs, except that I think there is a 70 inch XBR which would interest me because I have a 65 inch display now and would not want to go smaller. I think the 70 inch XBR is way expensive.

My guess is that while the 60 inch XBR might be slightly better, the regular SXRD represents the point of rapidly diminishing returns.
 

Brian_Wh

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Chuck,
I am in the very same boat as you in considering the same two sets. I'm looking to purchase an HDTV set during the Holiday/Super Bowl sale season.

I think the main extras that the 60XBR2 adds are:
- "Better" video processing circuit/chip (that may not be the right term)
- Picture-in-picture
- CableCard compatibility
- A second HDMI input
(- However, it does lack a front panel component input which the A2000 has)

Right now, I am leaning towards the less expensive 60A2000. Either will be a big change for me from my current 5 year old 32" Toshiba standard tube TV (which is a nice TV in its own right)!


Prices right now are around...
60A2000 = $3,500 (with sale prices at Best Buy and Circuit City ~ $3,150)
60XBR2 = $4,300 (I think)

Good luck!
 

Chuck Mayer

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Again, many thanks. I visited the Sony store this afternoon, and didn't gain a much better understanding. They weren't running DVD's on the TV's I liked. I did get a sense of the differences.

If I go RP, I tend to agree with Brian. The XBR doesn't add $800 worth of value. I might also choose a 55" if I go SXRD.

I am still a bit concerned that I might be shortchanging the Sony LCD's. That said, the price of the 60" SXRD is about the same as the 46" LCD. Is just getting an LCD worth losing 14" of screen size?

Take care,
Chuck
 

greg baker

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Chuck,

If you are interested in Blu-Ray you will want to go with 1080P to get the most out of it. I was in CC last week and they had the Samsung 1080P DLP on sale for 1799 down from 2499. I am kicking myself for not buying it. Went back the next day to purchase and it was 2315. My understanding(and I may be wrong) is that Blu-ray and possibly HD DVD are the only things that are true 1080P,

Greg
 

SethH

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If you live in or near a decent size city just pick up the SilverSensor antenna for about $25 and you'll HDTV without any monthly charge (granted you'll have a limited number of stations).
 

Robert Marc

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any of the sxrd's. believe me, you will not be dissapointed. amazon has some very good prices on them.
 

Steve Schaffer

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The XBR-2 uses Sony's DRC2.5, which will work with all incoming scanrates except 1080p, and is superior to that of the A-2000 which only works on
480i sources. The A-2000 has 2 HDMI inputs, both of which are on the back of the set. The A-2000's auxiliary inputs for temporary connection of camcorders and such are on the side.

The XBR-2 has 3 HDMI inputs, two on the back and the other on the front grouped with the other auxiliary inputs behind the door that hides the front controls.

The A-2000's speakers are located below the screen, the XBR-2's are on the sides (removable on the 70" but fixed on the 60".)

I actually prefer the picture on the new 1080p JVC sets overall, and they are considerably less expensive than the Sonys.
 

BenS

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I would reccomend the Mits 57831 their new diamond series. It has a 180 watt bulb and a high contrast screen and the picture imho beats a plasma. Looks as if you are looking right thru a window.
 

Robert Marc

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The JVC Dila 1080p was my other choice. I definately would go with a lcos set (Dila or Sxrd) if you get a rear projection. They are worth the extra cash. SD stuff looks better than on a regular dlp rear projection, but still not great. Thank gosh Cox is adding the Deuce in HD later this fall. IMO, the XBR was not worth the extra price. I would also get 1080P at this stage in the game. I was like you, replacing a 12 year old Toshiba crt. I want something that is going to be "current" for at least a little while.
The local store I bought from had 18 months same as cash on sonys and had an open box 50" a2000 for less than the comparable size JVC. The choice was very easy ;-). Definately follow the advice of getting out to the stores now and looking. I went a couple of weeks ago during the week in the early afternoon and had plenty of help without alot of extra people around. That's also how I lucked into the open box deal.

p.s. the aux inputs for my set are on the front. 1 component and 1 analog video and 1 stereo left-right.
 

Arthur S

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Chuck

IMHO, there is no way a 46 inch LCD compares with the 60inch Sony SXRD. A 60 inch display has 70% more screen area than a 46 inch display. The impact of the 60 inch screen will just crush any possible advantage of a 46 inch LCD.
 

Chuck Mayer

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That's the impression I get, Arthur


I appreciate all of the help. I visited two HT stores today on my lunch break, and received the same advice. Unless wall mounting, RP is the way to go (as long as the viewing angle is almost right on). More screen, less money.

I also agree the SXRD's are my best bet. 50" seems small after my 53" years, so I am looking at 55 vs 60...about $400 apart. I doubt I can afford to get all the way to the XBR so I removed that from my thoughts.

Now it's a simple money game and screen size game. I am leaning towards the 60", naturally


Any idea how to get rid of the old 53" when I get the new one? I don't want to throw it out (it's old, but lightly used; at best, 12 hours per week...more likely 5 or less hours most weeks). My wife (again with the wife, I know) has that hangling over me like Damocles sword every time I talk about my new TV. What about the old one???
 

Arthur S

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Dan

CR said that one thing they have found out is that people are much happier with getting a bigger screen. And from personal experience, I agree. I decided that if I was going to get a big screen, I should get a REALLY big screen, so I got a 65 inch. No regrets.

Put an ad in your local paper and ask a very modest price, and make sure it is clear that transporting it is at the buyers expense
 

cctyu

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The XBR2 uses the WEGA 'HD' engine which produces a 'far' sharper and superior picture than the mediocre KA2000's WEGA engine. If it wasn't for the huge size of the 60" I would have bought that set weeks ago. Now I'm considering the JVC HD56FH97 which has an equally impressive picture as the XBR2 but over a foot less wide.
 

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