Is Sony SXRD worth it?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Chris Bardon, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    So the Xbox 360 has convinced me that upgrading to an HDTV really might be a good idea, and the imminent Ps3 and HD Disc formats aren't going to hurt either. I'm probably looking at about 50" given the room size, and some friends immediately recommended the Sony SXRD (KDSR50XBR1) sets. I had a look at the product pages, and it sounds like a great TV, but the price is a little steep (MSRP is $5000 CDN). Can anyone here vouch for the quality jump? I like the idea of 1080p signals (even though I read about the 1080i->1080p conversion they do internally).

    Is there a current high performing favourite around here that someone might recommend instead? This TV will be used primarily for DVDs, stuff recorded on the DVR, and lots of HD gaming with the 360 (so burn in is a major concern). I'd also like to be able to get at least five years out of the TV, if not more, so I'm trying to be at least a little future proof in my decision.

    Thanks for the input everyone!
     
  2. Mike Milillo

    Mike Milillo Stunt Coordinator

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    I was checking them out as well, but the price was too high. I ended up getting a Sony 50' A10. I love it. DirecTV HD looks great on it. And the xbox360 is 720p, so no upconversion needed. You should check it out, see how you like it.
     
  3. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    The unstated part of your question is "...worth it to me for my viewing habits and purposes?"

    Ultimately only you can answer that question. For myself, I went with JVC's version of LCoS (D-ILA) in a 56" model that works better for my room. I saved enough over the Sony that I was able to buy a 32" LCD TV/Monitor to use with both an HD STB and my computer in my home office, plus a 27" LCD flat panel for my bedroom. That was the most bang for the buck for me under the present circumstances. (In four or five years, after the whole 1080p thing has had time to shake out and we see what kind of source material we're dealing with, I may want to upgrade the living room display, move the D-ILA to the home office - I'm using it as a monitor with my laptop and a wireless desktop right now - and give the 27" to my niece.)

    The Sony's are beautiful sets, no question about it. But I had the Goldilocks problem with the screen sizes offered (neither was "just right") and the price was just to high for the benefits in my situation - a ccnsideration that also applied to JVC's l080p D-ILA. But between holiday sales, a couple of 10% off coupons and Reward Zone points, I was able to get a very good deal on threes displays with a couple of extras thrown in at no charge (yes, you can haggle at Best Buy) and went from one decade-old analog RPTV in the house, along with a 17" LCD PC monitor and a 13" TV in the office (no TV at all in the bedroom) to HD in three rooms and two very large PC screens.

    Of course your mileage will vary. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  4. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Well, went into the Sony store earlier tonight to check this thing out firsthand, and ended up buying one on the spot. Even my wife agreed with it as compared to other HD sets that we've seen. The picture is just really really really really amazing. I checked, and there's no visible screendoor, motion is great, colours are nice, blacks are black, and all in all it looked way better than the standard projection screens. I'm happy with it, but I just have a little sticker shock right now [​IMG]

    Delivered on Wednesday though! Now I just need some HD sources to go with it... Decided to pass on the upconverting DVD player for now, since (theoretically) bluray/hd-dvd are just around the corner, but I'll be getting a 360 as soon as I can find one, and an HD PVR if I can get a deal on one.
     
  5. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Supporting Actor

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    I saw a 60" SXRD in a store and was amazed. I could put my nose right up to the screen and not see any pixilization or stepping. It was completely sharp, yet smooth. Having said that, it's way out of our budget. We'll probably go with an A10.

    Doug

    P.S. What I saw was 720p content, so I can only imagine how 1080p might look on that beast!
     
  6. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Well, I'll post some impressions once I have the thing set up and calibrated.

    So, if being a geek means reading the instructions for your TV, what does it mean if you download and read the manual before the TV even gets delivered? [​IMG]
     
  7. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    I have a Panny 47" CRT widescreen that I plan on using for at least another couple of years, but if I were in the market for a new set right now and had the dough, I'd definitely go for the SXRD. These things put out a beautiful picture.
     
  8. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Chris- What does it mean if you read the instructions of the components you are trying to decide between even before you buy. [​IMG]
     
  9. Martin_Frohlich

    Martin_Frohlich Stunt Coordinator

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    I have owned the 60xbr1 for over a month so I have some good history with it. On HD the set is stunning. I compared it to several DLPs in the stores and there was definetely a noticeable difference in picture quality. It has a certain picture the reminds me of the best picture tube tvs. The only down side if you ask me is that standard definition pictures only look "ok" on it. But that is true of all widescreen flat panel tvs I have seen. XBOX 360, hid def and DVDs all look excellent on this set. I would recommend it without hesitation.
     
  10. Phil.G

    Phil.G Auditioning

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    I bought one last Sunday, to be delivered this Saturday. I agree with the above, the picture was clearly better to me than the other sets at the store. I was also swayed by the glowing reviews and my excellent experience with my current Sony Wega. I had a requirement for no burn in since alot of our source material is 4:3.

    I read soemwhere that while the typical LCD RPTV actually fills only about 50% of the screen (hence the screen door effect) on this unit it's 90%! I could not see any screen door. According to the reviews, it has the highest contrast ratio of any RPTV to date, and it certainly looked it. This is also important to me as our room is bright we have it on alot in the daytime.

    The clincher, though, was 10% off plus no payments or interest for 18 months! That's like forever. Makes the price alot easier to swallow.

    Merry Christmas me!


    Chris, you might want to rethink the upconverting DVD player, one review I read says that the set rolls the resolution off a bit on 480i/p sources, so theoretically it may look better with an upconverted 1080i source, especially if the DVD player has a good scaler. They can be had for less that $150, and my philosophy is that why spend so much on the TV and skimp on the source? Plus I think HDMI is a good thing to have, and my old player does not have it, so I got a new upconverting with HDMI.
     
  11. Eric_Connelly

    Eric_Connelly Second Unit

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    As happy as everyone is with their sets I would wait, and this is my opinion, until Sony states it will for SURE work with a 1080p input. Its 1080p capable but they don't say if it will take the input.

    Sony has not said it would and will not say, just that it supports it.

    Personally I think it would be suicide for Sony to do this but until I hear first hand I'm not dropping the money on it.

    Once they do, it'll be here [​IMG]
     
  12. Martin_Frohlich

    Martin_Frohlich Stunt Coordinator

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    As much as I love this set, per my comments above, this seet does not take 1080P source. I knew that going in. Hardly any of the 1080P sets actually accepts a 1080P signal. For me that does not matter because the broadcasting agreement for HD resolution has no 1080P standard so you will never get more then a 1080I feed from cable or satelite or OTA. So that leaves potentially mediums like blu ray or HD DVD. Of those two only blu-ray said they might...might do 1080P. In which case I will set the player to do 1080I and let my tv scale it 1080P. For me, and my decision criteria, not accepting 1080P was a non-issue. I am sure others may have other needs or decision criteria.

    Technology is always changing, there will always be something newer and better but I didn't want to keep waiting. 5 years from now they probably will have 2160P sets, but they will have to scale everything since no source material will be at 2160P.
     
  13. Eric_Connelly

    Eric_Connelly Second Unit

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    Martin,

    FWIW the store I bought my equipment from said Sony was in with Blu Ray and they showed 1080p on the set with a special firmware but they would not make an official comment on if they will offer any upgrade for current SXRD owners.

    They even recorded some 1080p on one of the Mitsu units built in hard drives but it must have scaled it down to 1080i or even 480 because it looked like total crap in comparison to our GW LCD.

    I hope it all works out and I do believe that HD DVD will offer 1080p. Doubt we will see it on cable but maybe sat with MPEG4 or Verizon's FIOS.
     
  14. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Just thought I'd post an update, since I'm back from vacation and I've had a chance to put the set through at least a few of its paces. So far I'm really impressed with how the Xbox 360 looks on it. I decided to pass on dropping the $150 on the upconverting DVD player right now, since if BluRay/HDDVD will be out (theoretically) in the next 6-12 months, then I'll just put that money towards one of those units, which should also do the upconversion. For now though, my regular Pioneer progressive scan player looks good in 480p. Besides, I was pushing my luck with buying the TV and the Xbox-another DVD player that we'd only really use for a year or so isn't really an easy sell when we have a house to pay for [​IMG]

    Only thing I'm not sure if I like is that all of the inputs are calibrated individually. On one hand this is great, since I can tune the video for the DVD player and Xbox differently, but on the other hand it makes calibration a little tougher. So far I've just run the THX optimode on the DVD and Xbox inputs, but I think I might have to look at getting a copy of Avia to calibrate with a little more detail. Is this still worth doing?

    As for regular 480i signals, this TV doesn't hide any flaws, but they're certainly watchable. Most of the regular TV I watch won't really stress the high def much (Daily Show, The Simpsons, Family Guy etc).

    So all in all, a great TV if you want to spend the coin, and I'm sure it'll be even better once some 1080p sources are available. The guy at the Sony store was sure that it could take and display 1080p, so I'll just have to make sure to hold him to that once the time comes. I can't see Sony not making a firmware upgrade available if it's required though-not on a big ticket item like this set.
     
  15. Marc Carra

    Marc Carra Supporting Actor

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    I looked at the 50" SXRD which looked great, but opted for a Panasonic 50" plasma at about $1600 less. With current HD material and upconverted DVD, the Panasonic looked just as good. No 1080P capability of course, but in 2 or 3 years, I'll retire the Panny to the bedroom and get an affordable 1080P set.


    Marc.
     

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