Opinions needed for Sony XBR LCD displays.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James R. Geib, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. James R. Geib

    James R. Geib Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm curious about opinions on the Sony XBR LCD displays, specifically the 50XBR800. Any first-hand experience, and any recommended alternatives at the same price point?? Thanks!

    James R. Geib
     
  2. Jeff Me

    Jeff Me Agent

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    I own that set and really like it. Many people looking at these also consider the Panasonic LCD, Samsung DLP, Pansonic DLP and Toshiba LCOS RPTVs.

    You should check out the rear projection tv forum at avsforum.com for more info on this set and others.

    The following are things to consider about that set.

    Negatives of these TV's are:

    Black levels and contrast ratio worse than many other technologies. (BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT THIS)
    $200 light bulb will need to be replaced at about 8000 hrs.
    Fan noise can be heard in quite scenes.
    High screen resolution will show problems in standard definition broadcasts.
    Best picture requires service menu adjustment.
    LCD panels tend to have subtle patches of color or color shifts across screen. (Most annoying on B&W movies)
    Factory service menu settings look washed out due to low gamma.
    Dust can get on LCD requiring cleaning.
    Some LCD artifacts are visible on high contrast scenes.
    Panels cannot be adjusted by owner if they are out of alignment.
    You cannot rescale 720p or 1080i images to eliminate black bars present on some HD material.
    All images going into this set are scaled internally making the use of an external scaler of little use.
    These sets are not as easy as some to hook a PC to as some others.

    Positives of these TV's are:

    Resolution of details at this price point.
    Presentation is very film like.
    Minimal LCD damage possibility with low wattage bulb allows 4:3 viewing without stretching or gray bars. Good for games also.
    TV can be restored to near original picture by replacing bulb.
    The picture can be improved with service menu adjustments.
    Fewer artifacts (no temporal dithering, rainbows...) than competing DLP sets if you see them.
    Bright screen image is good in high ambient light situations.
    Good anti-reflection coating helps with bright rooms as well.
    Physical size of TV compared to other RPTVs.
    No convergence required.
    Sony offers discrete remote codes (on, off, Video 1, Video2 ...).
    Set will automatically detect anamorphic wide-screen material and scale the screen appropriately.
    Near perfect geometry. (Slight bowing on some sets)
    Good off-axis performance
    No interference on picture from magnetic fields (speakers)
     
  3. James R. Geib

    James R. Geib Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff,

    Thanks for the comprehensive reply!

    James
     
  4. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Stunt Coordinator

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    I too am looking at the XBR800...a local store has them on sale for $3700 this weekend.
    Is this a good buy at this price? Or would I be better off opting for a conventional projection TV?
     
  5. James R. Geib

    James R. Geib Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm trying to get pros and cons on this Sony model and Samsung's 507W DLP, as the two sets are around the same price. I like the picture with both, and I imagine it boils down to personal preference, but I want other's opinions on the matter.

    I've heard bulb life for the LCD is around 8000 hours and replacement cost is $200. I don't know if that's similar to Samsung's DLP or not!
     
  6. Jeff Me

    Jeff Me Agent

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    The biggest problem I have with the Samsung is the ARTIFACTS (rainbows, dithering, posturization...). I see them very frequently on these sets. The other problem I have with the Samsung is related to quality. I have seen and heard of problems with reflections, bulbs, dirt and other electrical problems. I believe they have blown it at this point. I have seen DLP FP's that I like, but I could not live with the 507. I had one on order, but changed my mind in favor of the Sony.

    The biggest problem with the Sony is that you really do not want to watch this set in a totally dark room. The deepest black is too bright for this. The factory gamma is also in error causing scenes to look washed out.

    I would be careful about both of these sets if you are not willing to do service menu adjustments. The Samsung needs them more than the Sony, but the Sony has serious gamma problems on S-Video, composite and RF inputs.
     
  7. Rick Anderson

    Rick Anderson Stunt Coordinator

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    Aren't service menu adjustments a fact of life for any big-screen projection TV?
     
  8. Jeff Me

    Jeff Me Agent

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    I agree service menu adjustments really help all RPTVs, but these sets can be truly awful without them. I have seen some Pioneer Elites that look pretty good without any adjustments.
     

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