Sony KP51HW40 vs. Toshiba 50HX81 vs. Pioneer Pro-520HD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by EdD, Nov 2, 2001.

  1. EdD

    EdD Agent

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    I've fallen in love with the Pioneer but it appears to be about an inch too wide for the space I have (based on the specs). How do the three models in the subject compare? We watch about 30% DVD, 40% dish, 30% cable. I'm concerned mainly about line doubler and overall image quality. Are there any other sets I should be looking at? We are only interested in 16:9 displays that are less than 49" wide.
    Thanks in advance.
    EdD
     
  2. Brian_J

    Brian_J Second Unit

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    That is really not a fair comparison. Comparing the Pioneer SD533 against the Toshiba and Sony is fair. That said, I prefer the Pioneer by a wide margin. (I own a Toshiba).
    Brian
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    Zed's Dead Baby...
     
  3. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Ed,
    I have the 57" version of the Sony HW40, and love it. I had an Hitachi widescreen for 2 weeks and had issues with a green tint to dark areas of the picture and lots of artifacting of ntsc sources. Swapped for the Sony during the exchange period.
    I've had the Sony 3 weeks now and have no regrets. They've improved the DRC on these new models, no longer the sorta blurry look the older Sonys had.
    I did a lot of shopping and playing with sets in the stores, thoroughly checking out Hitachi, Tosh, Sony and Mits, and honestly feel the Sony does the best job with ntsc stuff like cable and non-HD satellite, with Toshiba a close second. HD and dvd are excellent.
    The set does a pretty good job of maintaining consistent color and black level when changing cable and satellite channels, and the doubling looks quite good on all but the worst cable and satellite channels.
    When I gave up on the Hitachi, I decided to get either a Sony or a Toshiba. Did some research over at Home Theater Spot and found that a significant number of Toshibas were having a problem with ghost lines around dark objects on light backgrounds, though not all reported it. Found only one problem reported on the Sony HW40-a set that would not converge out of the box, which the owner exchanged for another of the same model.
    The set changes channels and inputs quickly, is easy to adjust, and is very stable in that color and convergence don't shift noticeably as the set warms up. I'm pretty picky, and have had 4 rptvs and 2 higher end direct-view sets in the last 5 years. Overall this set has been the best out of the box, and the only one that has not had me messing around in the service menu in search of a better picture.
    I honestly don't think you'd go wrong with either the Sony or the Toshiba, but I'm glad I got the Sony.
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    Steve S.
    I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.
     
  4. EdD

    EdD Agent

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    Brian,
    I realized that the comparison between the Pioneer elite and either the Sony or the Toshiba is probably unfair considering the price difference but everything I've read indicates that the new Pioneer non elite versions have very similar picture to the elites. Honestly, I would go for the Pioneer Elite if it fits my room but that is pretty much ruled out. I included it in the roundup simply as an ideal. When you say you prefer Pioneer are you speaking of the SD533 or the 520HD or both?
    Steve,
    You answered a lot of my questions in another thread so thanks again. Have you had any experience with either the elite or non elite Pioneer models? I plan to check out the Sony and the Pioneer this weekend but I haven't found a good place to demo the Sony against the Toshiba. I'm not sure I can trust going to BB, CC, or GG for providing a good demo setup.
    EdD
     
  5. Brian_J

    Brian_J Second Unit

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    I prefer the Pioneer 533 and 643 non-elites to other brands by a fair margin. My only problem in comparing thus far is that I have not been able to get one of the new Sony's set up well enough to compare against it and make a definitive judgment. But the Pioneer sets seem more monitor-like with obviously better detail thus far when compared to other sets in the store. Best Buy carries these and you can go there to do some comparisons but make sure all tv's are running the same input and are set up well. Go learn about the best way to set up each tv before making any judgments. At my local BB, they could not get the Sony sets to accept their hidef signal so comparisons were not fair.
    Brian
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    Zed's Dead Baby...
     
  6. Jim Christian

    Jim Christian Stunt Coordinator

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  7. SunilS

    SunilS Agent

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    I looked at all three of these and choose the Toshiba.
    Actually the non elite pioneer.
    I really wanted to buy the Sony
    since I was going to get it at
    dealer cost but, I just couldn't convince myself to do it.
    I went to see it at least 5 times at different stores and the artifacts from the line doubler were just to disturbing. It is better that previous gen sony's, but
    to me
    the artifacts were clearly visible no matter if I choose
    480p or 960i on the DRC settings.
    The toshiba line doubler seemed far superior to the DRC.
    I watched a hockey game off satellite and also 'gladiator'
    on interlaced DVD and both looked good/great.
    On the Sony I saw a number of programs including Mummy returns on interlaced DVD and could clearly see the artifacts on fast moving scenes.
    The pioneer line doubler seemed to be on par with the toshiba, (I only saw it twice) but I just didn't like the overall Colour and Picture quality of the Pioneer, especially on lower quality signals (cable/satellite).
    Sunil
     
  8. Will

    Will Guest

     
  9. Mike-H

    Mike-H Agent

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    My 51HW40 was delivered Saturday. I put it in Pro mode and have done no other adjustments. It looks great! DVD's are awesome and cable is better than I expected. Great out of the box performance. I do have Avia, but have not felt any urgency to use it on this set yet. I did the flash focus, but didn't notice any difference. I guess the convergence was OK before I ran the flash focus.
    My only problem is convincing my SO to keep it. She thinks it is too big. Maybe the more she watches it, the more she will like it.
    Mike
     
  10. EdD

    EdD Agent

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    I think I've settled on the Sony 51hw40. I went in to a pro shop over the weekend and compared the Sony to a Panasonic 47wx49. These were the only two models that they had around 50" but small enough to fit into the space that we have. As mentioned before, my first choice was the 520hd but that's two wide by only one inch. Anyways, they had the Sony hooked up to dvd player using svideo playing TPM. The image was stunning. It was very crisp and "film like". The sales guy then showed us the panny which they were pushing very hard. It was not extremely impressive at first glance but then I found out that it was hooked up through the progressive component input. The room settup and lighting were both better in the Panny setup and the Sony still looked better. The bit that really swayed us was the fact that the Panasonic locks to full in 480p which we ran into during the demo.
    I then went by a GG and looked at the Toshiba next to the Sony. It was more difficult to decide between these. It appeared that the Sony had slightly more even contrast and color across the screen but that may well have been an adjustment problem. I did not notice the Sony to be any "softer" than the Toshiba with any of the DRC modes.
    I've also read on this board and others that Toshibas exhibit a few problems and have been hard to deal with in the past. Is this still the case? Is either Sony or Toshiba tech support significantly better than the other? Does anyone have any experiences or opinions on which is more dependable. The dealer that I talked to said they stopped carrying Toshibas because too many of them were DOA.
    Thanks.
    EdD
     
  11. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    EdD,
    Sony's DRC on the new models looks a lot better than on the previous sets-that blurry softness is gone.
    Maybe try checking around the Toshiba and Sony forums over at Home Theater Spot. The new Tosh's don't seem to have nearly as many DOA problems as in previous generations. There are a couple of threads over there about ghost lines and ringing around dark objects on the Tosh sets, but not everyone has the problem.
    My overall impression is that the Sony seems to need less tweaking.
    In the 3 weeks I've had my HW40, I've had no glitches, no convergence drift, and have felt no need to go into the service menu.
    I spent about half an hour with AVIA when I first got it, and haven't even redone that since the second or third day of use.
    My SO always teases me about constantly adjusting the tv and fussing with settings--with this tv I just sit back and enjoy the show.
    ------------------
    Steve S.
    I prefer not to push the subwoofers until they're properly run in.
     

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