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Toshiba 57HX81 vs Sony 57HW40

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by UdayB, May 14, 2002.

  1. UdayB

    UdayB Auditioning

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    I am a new comer to the home theater arena and am trying to decide between the 57Hx81 and 57HW40.

    Both seem to have a good picture. Are there any gotchas that I need to look for and are there any other options that are as good and can save me some $.

    Also, I am planning on getting it from a local tweeter to make sure that I have good customer support since this is my first venture into this arena. Are these online retailers who have low prices reliable to get similar stuff from ?

    Uday
     
  2. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I've had the Sony since last October and love it. I had originally purchased an Hitachi 53UWX10B, but it did a nasty job of line doubling and lost some resolution due to it's conversion of 480p to 540p. The Toshiba is worse in this respect than the Hitachi, according to Michael TLV.

    The Sony will display 480p from a progressive scan player natively, with no scanrate conversion as on the Tosh, Hitachi, or the new JVCs.

    When I decided to return the Hitachi, I did some research at Home Theater Spot and found many more complaints on the Tosh forum than on the Sony.

    The Sony starts out quite good out of the box and can produce a very nice picture with just an AVIA calibration.

    The set is easily tweakable if you're so inclined, SVM and the as-delivered moderate red push can be easily eliminated completely in the service menu.

    The DRC (line doubling) includes the availability of pulldown for film sourced dvds, so a progressive scan player is not an immediate must-have with this set.

    I also have an HD capable DirecTV stb connected to the set, and it's HD picture is stunning.
     
  3. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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  4. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    since there can be a tremendous difference between an out of the box set and a properly calibrated one, i wouldn't audition a set at any mass market dealer other than to check out features, menus, physical appearance...

    read some reviews, either online or in a magazine. if you can get some back issues of the magazine it can be helpful to read review by the same reviewer on other equipment so you can get a feel for the reviewer.

    there are some ISF techs here and at other forums that can give you answers to specific questions on models, but it's been my experience that they hesitate to recommend a specific brand, i think that that says a lot for their professionalism.
     
  5. Greg Johnson

    Greg Johnson Stunt Coordinator

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    Uday, I purchased a Tosh 57HX81 back in November 2001. Steve is absolutly correct in his previous post about the 540P conversion. You will get a slightly softer picture with DVDs. If you view the Avia test pattern with the 6.75Mhz circle you will see what the 540P conversion does to the resolution.

    When I made my purchase I had narrowed down my choices to the same two sets as this thread. What swayed me to the Toshiba were three things.

    1) The Sony does not allow for individual settings for each input. I felt that was a major drawback to the Tosh.

    2) I liked the theaterwide 1 mode on the Toshiba better than the Sony's stretch mode for 4:3 material. Remember that is just my perception, yours and others may be different.

    3) Price, At the time of my purchase. The Toshiba was 500 dollars cheaper than the Sony. That situation maybe different now.

    Keep in mind also that when you are viewing 1080i material on either one of the sets mentioned. You will be floored by the PQ. That was the real reason I bought my set. I would also suggest that you consider looking at the non elite Pioneer sets. If I was buying a set today that would be on the top of my list of sets to audition. After all is said here only you can make the decision on which set to buy. Right now there is no such thing as a perfect HD ready set. All have their pluses and minuses. Sit down and make yourself a list of what is the most important to you. Do you watch mainly cable, DSS, DVDs or what. If you know going into this what is most important to you. Making a purchase decision is much easier.

    Greg Johnson
     
  6. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    The Hitachi forum over at the Spot is even smaller than the Sony one, but every one of the problems I saw on my Hitachi was reported there, so I don't think sample size is everything.

    What I looked for was the number of different problems commonly reported by a significant number of buyers, taking into account sample size. By this measurement, there are more different types of problems reported by a significant number of Tosh owners than Sony owners, even if you call 5 Sony owners comparable to 20 Tosh owners reporting the same problem, due to a smaller number of Sony owners in total.

    I also took into account how much tweaking seemed to be necessary for Tosh vs Sony, and how easy it was to do it.

    I certainly agree that it's pretty difficult to evaluate sets in stores, unless you can play with the picture controls on different models running the same feed, and even that's iffy.

    One thing I would recommend is that you purchase locally from a store with a good exchange policy, so you can play with the set for a couple of weeks in your own home with your own sources without being irrevocably locked in.
     
  7. Matt Sheeler

    Matt Sheeler Auditioning

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    I have not seen the Toshiba 57hx81, but I have looked at the 43h71 side by side with the Sony kp51hw40, and grant niether was calibrated, but the picture on the Toshiba is far superior to me. Particularly in seens with same color pattern on patterns (I was looking at a scene from "The Gathering Storm" which had a woman whereing a white lace dress). I have not veiwed the Toshiba with a DVD yet, but with 540 progressive from HBO HD, the Toshiba was, as I've said definately better to me.
     
  8. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    I had a Toshiba 50HX81 for 6 months and traded it for a Sony 57HW40, and I simply _love_ the Sony. The Toshiba exhibit some nasty artifacting that looked an awful lot like ringing or edge enhancement. To me, it was just unacceptable. After getting the Sony, I was amazed at just how good an image my DVD player could put out. As others have mentioned, a great picture can be acheived with very little tweaking. In short, I highly recommend the Sony, and I've been telling my friends to avoid the Toshibas.

    -Dave
     
  9. JohnnyG

    JohnnyG Screenwriter

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  10. Brajesh Upadhyay

    Brajesh Upadhyay Supporting Actor

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    JohnnyG, thanks for that link. Based on pros/cons I've read about for Tosh vs. Sony 57" sets, I'm going with the Tosh 57" (even with its lack of 480p native pass through).
     
  11. ArnaudP

    ArnaudP Stunt Coordinator

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    Audio Video Interiors (July 2002 issue) has a very positive review for the Toshiba 57HX81.
     
  12. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    Before a Toshiba purchase, I would recommend checking out the threads regarding "ghosting" over at HomeTheaterSpot, such as this one, and this information page. Some people don't see the issue, but it was immediately apparent on my set.
    -Dave
     
  13. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    The link JohnnyG posted would seem to be irrelevent to this discussion, as it's a review of the Sony KDP-57XBR2, not the 57HW40. The 57XBR2 is indeed a much more expensive unit, but the 57HW40 is very price competitive now with the Tosh.
     

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