"The mountaintop of television viewing"4.5 starson by 3candine
Pros: The best fast action, realistic, color optimized set I have ever seen
Cons: speakers are best at the bottom of the set rather than the side. Price? Debatable,
Summary: I was truly stuck on deciding between the XBR8 and the Elite. I'd watch the XBR in store #1 and be prepared to write a cheque. Then i'd go to store #2 and watch the Pioneer, and of course be ready to write a cheque. THEN, I found a store which carried both, with an almost side by side comparison, where I could actually see the difference between the two sets. At this price, a side by side is mandatory even if i'd been an XBR fan for two decades. Subjectively, they're both incredible by delivering the best that either technology has to offer as of todays date. When viewing a satellite fed movie, the Pioneer drew me closer in with its warmer, almost spooky realism to colour (especially skin tones) and almost 3-D like rendering. The Sony was incredible, but to my eye, not quite as good. Then we watched a series of competitors motorbike jumping outdoors, and owning an XBR LCD I was quite aware of the limitations with my set as it related to "fast movement". On the XBR8, it was difficult to tell the difference with the Pioneer no matter how hard i looked. Damn... this was getting ridiculous. Then, being the affable snow creature from the great white North, something close to my heart was tuned in on the satellite.... a hockey game! I resisted the temptation to light up a players and crack a molson, and sat down to make what was to be my final decision. Colour, ambiance, warmth, realism, 3-D effect, and especially the fast movement and detail I experienced with the Pioneer won me over. In my opinion, the Pioneer outshone the XBR in all categories that i feel are important to great TV entertainment. this is not to say the XBR was bad, it just took a side by side comparison to show the true superiority of Pioneer. Blue ray was scary on both, but again, the warmth of the Pioneer made me want to sit down and watch movies all freakin day, much to the dismay of the salesperson who'd thought I would never leave ...... but i did ...... AND I wrote a cheque for the Pioneer. if you have a discerning eye, and you feel the kids college fund is just not that important, buy this set knowing its probably the best there is out there ... today.