""Wow" this set is fantastic!"4.5 starson by Rayfarmen
Pros: Great Picture Quality (PQ)
Cons: Price?? - You get what you pay for - I got great PQ
Summary: I purchased a 46xbr2 late last week and installed the set this past weekend. We had company so I didn't have any time to play with any adjustments but wanted to give you my initial impression. First let me describe my TV environment; I sit about 12 – 14 feet from the set, the room is very bright and use TWC as a video source. My first impressions follow:
1. There is no glare! You hear about how LCD minimizes glare but until you actually experience it you have no idea what a difference that makes. This is my first HDTV, I used to have a 27” Panasonic flat screen and the glare on that flat screen was terrible. I was constantly adjusting the blinds in an attempt to minimize the glare on my old Panasonic. With the 46XBR2 I can keep the blinds wide open all the time and there is no glare. This is truly amazing. The glare issue is why I purchased the xbr2 instead of the xbr3 (high gloss bezel). You can see some glare in the floating glass but it is far enough away from the picture that it doesn’t bug you.
2. From reading user opinions about SD PQ I was really worried about SD PQ. My wife is pretty picky (she prefers discerning) and I knew that she was going to blast SD PQ. However, when I first turned on the TV a SD program was showing. My wife said, “Wow that is a great picture!” Compared to the old 27” Panasonic it was truly a “wow”. So SD PQ on the 46xbr2 is superior to that on a 27” Panasonic CRT.
3. After playing around with the new remote we found the HDTV channels and were totally blown away. The PQ is spectacular and this was without making any adjustments to the TV settings.
5. Wow, are the blacks ever black!
4. I also purchased a new DVD player that can up convert movies to either 720p or 1080i. Once again, we were blown away by the PQ from the DVD player. In fact, it is hard to imagine that a blu-ray player could be any better.
5. After experiencing the spectacular PQ of HDTV it is true that SD PQ stinks. Please keep in mind that while SD sticks it was still better PQ than my old 27” Panasonic.
6. I have a big 2-story living room and the audio from my old 27” Panasonic had a hard time filling up that space. The audio from the speakers on the 46xbr2 are very-very good and do a great job of filling up the space in my cavernous living room. I do not feel any need to rush out and purchase a new audio system to replace the xbr2 audio. In fact, if I wait there is no doubt that Sony will be introducing a blu-ray dream system.
I hooked up my TWC HD-DVR with both component and HDMI cables so that I could compare the PQ between these two cables on both SD and HD channels. We couldn’t tell any difference in HD PQ between component and HDMI cables. However, SD PQ was sharper when viewed via HDMI.
In conclusion, for a casual TV viewer and non-geek the PQ of the xbr2 for both SD and HD was awesome. Could I have gotten the same “wow” factor with a 720p set for watching SDTV, HDTV and non-blu-ray DVD movies? I don’t know, and I don’t care because I am very happy with the PQ of the 46xbr2. Who knows there might be a blu-ray player in my future?
P.S. Is bigger better? When my wife and I were looking at these sets in stores she wanted me to get the 40xbr2 and not wait for the 46xbr2. She also thought that the 40” set would look better than the 46” set in our living room. When I installed the 46” set my wife’s first comment was “that looks ridiculous, because it is too big”. After watching TV for a couple of days she said “I’m glad we didn’t get the 40” and wonder if we should have gotten a bigger set!” I sure am glad that I’m 6’6” or maybe she’d want to trade me in for a “bigger” model!