Good black levels for a LCD projection TV...
Slow to turn back on, noisy fan, only two HDMI conxtns.
I did quite a bit of research when I went to buy a new TV. After looking at plasmas (didn't like the burn in issue, had problems with seeing 'ghosting' on white on black images, too much glare off the shiny screen), then checking out LCD's (the black ... Read full review
I did quite a bit of research when I went to buy a new TV. After looking at plasmas (didn't like the burn in issue, had problems with seeing 'ghosting' on white on black images, too much glare off the shiny screen), then checking out LCD's (the black just still isn't there for me, I watch a lot of dark movies and I want a deep pitch black). I'm picky but since I'm dropping a good dime for a new TV I figure should be.
I finally settled on getting a DLP since the contrast was the best I saw without the problems I encountered with others.
I bought a 50" Toshiba DLP 720p, I absolutely love this TV... Unfortunately I am one of the unlucky few that can see the 'rainbow effect'. Anytime the image pans rapidly while showing a scene with bright whites and dark colors I see a rainbow chasing the white. My girlfriend and everyone else who's seen the TV doesn't see it and thinks it's an awesome picture.
It's bad enough that I went back to Ultimate Electronics and bought the 50" Sony Bravia LCD projection TV. It's different from the Toshiba in that it uses LCD's instead of a spinning color wheel to generate color and it's the color wheel that creates the 'rainbow effect'.
I kept the Toshiba to compare the two side by side and have been watching them closely side by side to see which is a better TV. The issue for me is wether I want to sacrifice a dark black for a rainbow effect on certain media.
The Sony is a higher resolution TV, 1080P instead of the Toshiba's 720p, however on all the media I have ran on both I can't really tell the difference. Only time I can tell is on a freeze frame when I walk up to the two screens and eyeball them from a couple inches away. I don't have a blue-ray or HD DVD so this might make a difference but on a regular HD broadcast you honestly can't tell.
But anyways, on the performance of the Sony... it's got a pretty darn good picture though I did have to adjust the picture settings to get it to look close to as good as the Toshiba's factory defaults and I ended up maxing out the contrast and fattening up the black level as well to get it there but that's to be expected. The current LCD projection technology cannot yet produce as dark of a black as a DLP.
But this Sony comes pretty close, only thing is that it seems to be a comprimise because by the time you get the black dark enough to truly be acceptable you start losing some of the definition in parts of the image that are in shadows. A corridor scene in a monster movie that is encased in true black looks great on both TV's but on the Toshiba you can see into the shadows where on the Sony it's too dark and undefined to make out. If you lighten up the picture enough to get the definition back you lose the black level that makes the movie 'snap'. In my opinion anyway.
The rest of the negatives...
I live at a high altitude, the Sony gives you the option of setting it up for high altitude but this makes the fan run faster and it sounds like the furnace is running or the wind is blowing outside, distracting on quiet movies.
Also one irritating thing is when you turn the Sony off, it takes almost a minute or two to turn back on. Sucks when you (or your dog) accidentally bumps the remote during the good part of a broadcast or DVD.
The Toshiba has a instant-restart feature that keeps the TV ready to come right back on for up to at least 3-5 minutes of after you shutting it down.
Much, much better remote and on-screen TV controls than the Toshiba. Toshiba controls make you work for it with silly menus while the Sony has a much simpler, easier to grasp method of doing things. Also the remote is has less buttons making it easier to use in the dark. The Toshiba's remote is full of small buttons that take forever to get used to and lack a lot of the control the Sony's do.
Also the sound is significantly better... I can't imagine using the Toshibas sound system alone. I have a separate surround system like I suspect most will utilize as well but with the Toshiba it's needed, the Sony does well enough that if you wanted to be cheap you could get by and not really be bothered too much my it.
So in a nutshell, I would have to say that if I had to pick the better TV, I would have to say it's the Toshiba based on overall picture. The Sony comes in a very, very close second but only because it can't quite reach the black levels and overall contrast that I see out of the Toshibas DLP.
However the big thing for me is that I see rainbows out of the Toshiba and don't see them out of the Sony. I'm probably going to return the Toshiba (sadly..) and keep the Sony but if you don't see the rainbows... get the Toshiba....