Pros Best rear-projection TV in its class (based on quality, price and reliability)
Cons Recalibration necessary on some TVs for non HD resolution output
Summary I spent months looking at all different kinds of technologies (3 primary: plasma, lcd and dlp) and finally decided on getting an lcd rear projection mainly due to price. Simply put: if you aren't going to hang your TV on a wall, you can save yourself a lot of money and buy a much bigger TV by choosing a high quality rear projection TV (versus a flat panel TV) and have similar quality in terms of TV performance. By the way, the new rear projection TVs as of late have gotten much thinner. After months of research I found out that the 3 best brands in the rear-projection market are Sony, Samsung and Mitsubishi hands down (in that order). I had a tough choice choosing between Sony's 3LCD Technology and Samsung's superior DLP Technology (actually the DLP Technology is really Texas Instruments technology, but Samsung leverages TI's chips the best). I decided to go with Sony because its LCD RP-TVs are slightly sharper and brighter than all the rest of its competitors.
By the way if you are deciding between the Sony 50" LCD-RP TV (KDFE50A10) and the Sony 55" LCD-RP TV (KDFE55A20) you should DEFINITELY get the 50 incher. Why? Because for some strange reason Sony took off 1 less video input on the 55 incher and also did not include the PC input that the 50 incher comes standard with. Not to mention since both the 50" and 55" have a native resolution output of 1280 x 720 the lines are more spread out on the 55" and it does not look as crisp as the 50". Plus the 55" TV has the speakers on the side which makes it wider (if you prefer that look).
Out of the box the KDFE50A10 is truly amazing when looking at HD channels. The recalibration that reviews have mentioned are pointing towards the the standard digital TV channels that push a 480 line resolution output. The HD function on this TV looks so awesome that when flipping to a non-HD channel you can definitely tell the difference. A THX recalibration DVD will improve the calibration on the TV marginally (enough so you can barely notice an improvement)... but won't get you the desired picture an enthusiast desires. Paying for a professional recalibration service will definitely pay dividends to a certain extent (you have to keep in mind that HD is meant to be a more awesome picture than standard digital TV picture qualities... so of course you will see a difference). The question you have to ask yourself is do you want to pay an extra $200 to improve the regular channels by say 30%? Up to you.
In conclusion, this TV is the best bang for the buck out on the rear projection market. No other 720 resolution ouput TV will compare to this one. If you are TRULY a fanatic I suggest moving up to the 1080 resolution output market and shelling out that extra $1500-$2000. But then again if you are paying $4000 for a TV you might as well just buy a flat panel.
Pros This HDTV has a beautiful picture. The black levels are very good compared to similarly priced sets. The on-screen guide is extremely helpful in setting up the TV.
Cons Picture is very poor out of the box. Alot of adjustment is required to make this set live up to its full potential. No split screen.
Summary I purchased this TV from a local appliance store for $2030.00, so shop around. Out of the box, the picture is poor, but once adjusted the HD viewing is amazing! The HDMI connection provides seemless viewing pleasure and the inputs/outputs are available for almost anything. I would buy this TV again in a heartbeat!
Pros Picture quality, PC input
Cons Could use a couple more outputs, sound quality doesn't match the picture quality
Summary This is an amazing TV!
For the KDF-E50A10 TV I paid $2050 (including shipping, no tax from the Sony Authorized Internet Retailer selling it the cheapest), and I bought the matching SU-RG11M Sony stand from Circuit City for $299 (that's their web-only price, and I'll also get a $29.90 gift card rebate from CC). The stand fits the TV perfectly and is beautifully designed and built, so I'm glad I got it instead of a generic one. I'm using the stand's center channel speaker shelf for my satellite tuner box.
One thing that's great about this set is that there isn't a large overbearing frame around the picture (unlike last year's 50" Sony LCD TV). Progressive scan DVD content via component inputs is stunning, as is HD over-the-air broadcast material. DirecTV standard definition content via S-video input is very clear as well and I have no complaints with it (some day when DirecTV offers more HD content I'll spring for a new dish and tuner box, but that seems unnecessary given the current lack of DirecTV HD programming).
I evaluated the picture with a THX calibration DVD and found that the out-of-the-box settings were almost exactly where they should have been. I hooked up my laptop to the PC display input, attached a wireless mouse and keyboard, and have really enjoyed using the set as a computer monitor.
Sound through the built-in speakers is adequate, but I've experimented with a set of computer speakers and subwoofer hooked up externally and am pleased with the results so far. As always, the Sony remote control is easy to use and makes intuitive sense.
My only complaint is that I wish there was another set of line out RCA jacks or a headphone jack.
Overall I'd say the set looks even better than it did in the store where I first saw it. I would buy this TV again in about 2 seconds, especially for the price.Updated
I recently bought an upscaling Sony DVD player and connected it via the HDMI input on the set. The picture is even better than via component inputs I'd been using previously with a non-upscaling DVD player.
Pros HD sources look awesome
Cons Constantly messing with color, contrast etc
Summary Hi All,
Im hoping you can help me with this problem or direct me somewhere that could.
Just received this TV as an engagement gift and am having a very tough time with the Video Settings. The out-of-box performance on this set is just awful. I have Time Warner Digital Cable and the Scientific Atlanta HD-DVR box. The HD channels, HDNET etc, look great but the regular channels looks so grainy and messed up. Is this just the way projection TVs are with regular channels?
I've tried the THX optimizer from one of the DVDs and DVDs I think look fine. I realize that this TV is primarily for HD sources but theres gotta be something to fix how grainy and boxy these channels are. I've heard alot about professional calibration and different calibration dvds, can anybody recommend one or someone, i'm in Queens New York.
Has anybody else experienced this problem, does anybody else have this TV?
Thanks guys, anything you can suggest I'd really appreciate.
Pros Attractive looks -Sad but this is its strong suit
Cons Image quality is annoying and sub-par for HD
Summary I originally purchased the KDF-E60A20, but it was sadly, simply too big since we were viewing it from about only 7.5 feet away in a room of only 11 feet by 12 feet. So I thought surely the 50 inch image would be MUCH sharper (Since I love a mathematical challenge, I even went so far as to calculate the average pixel count per square inch on the 2 models). Boy I was wrong. I'm now stuck with a TV I am really mad about buying, and I've past the 30 day money back guarantee.
The problems I have have are several;
1. Non-HD contect is terrible, no ifs ands or buts and there is nothing, and I maean nothing you can do about it, but that;s ok, because I have no plans to watch non-HD on this TV, I got it for HD, and dvd's.
2. this TV lacks the edge enhancement defeat which it's 60 brother had, that was very handy for elimination of double edges, especially when watching footbal in HD.
3. this is the worst item; when viewing HD over the air through the built in tuner (a strong plus), I see noticable digital artificat even when the source is 720p. This is very very vrey dissapointing. This did not occur in HD on the 60 inch, which I now regret sending back.
4. On the plus side, I have a very high quality Denon 2910 DVD player, and watch DVD's through it's DVI-HDMI outputs into the TV's HDMI. The TV does a nice job of film like presentation of the source material.
5. Red push is awful as is color processing.
6. I have spent over 2 days tweeking the heck out the image, so far, the best I got was am image that was average. For now, I suggest anyone who owns this TV, to wait at least 100 hours of burn in time, and then invest in calibration disks to tweek it after it is broken in. In the mean time, if anyone comes accross how to make this TV's image better, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASe let me know.
Good luck all.
SD in Chicago