"Excellent Picture, Sometimes"3.0 starson by PJCentral
Pros: Blacks Great, Color Good, Features Excellent
Cons: Gray Scale Not Consistant Across The Screen
Summary: I bought KDS-R50XBR1 just before Christmas '05. This is my first HDTV. As a long time videophile, I wasn't that pleased with prior sets (except CRT) and I waited for the technology to get to where it is today. I needed at least 50" to make it worthwhile. No doubt, DLP just didn't have it and LCD, Plasma either not big enough or not good enough in many important areas. After a lot of patient waiting and research from "experts" who write reviews here and in enthusiast magazines, I was excited that the 2 best TV companies, JVC and Sony, both were consentrating on Lcos. I bought in and decided Sony had what I was looking for, especially 1080p. Finally a large screen can resolve all of 1080i and pixel size is smaller so we can sit closer.
In "Pro" mode and with a little tweaking using my eyes and the Avia test disc, I set up what I felt was the best compromise between HDTV and SDTV viewing using HDMI from Cable DVR and seperately for DVD using Component In. Sony gives us full control using Pro mode and is remembered based on inputs.
Color pictures on good quality DVD are as good as it gets! HD color pictures can sometimes look incredible! Up to a 9.5 out of 10!
Black&White (and in rare cases certain colors)is another story. Areas of the screen change color especially seen in medium to light grays and white. If this was a CRT set, one would say the "color purity" needed adjustment or the set was magnetized. Frankly I'm surprised that no users on CNet, no reviewers here, or in reviews in Sound&Vision and Perfect Vision Magazines commented on this problem. I felt my set was performing like a 7 out of 10 in this regard.
Live Tech at Sony website was helpful, but didn't know enough to understand my problem. By phone I opened a case file and got to a "level 2 tech" who at least can understand my problem. The set was scheduled for a warranty repair in mid January. A technician came in less than a week, replaced a module in my home and the set was now a 6 out of 10. The problem was changed, but made worse, not better. Areas of the screen were different color from before. The technician who came out was courteous, knowledgable, and understanding. No doubt, he felt the picture was unacceptable. He advised me to wait a few weeks to see if the new part would burn in and improve things. 3 weeks later, no change.
I kept calling Sony until I got another service call scheduled. A part was coming from Sony which was supposed to be "tested" first. Late Feb. same guy came, new part, and again effected areas of the screen changed, but now I'm back to 7 out of 10 and not happy. Sony had a customer service rep. call me and he told me this is a small problem, mostly gone unnoticed, and engineering recognizes this is the best the technology can do. I receieve an additional 6 months on my warranty, a promise that my set would get considered if a running change can be made, and he offered to give me my full purchase price back - which I'm still considering.
Sony people were very helpful, and I believe I can't find a better picture, yet, so another set from Sony may not help. JVC uses the same technology so I'll look at one and maybe get a refund to buy it. I'm not sure yet.
Doesn't anyone out there have this defect with their TV?