Pros image quality for DVD and HD; inputs; wide range of adjustments
Cons damn good blacks/shadows but still not as good as the best CRTs
Summary I'm a super-picky videophile. Have waited YEARS for an HD display good enough to spend money on. This is the first one I've seen that is "worthy". I' not willing to deal with a projector and screen, so I've been watching rear projection technology get better for the last 10+ years.
Personally, I don't think the A2000 is 'just as good' as the XBR2 - I played with an A2000 for 2 hours and never got images as good as the XBR2 within 10 minutes of adjusiting the XBR2.
The comments about standard def not being good but not great... I guess I can't blame the XBR2, when you look at how bad the SD images are from cable, satellite or broadcast on an SD TV, they look at least that good or better on the XBR2. Decent quality SD images like some of the colorful scenery shots in "Survivor" are really good. But cable and satellite compress the crap out of SD which is quite obvious when you look at the MPEG artifacts that are all over the place. Once those compression artifacts are there, I think it's not realistic to expect a TV to be able to do a whole heck of a lot with them. There aren't many SD cable or satellite channels with decent image quality and the ones there are vary from provider to provider.
Anybody with a 60" TV this good should be sitting about 9 feet away to get the full effect of the large screen. If you're a little farther back... MOVE IN. You'll freak out! Standard def will look worse (oh well!) but HD will knock your socks off. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", the Spiderman movies, "A Shark's Tale", "Finding Nemo", and "Batman Begins" are just awesome in 1080 HD sitting 9 feet back.
If you have local HD channels, you'll find the broadcast channels look better over an antenna than they do over cable or satellite. I noticed this one night while Tonight/Jay Leno was on. Over the antenna the image quality nearly brought tears to my eyes while the Cable TV box (a newer Motorola with HD DVR) produced merely great HD images. Can't wait for 1080p Blu-Ray to get down to $500 foor a player! Also can't wait for Cable TV and satellite providers to STOP COMPRESSING HD altogether, the results are subtly softer HD images. Time-Warner (Rochester NY) compressed HD more and more every time they added a new HD channel. Their HD service started out amazingly good when there were just 3 HD channels. As they crept up to 9 HD channels, all of them started looking more like DVD+ than true HD... kind of annoying.
Early experimenting indicates that SD programming looks better via component video (from Cable TV box) than SD looks via HDMI (from the Cable TV box). May not be worth it to everybody to have component and HDMI connections from a cable or satellite box, but worth trying to see if it does anything worthwhile for you. One advantage of this setup... it allows you to use different setups for the HDMI and component inputs so you can 'tune' the picture for HDTV on HDMI and use different tuning settings for the component input that are a better match for the Standard Def programming.
Pros HD quality; SD quality; spare lamp;
Cons Side speakers
Summary I upgrade from the a2000 and I must say that this TV is as advertised. HD and SD is better due to the drc 2.5 processing. The brighter lamp also seems to bring out more detail in the picture. VERY happy so far. Highly recommmended.
Pros life-like picture, easy set-up
Cons would prefer detachable speakers like on 70, sd blurry, picture and picture limitations
Summary I've had this TV for a few weeks and absolutely LOVE it. For HD content, the picture is the best I've seen. Felt like I was in the stands at the World Series (there is NO WAY HD viewers are buying the story that the sticky mess on the pitcher's hand was dirt) and football on ESPNHD is incredible. Friends have been inviting themselves over for Monday night football.
With the size (and the stark contrast with the awesome HD picture), SD stations are only marginally acceptable. I find myself using the picture and picture feature to shrink SD to reduce the blur a bit. Still, I see that as more of a programming issue and less of a hardware issue.
The picture and picture (P&P) feature hasn't been particularly user friendly. I haven't figured out how to watch two programs at the same time using P&P. When searching for the second input, for some reason, the options have excluded the second tuner and the dvd player. So far, I've only been able to simultaneously view a tv program and a video game (or a dvd played in the video game console instead of a stand-alone dvd player). Could be "user error," could be the tuner, or could be the tv.... at a minimum, the P&P feature has not been user friendly. Still, all-in-all, I've been EXTREMELY happy with this TV.
Pros Gorgeous picture, size, features
Cons Complexity, high price
Summary I had purchased the 60" A2000 at Sears for $1995. But then I saw the 70" XBR2 in another store and decided to cancel the A2000. I paid $4500 at the local store for the 70" Grand Wega XBR2 which is comparable when shipping is included, to most but not all on-line dealers . Also included in that price is a 5-year GE warranty.
Once I got this baby home, I needed two friends to help unpack and place it on a Bell O' stand. The Sony stand is overpriced and is too low; it can only hold a few components and is not worth the extra cost.
I hooked her up to my new TiVo Series 3 HD THX DVR (with it's two CableCards), LG HD upconvert DVD recorder, PlayStation 3 with Blu-Ray, and my Toshiba Qosmio 650 HD laptop, and finally a new Pioneer THX 7.1 A/V system. Yes, this gives me both HD and Blu-Ray, albeit in a somewhat complex set-up. I utilized gold HDMI cables either provided (two) or purchased from the web for about $22.00 each--don't pay the absurd store prices for these cables--around $100 to $120 each.
All of my components except the LG (not reviewed but received good consumer ratings) were top-rated from CNET. Once I got all of the connections made and fired her up, look out! The TiVo HD on the Sony is spectacular! The DVD's look amazing. I do not yet have a PSP3 game yet but I will on the 25th. My Qosmio looks awesome using a DVI (adaptor) via the HDMI connection. The web across 70" of beautiful picture. Stunning.
Very impressed so far. I am far from wealthy--I will take a couple of years to get this stuff paid off but now I have a dream home theater and entertainment system, all anchored around the Sony 70 XBR2. Shop for the best price, check the BBB (www.BBB.org)on any merchant you might purchase from. Most, if not all of the lowest priced merchants have bad ratings and should be avoided. Do not reward these bottom dwellers. My dealer agreed to match the shipping price from the only on-line retailer that did not have a bad BBB rating.
Very happy so far--great picture, great features, and a beautiful cabinet that looks great in my living room.
Pros 1080P res, Great viewing angle, Fluid motion onscreen Big Screen size and best Value
Cons No 1080p input acceptance on vga cable! Oversaturated reds. other colors vivid but slightly off.
Summary Been researchin this tv since the technology appeared in the 25,000 dollar front projector model. I was esctatic when they finally brought the prices down to earth for us non extremely wealthy or spoiled folks.
Last years model was great but too many bugs and a steep price still kept me from buying so I waited for this years model and let me tell you it was worth it.
First the improvements are minimal in pic quality but the added assurance of build quality makes up for it. This thing is built solid but is still very light and thin for the size.
I gotta say the minor complaints with the pic quality like inacurate colors and shimmering whites and a little overscan. But those annoyances still dont dent the fact that youll be buying the best technology for picture quality availible right now.
This type of television is perfect for people who watch all types of TV and have the space and for people who love games and computers. The feature set is awesome but the limited Vga input bothers me and people with Pcs and and Xbox wont be able to see this TV in its full glory due to sony's laziness.
So in summary people GET THIS TV! No one will regret it I promise you