KDS-55A2000 - In a state of shock

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by mart.stokes, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. mart.stokes

    mart.stokes
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    Okay, after reading this part of Avforums for a while, pondering the situation, asking you guys a few questions and knowing at some point I would need to replace my trusty 8 year old Pioneer SD-T50W1; my KDS-55A2000 arrived yesterday. Although I didn't get it as cheap as some because I used a local retailer in Shrewsbury (who, in relative terms, still did me an excellent deal) I was happy that not only did they deliver the thing, they had already constructed the stand and sent two guys to carry it into the house and put it on the stand (I could have paid extra for full installation, but I had a lot of equipment to move into the stand and rewire, which I would prefer to do myself). However, the guys were still enthusiastic enough to drink a coffee and make certain the thing worked okay with my new Sky HD box. Well, even they were impressed, the one in their shop is only showing SD at the moment, I think that might change soon. Anyway, thanks to SMC for getting the telly for me and their excellent service so far.

    So, what's the first thing you do when you get a KDS-55A2000? That's right, throw in Tarbat's settings and start from there. My wife was even shocked to discover me watching Manchester United on Sky Sports HD later in the afternoon, I have not watched a league football game for about twenty years. it's difficult not to slobber when your jaw is sitting on the floor, so we may now need to get the carpet cleaned. As the day wore on, the important thing was to seek out HD content, whatever it was!

    So, after a mere 24 hours, what do I think about some of the many observations made on this forum?

    Colour uniformity, this is good, it is NOT perfect. But it certainly kicks the backside of my previous telly and is as good as most LCDs and Plasmas I have seen in shops (I say in shops, because it may be that these things can be set up better than you see in Currys etc.). Anybody who expects to look at a uniform colour (esp. white) on a screen of this type and it be perfect all the way is expecting too much from the technology, I have seen £9k projectors that are less than perfect in this respect.

    Fan noise, the fan noise in power saving mode cannot be detected above the noise of a Sky HD box, my wife's breathing, the central heating pump etc. etc. This is not an issue.

    Colour issues, Tarbat's settings bring the colour under control nicely. It is important to appreciate, as many people have pointed out, that "out of the box" things are not perfect; blond hair looks like it has a green tinge under certain conditions, dark shadows can look slightly blue etc. etc. I wasn't quite certain about Tarbat's settings because of Sony's labels for them (you want us to set the TV to WARM 2????? Are you mad????); however, I now realise that you do what you have to do to get the look you want (which is, hopefully, right), many thanks again to Tarbat. The only change I have made to Tarbat's settings is to lower the contrast a little, I am used to an old fashioned RP set and Tarbat's setting in this area currently seems too bright at the moment. However, and this is very important, Tarbat's settings work together very well, I acknowledge that by lowering the contrast may have other effects on the overall result and I take the blame for that. Overall, I would say the colour is better than my old Pioneer, but I was taken aback by the amount of work required to get it close to being "right".

    Geometry, convergence and focus. After having a 50" 3XCRT RP set, all I can say is that there are no issues worth talking about in this respect. I suspect parts of my screen are a whole pixel out of perfect convergence. I can only laugh about this compared to the 1/8" some areas of my Pioneer were out, despite spending many hours in the service menu getting things as close as possible. The whole geometry thing is pretty damned good, straight lines seem ......well .....straight!!!! Focus is good right into the corners.

    Slope. I reckon if I took a ruler to it I could find a slight slope on mine, it may be a couple of mm away from being perfect. Again, I'm hardly likely to want to touch this.

    Pixels on uniform colour (esp. bright white) sparkling. Okay, I admit it, if I get within two foot of the screen I can notice an effect which I can only assume is what people describe. It was easily cured by sitting my backside back down in my chair about ten foot away.

    While I accept that I could be running back here in a couple of weeks because of an issue (be it green blob, be it the fan has started making a noise, be it that the picture has just become terrible etc.) and I also accept that many people have been very unlucky with their sets and a few are generally not happy with the KDS-55A2000; I think it is the home cinema bargain of the year. Just over £1000 for something like this is just ridiculous, when you consider that my old Pioneer retailed for £4000 8 years ago. The 55A2000 has a few minor foibles (and I am not talking about the actual real issues that people have suffered, I have great sympathy with those guys) but, to be perfectly honest, these sorts of things can exist at £10k+.

    The only issue I did have last night was when watching The Hills Have Eyes on Sky Movies HD, when the scenes went dark the shadows started to "break up" and become very blocky. Bright scenes were perfect (stunning, actually) but dark scenes suffered with this blocking. My hope is that it was a Sky problem, I didn't notice it on anything else.

    Thanks to ALL OF YOU who have contributed recently on the subject of the 55A2000 :smashin:
     
  2. thehughes69

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    great review ther fella

    ive posted elsewhere in the forum and my only real concern prior to purchase is the viewing angle is preety poor (or the one i saw in comet was) whats ur view on that? Also have u found sd sources like sky are a bit overstretched/poor on this size set
     
  3. mart.stokes

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    Good couple of questions. The first one is unfair for me because the viewing angle is certainly better than my old telly and my room is about 11 foot wide by 17 foot long. The TV is located in the middle of one of the shorter (11 foot) walls. In this situation there seems to be no horizontal viewing problem sitting on a sofa placed with its back to and half way along the 17 foot wall. The vertical viewing angle on this set is the restriction, if you stand up near the set (and you have to be close) then the picture suffers, stood up at the other end of the room is not an issue.

    Somebody made an interesting comment in another post about prefering the look of SD through the Scart, instead of HDMI. I played about with this on Sky and discovered there is some level of truth in this, but this may be down to the fact that SD through Scart is, for want of a better term, less sharp. Through HDMI it can look a little processed. However, playing Pirates of the Carribean II on DVD through Scart on RGB was superb. The best SD is the Sky upconverted SD on HD channels (IMHO).

    I watched MotoGP this morning on Eurosport through HDMI and the picture was better than my old Pioneer showed these transmissions, they tend to be a bit soft at the best of times.
     
  4. thehughes69

    thehughes69
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    problem i have is my living room is rectangle in shape, the tv would be set in one corner with 2 couches viewing the tv along the longer walls so the tv would be viewed on an angle and i fear this is where my problem may be. im prob talkin plums tho and i wish there was some sort of try before u buy service so i could set it up and have aplay and send it back if i ddint fancy it :rotfl:

    cant get away with ptting it agains the smaller wall so we could view it straight on as id have to lose a the 1 seat part of the couch and missus wouldnt have it:cool: :rotfl:

    u say tho horizontal doesent suffer but when viewed form the side 15 foot away in comet it did to my eye, but the other lcd/plasmas didnt suffer but im guessin thats the technology involved
     
  5. mart.stokes

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    Okay, I have just done two things.

    1) Ran into the living room, switched the telly on and sat at about 45 degrees to the perpendicular from the screen. If you assume that it goes in a corner and bisects (is that the correct term?) the corner then 45 degrees is about as far as you are likely to be away from the screen (okay the screen is going to sit away from the corner slightly, allowing greater than a 45 degree viewing angle in theory, but you are not going to nail your head to a wall to achieve this). There is a VERY minor overall light fall off and that light fall off is quite constant over the whole screen. You only notice there is a light fall off when you move back to the centre point, it is VERY minor.

    2) Got the instruction book out, the instruction book says 65 degrees either side of the perpendicular from the screen, so further than my experiment.

    I will be honest about this, I believe this sort of light fall off is noticed more in a situation where the TV is driven to a very bright level, like in......... a TV shop!!!! When I first saw the 55A2000 in a Sony Centre at the Trafford Centre I had the same concerns. In a domestic situation (not on a shop floor where you may have 360 degree access and the thing is too bright anyway) it is not an issue at all.
     
  6. thehughes69

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    cheers for that mate uve put my mind at rest may now order the beastie

    would u say tho watchin eastnders 10 foot away on an sd signal is good i only ask my missus will want to know
     
  7. mart.stokes

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    Look, I am prepared to do many things in life to help people, but I will NOT, I repeat NOT, watch Dot Cotton for NOBODY :mad:

    :D Seriously, it will be fine. I am no expert, but stuff videoed for UK TV transmission tends to look good, stuff such as Eastenders, Corrie, Crossroads (Oops, showing my age there!) etc. Obviously not as good as HD, but it will be more than acceptable. I came out with something to myself last night to describe the difference between SD and HD on my telly; if you see a full shot of somebody's face on SD then you you can clearly see the whites of their eyes and determine if they are bloodshot or not, the same situation on HD and you can see the actual veins in the whites of their eyes.
     
  8. Tarbat

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    Mart S.
    Glad you liked my settings. As you say, at £1000 this TV really is a great bargain. There's plenty of us on these forums (like me) who paid £2,300 and still think it was a great buy at the time.

    If you're convergence is out by 1 pixel at some point(s) on the screen, you might want to have a go at adjusting it to give a more consistent convergence across the whole screen. I found I could get convergence errors to a lot less than 1 pixel across the whole screen, with the centre of the picture having near-perfect convergence, but you have to compromise.
     
  9. thehughes69

    thehughes69
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    :rotfl: nice 1 mate
     
  10. amadeus

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    Hi Tarbat.

    I would like to add my thanks for all the good work you did in sorting out the settings.
    Now that you have been using it for some time, have you set up different settings for different sources? I would be very interested to know if you have been using it with a HD-DVD player (e.g. Tosh HD-XE1), or Sky HD.

    Amadeus
     
  11. gurka

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    Does anyone have any pointer towards the best shop to get this set from ? John Lewis have removed it from there site or I would of got it from them (with the excellent warrenty), my 32 samsung is just not good enought !!
     
  12. thehughes69

    thehughes69
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  13. onewingedangel

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    Its cheaper from sound and vision when you factor in delivery.

    edit: It looks like its now the same, was £1070 odd yesterday

    also get the insurance from d+g themselves rather than through the retailer - saves you £50 and you don't have to start paying until a year down the line.
     
  14. thehughes69

    thehughes69
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    lol just tried both sound and vision and digital direct adn they were exactly the same £1259.00 witht a 3year guarantee. digital direct is £50 quid cheaper to buy the set bu they charge £50 for delivery and sound and vison dont, sneaky buggers

    ive used digital before and found then very reliable and there staff are very helpful/knowledgeable over the phone

    by the way who are d&g
     
  15. onewingedangel

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    domestic and general - the insurers both sound and vision and digital direct use.
     
  16. Tarbat

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    I use the same settings for SkyHD (HDMI), XB360 (component), and Freeview. It's worth noting that the internal Freeview settings default to VIVID, but looks a lot better using my custom settings. Also worth noting that PAP also defaults to VIVID, and again, worth setting to use the same custom settings.

    I do wonder whether we could tweek the settings better for the internal Freeview tuner, it's nowhere near as good a picture as the SkyHD box.
     
  17. NicolasB

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    It's not "softness", the issue here is deinterlacing. The Sky HD box really can't deinterlace for toffee. And unfortunately it also refuses to produce interlaced SD output via HDMI.

    The best possible option for SD with Sky HD is probably to use a Lumagen video processor which can reprogramme the box's HDMI output to make it produce an interlaced signal, which the Lumagen can then deinterlace and scale for you. You should actually get equally good results with a DVDO IScan VP50 scaler and its PReP feature (which can take a deinterlaced signal and reverse-engineer it to get back to the original interlaced one). Another (expensive!) option is to use a scaler with an SDI input, plus an SDI-modded v1 Sky+ box. (That might be the highest-quality option).

    If you don't own a Lumagen or a VP50 then it gets complicated. The worst option is to use HDMI and have the Sky HD box output resolution set to "automatic". That will give you a 576p signal which looks just awful, especially on video sources. (Better for film). A better choice is to have the box upscale SD to 1080i. (I haven't yet figured out how it is possible for this to look better than 576p, but somehow it does!)

    IMO the best choice of all is to use RGB SCART output and have the 55A2000 do the deinterlacing and scaling for you. Some people might prefer the upscaled option; there's less overscan and potentially less noise too. But personally I think RGB SCART looks better. (I usually keep the contrast on the box set to "low", which may help). I haven't tried SD output via component, but I'm told that RGB SCART is actually better in this case.

    Viewing pre-upscaled material on (say) Sky One HD may or may not look better than having the box upscale. Other things being equal it should look better, but sometimes they mess up the aspect ratio or use a poor quality original, etc.
     
  18. thehughes69

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    its a complicated world this buying a new tv:rotfl:
     
  19. mart.stokes

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    I agree, I have my HD box set to 1080i output and this seems better than letting the "auto" kick in and output SD in 576p. Also, you don't have the 55A2000 spending time itself switching between the modes. The difference became so obvious during my testing that I assumed I was doing something wrong.
     
  20. NicolasB

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    Well, the SCART/HDMI business is 100% Sky's fault. They could very easily allow the box to produce interlaced SD output via HDMI if they wanted to, but they have chosen not to.

    Or, I suppose it could be the fault of the manufacturer of the Sky HD box (Thomson).
     
  21. mart.stokes

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    In many ways, ignorance IS bliss. I believe it is wrong when you have to rely upon the likes of Tarbat and NicholasB to get a good picture out of a set such as this. Obviously I and many others are in debt to these guys, but I just worry about your average Joe who just wants to be able to buy a telly, plug it in and watch the best quality possible. He would be urinating in the wind. Okay, okay, you start buying very specialist gear and the situation is different, but the 55A2000 is pretty much a mainstream product.

    Am I wrong in this view? Or should everybody who buys a telly be prepared to call in an ISF technician?
     
  22. Tarbat

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    I reckon you can get 90% out of this TV without specialist calibration. As long as the average user changes from the terrible "VIVID" settings to a "CUSTOM" setting with a WARM1 or WARM2 colour temperature, they'll get a very good picture. The adjustments I've made to colours really only squeezes the last 10% out of the TV.

    Yes, what's really needed is for the TV to ask, when first turned on out of the box, "is this TV to be used on a shop-floor or in the home". For the shop-floor, VIVID gives the brightest, vivid picture to catch buyers attention. For home use, CUSTOM, with WARM1 colour, gives an excellent picture out of the box.

    And I still use AUTOMATIC on my SkyHD box, I just can't be bothered with SCART leads or having to switch aspect ratios if I use 1080i from the SkyHD box. Sure, the picture suffers from quite a bit of interlace combing on VIDEO material (false film cadence detection), but the SkyHD box appears to do an excellent job on film based material. It depends on what your priorities are. For us, movies is the number 1 priority.
     
  23. NicolasB

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    Well... on the whole I agree with you. It would be great if TVs just worked; or, failing that, if they came with their own auto-calibration systems (in the same way that many home cinema audio systems now do all of the speaker distance and loudness setup automagically).

    However, the ultimate blame here rests with the stupid consumer; not stupid as in "unable to set up a modern TV" but stupid as in "cares more about a TV that is flat than a TV that has a good picture". If people actually cared about the quality of a TV picture, manufacturers simply couldn't get away with this.

    In fact, if people cared more about the picture than they cared about what the TV cabinet looks like, we probably would never have shifted away from CRT technology to LCD and plasma, and getting a really good picture on CRT is a hell of a lot easier than it is on any of the newer technologies. The manufacturers really had no choice about abandoning CRT because consumers insisted on buying flat-panel devices instead. :mad:
     
  24. HSH

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    Hey Guys,

    Tarbat..... I was wondering if you have compared your settings with the ones the Cnet guys used.

    http://help.cnet.com/9602-12576_39-0.html?messageID=2506536&tag=tip-2506536-search

    If so how do they compare?

    I have already decided to buy this TV, it is now just a question of where from? Anybody offer any friendly advice on the best place to buy. PRC and Digital Direct seem to have the best price but I have no experience with them. Anybody know anything that help me out?

    Also did anybody bother with the extended warranty?
     
  25. Tarbat

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    Three problems with the Cnet settings:
    1. These are for the US TV, which doesn't have the Bravia Pro engine.
    2. I reckon the white balance adjustments vary between individual sets, so even my settings are really only a start point for others to adjust their own sets.
    3. Just the setting of "advance iris = MIN" put me off these Cnet settings when I first saw them. Maybe okay for their "completely dark room", but not for average room brightness. Or maybe they hadn't turned power saving on, so needed to close the iris down. Much better to turn ON power saving and open up the iris IMO.

    Got a 5 year extended warranty from Sony Centre. I reckon it's well worth getting an extended warranty with this TV, given the technology involved (SXRD chips, optical block, etc.)
     
  26. thehughes69

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    ive used digital direct a few times and they are fast and reliable and their staff are fairly knowledgeable which is unusual
     
  27. NicolasB

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    I usually use "MIN" as my iris setting. I find "Auto2" is absolutely blinding if I'm watching in artificial light. (In bright daylight when I can't be bothered to draw the curtains I use "Max" or "Auto 1". :) )

    The one I actually find a little dissapointing about this TV (other the the colour purity) is the black level. It's not that it's bad in comparison with the competition - I imagine most plasmas and probably all LCDs are worse - but I'm so used to CRT black levels that anything else looks like washed-out grey as soon as the lights go down. :(

    Maybe I need more light in my living room. :rolleyes:
     
  28. HSH

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    Excellent Tarbat thanks for that.

    I assume nobody has had to buy a new lamp yet, but has anybody looked into it? They seem very hard to come by in the UK.
     
  29. NicolasB

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    I got mine from PRC. If you go there yourself then for the love of God DO NOT mention my name, or they'll probably throw you out of the store! :eek:

    But, considering the circumstances, I thought their service was quite good. The manager of the Ilford branch, Paul, seems like a decent guy.
     
  30. HSH

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    Why - What happened? :D
     

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