Fade2Black: Thank you for your comments. I tried finding the Perfect Vision mag, but the local Barnes & Noble had the Nov/Dec issue, not the Jan/Feb issue that has the review of the 55XS955. Can you tell me how it rated as compared to the Toshiba? I am wondering what kind of rating the 55XS955 received from the mag.
Joined: Dec 04, 2004
From: The Black Hole Of Cygnas X-1
Posted: 2004-12-24 09:24
Sony KDF 55XS955 Thumbs up for-
Unusually bright clean picture
Stunning picture potential
Highly tweakable user menu
Excellent built in HD tuner picture
Thumbs down for-
Soft analog cable picture
Poor grayscale calibration as delivered
"Sony's latest Grand Wega is a worthy successor to a line of LCD RPTVs with a big and loyal following. Technically, it has few flaws, and its list of strength's and advantages over older technologies is impressive. It looks significantly better than last years models."
"For bright programming and a brightly lit room you'll have a hard time doing better no matter how much you pay. Its HDMI performance is a standout, and even its built in digital tuner makes some pretty incredible high definition pictures."
"clearly this Sony is one to audition if your looking for a fully loaded big screen at a reasonable price. Definitely recommended after calibration. Your just not gonna believe Monday Night Football!"
Fade2Black: Thanks so much for providing me with the Perfect Vision review. They clearly loved the set. I have watched Monday Night Football on the TV and it is absolutely stunning. It feels like you are right there in the stadium. Let me know if you end up getting the XS and what screen size. I would love the 60 in, but the 55 in is also very nice.
Yeah thanks for that review info. I looked all over for that issue but its not out yet. I have the KDF-55XS955 about 3 weeks old. I love it. HD is fantastic. Hard to believe we have been watching what we have been watching.Not using any setup boxes yet, but do get 80 channels with basic/standard service. Will use the cablecard once Comcast figures out how to use it or improve the service at their end.I really like the speker set up on this set.
Joined: Dec 28, 2004
From: Naperville, IL
Posted: 2004-12-28 00:14
Jagster1: So what did you decide? I have been monitoring this site for some time, deciding which set to go with, and trying to figure out where I should buy it, which stand to use, etc. I was also deciding betwen the 55WF655 and the 55XS955, and am leaning towards the XS. I am interested to know where you finally purchased your set. If you do not mind, I would like to follow up on your decision and contact them myself.
Hi Jdellman: I have been going through a long and hard process in trying to make the decision of what to buy, where to buy and if I should buy. I finally made the decision to purchase the Sony 55XS955 model. The reason I chose this model over the WF series is that I really liked the look of the set, with the extended speakers, but more importantly, I really liked the picture adjustments you can make in the Pro mode. I spent some time with the XS and adjusted the gamma, black level, while level, detail enhancer, in the Pro mode and you could really fine tune the picture. This is not possible on the WF series. I also like the fact you get a second HDMI input, which I think will come in handy when either the PS3 (I assume it will have a HDMI output) and HD DVD player come out. By the way, the Live Color that is available with the XS that is supposed to enhance the blues and greens, does not in real life situations do much to the color. There is a demo mode you can activate via the menu to demonstrate "Live Color". I did notice a few times where the blues, like in the sky, were bluer, but for the most part I could not tell any difference. The XS also has a better anti-reflective screen than the WF series. I tested this by looking at a XS and WF that were sitting side-by-side, and it was clear that the XS has less reflection in the screen. If you have a bright room, then the XS would be better at reducing the reflections.
So in summary, I like the XS series for the following reasons: 1. Incredible video adjustments available in Pro mode 2. Second HDMI Input 3. Styling 4. Better anti-reflective screen 5. Better speaker system (though intend to listen through my stereo system, so this is not as important).
If you are interested in reading a review of the 55XS955 the Jan/Feb issue of Perfect Vision magazine has a great review. I just picked this up at my local Barnes & Noble. Without going in to the entire article, the reviewer really liked the 55XS955 and had this to say in his summary:
-Unusually bright, clean picture -Stunning picture potential -Highly tweakable User Menu -Excellent built-in HD-tuner picture
On the down side he mentioned: -Soft analog-cable picture -Poor grayscale calibration as delivered (but you can adjust this) -Marginal blacks (this is true for all LCD RPT, but he did say that the blacks on this set approach that of DLPs and is quite good)
In regards to the screen size, I am choosing the 55-in. because for one, the more I looked at my room, the more I thought a 55-in would be plenty big. I currently have 15 year old 27-in Panny that is dying. So stepping up to a 55-in will be a huge jump. The other reason I chose the 55-in is price. I don't know why, but this week I saw the 55XS drop in price at one of my local retailers. Nebraska Furniture Mart dropped the price of the 55XS955 to $2,949. That price is even lower than the 55-in WF at the store. Go figure. Anyway, I went into my local Circuit City and told them of that price and the said they would not only meet it, but beat it by $50. So they quoted me a price of $2,899. I think this is a very good price for this set. Plus, Circuit City is currently offering the Sony 18 months, no interest, no payments. A great deal. You get to keep you money, drawing interest, while you are watching a great TV. You may want to go into you local CC and tell them of this deal and see if they would be willing to do the same for you. My local CC really wants to move TVs and are willing to bargain. I will not buy the CC extended warranty because it is $600 on this set, and even though it includes bulb replacement, paying that much for a warranty goes against my better judgment. I will most likely invest in a Repair Master warranty that you can purchase online for around $200 for a 4 yr. extended warranty. No bulb coverage, but it is a lot cheaper than the CC warranty.
As for the stand, I finally decided against the Sony matching stand, the GU-12. It retails for $799, and though Crutchfield was (they no longer are doing this) throwing in the stand for free, in the end I just did not like the Sony stand. For one, it sits very low (only 17-in high) and it would have been hard to fit all of my audio/video equipment into it. I have not decided on the exact stand, but I am leaning towards either the Bush VS 74337 (check Best Buy's web site as they have it on sale for around $287) or the Tech Craft equivalent which you can get at CC. In fact CC is running a very good sale on their web site of TV stands. They have some excellent stands including the Tech Craft PTV582 going for $209 (a $90 savings). Both the Bush and Tech Craft are 58-in in width and come with two glass shelves, so you can stack your equipment. I really like both of them (they are basically identical). I just need to measure the Tech Craft to see if my equipment would fit. I have measured the Bush and all of my equipment would fit.
Well that's where I am. Hope I have help you some and not added to your confusion on what to do. I would certainly check out CC and ask them to give you the price I am getting and go with the Sony financing if that interests you. Let me know what you decide as it sounds like we both have been going through the same agonizing process of deciding what is the best TV to buy.
[ This message was edited by: Jagster1 on 2004-12-29 21:46 ]
Joined: Dec 28, 2004
From: Naperville, IL
Posted: 2004-12-29 23:20
Jagster1: Thank you for the reply. I appreciate the input, especially after you purchased the set. I also noticed that in the last few days, Sony has dropped their prices on the sets I was watching. The local CC currently has the best prices, $2999 for the 55WF655 and $3099 for the 55XS955. I went there because of the financing, and intended to purchase a set. There happened to be a "off duty" CC employee from another store (go figure) and he tried talking me into the Samsung DLP HL-P5063, which had a price of $2599. When I spoke to the salesman, he also tried to sway me to the DLP. They also had a open box HL-P6163 for $3200, but I could get it for $2960.
For what its worth, I agree with your choice on the stand, except I love Sony's stand, but not just at that price. I was going to go with the Tech Craft. I also would go with the XS (I hate to admit it, but) mainly due to the styling. I am second guessing the XS now, mainly because of the width, I do not want it to overwhelm the room.
Now I am even more confused with the DLP thrown into the mix. I am currently looking into the difference betwen the DLP and the two Sonys, and it looks like there are two schools of thought, and supposedly it comes down to personal preference. I do like the fact that the Sonys have the built in HD tuner.
I read the reviews at Extreme Tech, and PC Magazine on the DLP HL-P5063, and they both gave it the very good reviews, but I have not seen anything that has compared it directly to the Sonys.
You wouldn't have happened to compared the Sonys to the DLP, would you have?
Hi Jdellman: Sorry I did not post sooner. I have been away for the holidays. Trust me, I know what you are going through in trying to decide what set to purchase. Just when you thought you know what you want, something comes up that makes you second guess yourself. Part of this is that spending $3k is a lot of money and you want to make the right choice. The other part is that there are so many choice on the market that it become confusing. I can honestly say that the more educated I became on the pros and cons of each set and the different technologies, the more confused I became.
With that said, I would tell you not to put too much stock on what a certain sales clerk said to you. They all have their preferences and you never know what the motivation is for them to push one set over the other. It may have nothing to do with them actually believing a TV set is better than another, but rather some other factor such as they have more stock of a particular brand or model that they need to move. The one thing all the research gave me on the micro-displays was a knowledge that I had in speaking to sales clerks. I often knew more about a particular set than they did and I often caught them in mistakes. In the end, I had to make the decision on my own and like so many times before, my first impressions was the right one for me. I always liked the picture of the Sony LCDs, and though I like some other sets as well, the Sony's was the one set I kept coming back to.
In regards to your question on the Sony LCD's compared to a DLP, I would direct your attention to the Jan/Feb issue of The Prefect Vision mag article I reference in my previous post. The reviewer directly reviewed and compared the Sony 55XS955 to the Toshiba 52HM84 a DLP set. The reviewer did an excellent job of pointing out the pluses and minuses of each set and recommend both. It is a very good article and it was evident that both technologies can provide a excellent HD picture.
The Samsung sets that the CC employee recommend to you is not one that I personally would purchase. These sets use the HD3 chip. This is not the best Texas Instrument chip. Currently the high end TI chip is the HD2+. The HD2+ chip offers enhanced contrast. The Toshiba 52HM84 uses the HD2+ chip. Samsung reserves this chip for their higher prices sets, such as the famous CPT. Kirk model. If I was going to buy a DLP set, I would make sure it had the HD2+ chip. CC does not sell Toshiba, but Best Buy does, so if you want to preview it you can go there. Also, Crutchfield has a deal on the 52HM84 where for the price of $2,999 you get the matching TV stand and a $300 Crutchfield gift card. You can use that card to buy an Ipod (my first choice) or anything else from Crutchfield. They even have 18 months no interest, no payments on the this Toshiba.
Anyway that is my two cents worth. Don't give up on the Sony sets. They are truly outstanding in many areas and they have a unbelievable HD picture. Let me know what you decide or if I can be of any further help.
[ This message was edited by: Jagster1 on 2005-01-04 18:28 ]
Joined: Dec 28, 2004
From: Naperville, IL
Posted: 2005-01-04 01:09
Jagster1: Thank you for the reply and the input. I had pretty much decided on the WF (versus the Samsung), but now you threw another wrench into the mix. Just kidding, I appreciate the advice. The interesting thing is that the prices I saw the week before x-mas are now $300 more. I believe I can purchase it for the price I previously saw, and the group buy has it for that price.
My thought now is to wait a week or so and see if the prices come down before the Superbowl. In the meantime, I will check out the Toshiba.
Jagster, I went with the Bush stand for my 60" xs955 because I thought the Sony stand was not only too expensive but also too low and I'm glad I did, it's the perfect height for my room and seating at a fraction of the price, and looks great. I got my 60" at Best Buy for $3600.
Joined: Dec 28, 2004
From: Naperville, IL
Posted: 2005-01-04 23:24
Jagster1: I stopped by BB tonight and checked out the Toshiba, and I have to say it looked very nice. I also checked out the article you referenced, and it was excellent. One thing I did not understand was one of the negatives of the Toshiba, the "Grayscale tracking." What is that? My other concern is the Toshiba does not have a HD tuner, but I do not know if that will be a big deal since I will have either cable or satellite. Your thoughts?
Anyway, I have switched preference to XS, but the best price I see (currently) is the $3500 via group buy. Thus, it is the Toshiba for $3018 (b/c no tax, w/stand and $300 gift card) or the XS for about $4100 (w/ tax, stand (Tech- 300), and no gift card).
Since both were recommended, I am just about ready to pull the trigger on the Toshiba.
Your help has been awesome. I did not even know about the Toshiba, or the deal at Crutchfield. Again, I appreciate it.
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