Price Paid: $2799.00

Purchase at: Circuit City

Awesome detail, near perfect geometry, bright sharp image corner to corner

HEAVY (306 lbs, according to manual), major color shift problems in extreme corners and sides of tube.

I bought this set, excited to think I was getting the biggest tube available, and that it was a Sony XBR set. I have been an XBR fan for years, so I expected nothing but the best. After having the set about a month, I calibrated it with the Avia DVD, and the picture was beautiful. About 6 months into owning it, I began to notice a “spot” on the bottom right side of the picture. When the picture in that area was red, the “spot” would be blue, when green, it would look yellow, etc. It looked like someone had played a trick on me and put a strong magnet close to the corner of the screen and magnetized it. I turned the set on and off a couple times to degauss the screen, and the “spot” remained. I had a CC service tech come and check it out (always get the extended warranty on items over $500.00 – you’ll see why I say this in a little bit), and he said the degaussing coils were bad. He ordered a set of them, and returned about a week later and installed them. This only made matters worse. Now there were blotches on the opposite side of the screen as well. The tech said to let the set “settle” for a few days and see if it got better. It only got worse. They ended up ordering a tube to replace the one in my set, but I noticed that every one of the floor samples of that set in different stores had color issues similar to mine – some better, some worse, but all had some degree of color fade either on the edges, or corners. Since I had bought the extended warranty, CC ended up giving me my money back towards a Sony 60″ LCD set, and I’ve been much happier. I would have loved to keep the 40″ XBR if CC could have fixed it, but I couldn’t see having spent over $3000 after tax and warranty for a set with color blotches. Since then, I’ve read many reviews of the 40XBR800, and many people have said they have the same issue. Maybe Sony will get it figured out, but Mitsubishi gave up on 40″-42″ CRTs when they had quality problems themselves. I can’t recommend this set in good conscience. However, if you want the same excellent sharpness and geometry, and are willing to go down to a 36″ tube, the 36XBR set is the best out there. Otherwise, go with plasma (if you don’t mind screen burn-in and a second mortgage), or LCD – grayish black levels, but great color rendition, perfect geometry, and flat out gorgeous picture with 720p or 1080i HDTV, all at an attractive price.


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