Lengthy research convinced me that Sony KP-53HS30 HDTV-capable projection TV was the winner in the Bang/Buck ratio contest.
Recommend this product?
In an in-store side-by-side comparison,
the Sony TV's were the clear winners, hands down, compared to all of the other brands I saw.
I would have bought the one with the best picture, regardless of name.
I was initially sold on the Sony KP-57HW40 57" projection TV, which has the same basic features as the Sony 53" KP-53HS30, but has a 16:9 aspect ratio screen and is a little bigger. I decided to go with the 53" TV with the 4:3 aspect ratio screen.
Dark Graphite Gray cabinet, free-standing unit. Control panel on front. Connector panel for camcorder, video games located on the side.
53" screen. No peripheral cables are included.
Batteries are included with the remote control.
Easy Set Up:
I hooked up all of the cable connectors, Dish 500, Web TV, VCR's quickly, without having to look up anything in the Owners Manual.
The connections are standard: component,coaxial, RCA and S Video.
You can connect two S Video-equipped components, which will provide better picture quality than the VHF/UHF jacks or the Video IN jack.
There is a Control S connection, which allows you to control other Sony equipment with the projection TV's remote control.
Clear language,easy to read diagrams. The instructions are plain and simple.
Hi-Scan 1080: Enables you to receive the new high resolution digital TV formats. You can connect a digital receiver to view digital TV programs.
DRC Multi-Function: "Digital Reality Creation,"
the DRC line doubler, doubles both horizontal and vertical lines, resulting in four times the density.
CineMotion: Uses the 2-3 Pull-Down technology.
This feature allows smooth playback when viewing VHS video tapes.
Twin View: Watch two programs side by side. Audio and Zoom operates on one side only.
16:9 Enhancement: Maximizes picture resolution on letterboxed films and DVD's.
Steady Sound: Prevents radical volume increase on commercials.
Flash Focus:After the TV has been on for 30 minutes, you set the convergence. One button push, it calibrates itself.
The color test pattern does a little flashdance shimmy, sets it's own convergence, automatically, then returns you to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress.
To me, even regular analog signal broadcasts look better on a Hi-Scan 1080 HDTV-capable television.
Audio: TruSurround with SRS
I am not impressed with the factory speakers.They provide sound that is adequate, average. The sound is loud and clear, but lacks depth and separation.
This TV is not yet hooked up to any receiver with 5 speakers and a subwoofer.
It shouldn't have to be. A television in this price range should sound decent on its own.
Protective Screen: The "Deal Breaker"
I intentionally purchased the model that had a protective screen because I thought it was a good idea.
I knew from researching the detailed expert reviews on Sony KP-53HS30 (Please read, they are both interesting and technically thorough)
that light control was an issue,
they both said so.
I thought it would be a small trade-off.
It's not, it drives me crazy every time I look at it.
This is why I am not recommending KP-53HS30.
I would have paid more for an older model,
one without the shiny screen and 20 watts per channel, instead of 25. I can't really hear difference, they sound the same to me.
You can purchase the new and improved model several hundred dollars cheaper than the two earlier models.
No one knows why.
I asked "Sony at your Service," if I could remove the shiny screen myself and he said "it was my TV, I could do anything I wanted with it."
He warned however, "that the screen was attached with some real super glue to the other screen" and may have been heated?
* Please note:
The Owner's Manual clearly states that "opening the cabinet may expose you to dangerous voltage or other hazards."
"Refer all servicing to qualified service personnel."
So, although I was welcome to try to remove the shiny screen myself, if I damaged the set in any way,
my Sony warranty would be void and sayonara.
So, if I try to remove the only thing I really hate on an otherwise excellent TV set
and I break it in half...
I own both halves.
Remote Control: Excellent
I really like this remote. It is simple to operate. (I'm sick of saying the word "intuitive.")
It is laid out well,has a joystick and the luminous glo-buttons are cool.
I like the new silver color, only because we have been "blacked" to death.
The big plus in having all black electronics, of course, is everything matches.
That is an advantage that may be worth hanging on to.
Batteries are included.
My favorite function on the remote is "Pic Mode," It adjusts color, contrast, and brightness.
The settings are:
Standard,increased overall brightness, best for daytime,
Movie, slightly darker, more film-like, cinematic look,
Vivid, especially good on computer generated animation and
Pro, I have not yet found out what it is good for.
Sleep Mode: Turns TV off after selected interval.
Parental Control: V-Chip allows parents to block out unsuitable programming.
This TV has a jump function, which I use a lot to bounce back and forth between channels,
lest I miss something Really Important.
The Freeze function is great, if you need to grab a pen to write down an 800 number being shown on the screen.
It freezes that frame on the right side of the screen while the regular programming continues in a box on the left.
This big screen TV is mounted on casters and rolls about smoothly, even on carpet. Anyone can move this heavyweight by themselves, really.
Amount Paid = Price + Shipping and Handling
The "Amount Paid" I quote is a total, with shipping and handling included. I believe that is the "true price" of an item.
Knowing the total out-the-door price eliminates the "scam factor" when comparison shopping.
This television is only a little something to tide me over until I can get an IMAX set up in my living room. I justify nothing.
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Amount Paid (US$): 2389