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For what it is worth, I had the opportunity to compare several RPTVs over the holidays and will post my reviews. I have chosen the Hitachi forum since, as the title of this post suggests, Hitachi comes out on top!

The tvs I compared:

Sony 57WS500
Toshiba 51H83
RCA 51xxx(not sure of the model)
Hitachi 57S500

This review is totally subjective, and based on viewing material on hand at the time. The only constant were my eyes, since I did all the adjusting.

The RCA was the least impressive. I couldnt even set this tv to look decent. It was grainy, lacked color, a very dingy picture on both DVD and SD cable. I couldnt set it too look any better.

The Sony was next. Looked nice and bright very even across the entire screen. However, the major downfall was EXTREME graininess and somewhat fuzzy picture. The picture on HD was better but still looked poor, I have seen better with DVD. Did not expect such a poor picture with HD. This tv lacked detail, I could not adjust for it at all, as thought the screen was just fuzzy. Another disadvantage was the lack of some sort of VSM (which I know a lot of people dont use, but still nice to have the option).

Next was Toshiba. Good picture, but in dire need of a convergence adjustment when I got there. I fixed the convergence in the service menu. This is my Dad's tv, he plugged it in and volia nothing else done. So after I reset the contrast from 100 to about 35 or so and adjusted the set for red tinge, etc he was very surprised how nice it looked! White line issue though. HD on this set was amazing. That was what I was expecting from HD. I have never seen pictures so clear! I was disappointed in the poor remote. For those people considering a Toshiba, go with the cinema series they have much nicer remotes! Other than that, digital cable was ok looking, DVDs looked good, nothing spectacular.

Top of the list is the Hitachi 57S500. My own tv. The picture on this set is by far superior to any of the aforementioned tvs. I have yet to see HD on this set, but imagine I will be plesantly surprized. DVD picture have much more detail than any of the other sets, this factor alone makes the Hitachi superior in my eyes. The other sets, the RCA and Sony did not even compare, the Toshiba was closer, but the detail in the picture of the Hitachi made images jump from the screen. It is as though you are actually watching the movie and being pulled into it rather than watching a screen. Fanastic!
 

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RNAChemist said:
Top of the list is the Hitachi 57S500. My own tv. The picture on this set is by far superior to any of the aforementioned tvs.
In my brief experience with CRT RPTVs I noticed the same thing.

I found that in general, the Hitachi line had the best sharpness (without edge enhancement), best colour, and best brightness, and the least vignetting.

On the minus side I found they had the biggest box, and they were usually priced a little more than the competition.

I thought the Sony RPTVs were among the worst of the bunch.

Cheers,

Mike Flynn
 

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I have the 51s500, and agree with the comments expressed. But re: the "big box" design being a 'minus' feature, I disagree -- I have always found the design to be yet another plus for the Hitachi. The top of these Hitachi sets are deep, wide, and strong, and provide a great platform for a good-sized centre channel speaker, or other components, such as cable box, dvd player, etc. As said, Hitachi does cost more, but as has also been said, and IMO too, you do get more.
 

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I have the Hitachi 57t500 Ultravision and i agree,as I sit here watching the Sugar Bowl on ABC HD you would be hard pressed to get a better picture on any tv. The colour is stunning, the colours just pop out at you. I'am glad I picked this set over all the others I was auditioning (8 months worth ). I've had it for just a little over 3 months now and like I said you'd be hard presed to get a better picture on any other set. IMHO
 

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I have a 57T500 as well, and am suffering from a severe case of buyer's remorse. The picture looks great, but I'm really annoyed at a couple things.

(1) the internal reflections are driving me up the wall. Anytime there's something bright on the screen and mostly dark elsewhere, there are washes of white on my screen. I think that this problem is common to RPTV's, but I probably wouldn't have bought an RPTV if I'd have known about this.

(2) Severe overscan. Large parts of the image get cut off. My DVD player lets me zoom out, so I can see how much my TV is cutting off. Quite annoying.

(3) Blacks could be better. I've tried most of the tweeks in this forum, and I'm still not happy. I'll get it ISF calibrated soon, so hopefully that'll help.

henning
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey Henning,

Sorry to hear that you are not totally satisfied. Maybe an ISF calibration will be good for you. I am thinking of having my set done too. I think all of your problems can be overcome by calibration.

Those problems you list above do you notice them on DVD and cable? I know exactly what you mean for 1 and 3 (i dont care too much about overscan) and the tweaks I have written should help you. Hmmm, maybe I will write another post to address your issues specifically.
 

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Yes, I get these problems with DVD, SD TV (cable), and HDTV (cable).

henning

PS Thanks for posting the tweeks to this forum. They have helped me get a much better picture than what I started with.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I dont think overscan can be corrected in the service menu. The image can be centered but the overscan has to adjusted by some sort of trimpot tinkering.
 

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I do believe that's correct for CRT-based Hitachi RPTVs. There are two small (Phillips) white screws labelled H & V at the bottom front of the chassis.

This will completely throw off your convergence and you'll need to spend an hour or three in DCAM getting it back in shape.

Do not go below 3% overscan on the test pattern, especially on the vertical, as you'll end up seeing "white dots" that you don't want to see.

Do not touch the trimpots for the colours (6 pots together) as that may irreparably throw off your greyscale. You can adjust the "focus" screws, but UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES TOUCH THE OTHER ONES.
 

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Hey Henning,

Make sure your DVD player isnt set to some factory presets for contrast brightness and color. These could lead to poor blacks as you have described. Just curious what DVD player do you use?
 

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I have a 7-disc JVC player, I don't know the model number. It worked pretty well with my previous TV (Sony XBR direct-view), so I don't think the DVD player is the problem. I'll take a look at the settings again to see if there's something I can do there. But the problem isn't just DVD. It's all sources.

henning
 

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Well, I had a professional ISF calibration done and I still have those internal reflections. But he did fix the overscan.

But you know what? I don't think the picture quality has improved any. The colours have definitely changed, but I don't know if it's for the better or not. Faces seem too red.
 

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henning said:
Well, I had a professional ISF calibration done and I still have those internal reflections. But he did fix the overscan.

But you know what? I don't think the picture quality has improved any. The colours have definitely changed, but I don't know if it's for the better or not. Faces seem too red.
Well...you could always ship that rotten tv to me...that way it won't get under your skin anymore...heck I'll even spring for the shipping...:cool:
 

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henning said:
(1) the internal reflections are driving me up the wall. Anytime there's something bright on the screen and mostly dark elsewhere, there are washes of white on my screen. I think that this problem is common to RPTV's, but I probably wouldn't have bought an RPTV if I'd have known about this.
I have the 51S500 and my only problem with it to date has been the internal reflection or glare you mention. This only started about 3 or 4 months ago - this was not there before. It happens in dark scenes when there's a bright light, like a flashlight, pointed directly at the camera.

My theory is it has nothing to do with the signal processing itself, but with the back mirror or the lens somehow - maybe dust or a film of some kind on the surface. I need to look inside...
 
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