Most helpful positive review
235 of 241 people found the following review helpful
Excellent LCD with overall ease of use
on July 1, 2008
I bought this TV in June 2008 and have found it to be an absolutely great buy. I bought my at RC Willey. Yes, I read the CNET review and the reviewer marked down the TV because of the dark shades changing. I looked at this in the store for several minutes and have lived with it for a month and have not noticed that problem at ALL! Personally I think they guy shot down the SONY because Samsung is running TV advertisements on CNET. This is a super sharp TV with excellent colors and deep deep blacks. This TV is much better than the old 2007 W. Here is why I bought this TV...It is super clear in digital broadcast and does a much better job in Analog/420p SD (old) transmitions than any other TV I have seen (no jaggies..thanks to Sony noise reduction/DSP). Sony knows Bluray- they invented it, they know what skin tones should look like like (they own a movie studio), thier menus are really easy/simple to use (vs. Samsung 650), it has a built in TV guide (You can get rid of that Monthly cable box fee) and it has future expansion capability.
On pure picture quality vs. Samsung 650:
* Picture: It is pretty darn close in digital broadcast. I looked at both side by side. Samsung has a slight edge on clarity in analog broadcast. Samsungs have more glare, Sony is a matte screen but blacks on samsung are pretty darn good because of the glossy screen. When viewing a BluRay DVD though, the Sony slightly more details. No fade from bright to black issues on sony as noted by CNET (he must have had a protype system). Colors are nice a bright and bravia 2 engine is even better than XBR4 or near it. I have heard the Z series may be better but they don't make it in 52'' yet.
* Menus: Samsungs menus are made for Engineers (lots of tweeks, but really confusing for average user). If you doubt it, download the user manual to the A650 and KDL524100 and see for yourself. If you and your family are highly technical, go for the Samsung. If you don't want to fiddle (aka get lost in menus), but get an excellent picture, go with the Sony. Sony's are really simple and easy to use, plus it automatically find digital channels and is somehow able to display all the channel icons (it is like I have a built in cable box).
* Features: The Sony may not have the Ethernet and built in weather/news of the 650 Samsung, but it does have the built in TV guide and future expansion. Realistically, if you want Internet in your TV, you are better off connecting an external device (Playstation, Apple TV, etc). The TV guide feature in the sony is great and the Bravia Sync is a big plus (especially when you use a Sony DVD upconverter 1080p (nice one at costco)- why?...TV remote controls it all. Sony Picture n' Picture is nice as well allowing you to view pictures/video from HDMI while at the same time viewing cable TV (regardless if it is SD or HD signal)
* Asthetics: My favorite feature on the sony is that the power buttons on on the top of the TV... helps with preventing kids from turning tV on/off. I believe Samsungs are too low. I personally didn't like the Red on the Samsung and the glossy screen. The remote on the Sony is really easy to find/use vs. the Samsung. But the Samsung's remote lit up at night...which the Sony's does not.
Bottom line: if you are a videophile and your family (wife) can deal with the techno menus (plus you want to upgrade the firmware to fix the Samsung A650 on/off bug), get the Samsung. If you want the a super clear Picture (videophile made easy), easiest to use LCD with features that make every day TV viewing smooth and easy... The sony is excellent- Plus it is future expandible.
Recommended Evaluation settings: Picture mode custom, backlight 7, Picture 95, Brightness 45, Color 50, Hue 0, Color temp Neutral, Sharpness 4, Noise Red. off, MPEG Noise red. off, Advanced settings-> Black corrector: med, Advance C.E Med, Gamma off, clear white low.