Top positive review
75 of 77 people found this helpful
"It's the best, Jerry! The best!"
on July 13, 2006
First off, I am hardly the one to take time out to write reviews, but I felt so strongly about the high quality of the "Sony KDF-50E2000 50" 3LCD Rear Projection Television" that I wanted to share :)
Before you order, consider shipping wisely; some places may have bad reviews when it comes to actually getting the item you ordered, or string you along until one is back in stock. If you read the fine print, more often than not, the shipping is upwards of $150 or more because they have to use a freighting company, tack on extra insurance costs, gas, additional blinker fluid allowances, etc. They may not know or care that the TV should never be laid on its side (as a few different store reps have told me). Similarly, if you find something wrong with it, they may not accept returns on such a big TV, so you'd have to ship it yourself to Sony for repairs, etc, unless you buy an additional in-house warranty.
I researched and researched until I finally decided I didn't want plasma because: 1) the refresh rate isn't as good as with a regular TV, which translates into motion blur or lag when playing video games, and 2) cost. I bought this particular model because its the newest model (more ports) over the *discontinued* Sony KDF-E50A1050. Screen size -wise, seven to ten feet viewing distance is said to be optimal for a 50" screen, which was perfect for my living room. And, just like plasma TVs, this TV and similar ones can still be mounted on the wall.
I shopped around online, opted to buy mine at CC, and picked it up myself at the store, for around $1800 including tax. I basically traded the worrying about hidden shipping costs, delays, return issues, etc, for paying local sales tax. Having a SUV handy is a must here. Though the TV fit, we had to take it out of the box to slide it in upright. At a mere 60-70 pounds it was suprisingly light for its size, and a breeze to lift into my entertainment center and position into place with the help of a friend.
Quality-wise, seeing this TV (or any, for that matter) on display in the stores does not do it justice. In the stores, they use the factory default settings to make the images catch your eye, making colors and visual effects appear way off. Once I got it home, I recalibrated the settings (custom) using the THX video calibration tool found on The Incredibles DVD--this saved me weeks of frustration. Picture clarity on non-HD channels is great, and on HD/DVDs, fantastic. The virtual surround sound is simply awesome--I'm no audiophile by any stretch, but I know with sound this good, I can wait a little while to expand into the digital receiver/satellite speaker realm. I got goosebumps watching Neo fight off 100's of Agent Smiths in the burly brawl scene of Matrix Reloaded. Fight Night 2 on PS2 never looked so good as it does on this TV--so much so that I haven't even tried my other games yet, it's THAT close to playing the game for the first time. GTA 3, here I come.
Another thing that impressed me about the TV: the menu controls are extremely intuitive; the only confusion comes when pressing the various 'shortcut' button does the same thing as navigating the menu options, and is to be expected. I only had to read the manual to figure out how to program the universal remote to add my DVD, cable box, etc, and that was a snap. When in doubt, hit Menu! My only gripe is that all functions on a remote control that you're replacing may not be covered: I still have to scramble for the cable box remote to view the online Channel Guide. However I think this is an issue with all universal remotes. Once I got the TV calibrated the way I liked it, I didn't need all the extra functions on the TVs remote every day, so it helped to program the new tv into my old cable remote.
The only other downside with this and all other projection lamp TVs: you will have to replace the "sony xl-2400 replacement lamp every 8,000 hours of use, or when the picture becomes dark, or when the lamp LED flashes." At this time, the replacement lamp runs about $150-$200, but even if you average six hours of TV time a day, you may go 3 1/2 without having to replace it. This factored into my decision as well, but in the end I justified: what's $50 a year (if that) to replace the lamp and make the picture as good as new again, vs the issues other TVs can have?
There are detailed instructions in the manual (google it to see) that explains the process in detail. Depending on where you go, for around $200 you can get an additional 2 year warranty that covers one bulb replacement (you call, they mail the bulb).
All in all, it is a great buy for the amount of TV that you get, and I highly recommend it!