Costco Aquos LCD update

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In case you didn't notice...

Costco has been getting a lot of new sets recently.

One significant one is the Sharp Aquos 32GA5U, oh except that they
call it the LC-G5C32. $1499.

It's even listed on the Sharp website. Do a comparison for yourself.

This set is last year's model. There's a this year's model out now,
(D5/7-stuff) and there will be a new this year/next year model (D4/6)
out about this September (same panel, faster electronics: 12ms).

Sharp appears to be cranking out new models every 6-8 months. Not hard
since they re-use the same panel and just change the package,
electronics, and features.

SD picture quality is watchable (think 6hr VHS), but won't make you
forget your old XBR anytime soon. It's tuner shows promise with an
exceptional signal, but it lacks the technology to pull in every weak,
noisy channel and make them look acceptable the way a really good ($)
old Sony tuner would. Side panel 480i picture is ~25". Stretch modes
OK on some material.

DVD picture ? Spectacular with a $69 player using a composite cable
set for the component feed. 10pm, deal with it.

HDTV ? Got basic/extended, ain't paying Comcast any more money for
five or six channels. Will pick up an external tuner and see what's
free.

This is the perfect size portable for DVDs. You can pick up the box
by yourself and put it in the back seat of a Camry.
It looks plenty big in a studio apt, and you could move it fairly
easily around your house if the need arose.
 

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On Wed, 13 Jul 2005 18:57:48 -0700, >>><<>~>> wrote:


>
>SD picture quality is watchable (think 6hr VHS), but won't make you
>forget your old XBR anytime soon. It's tuner shows promise with an
>exceptional signal, but it lacks the technology to pull in every weak,
>noisy channel and make them look acceptable the way a really good ($)
>old Sony tuner would.
>

Ok, I'm going to give the set (Sharp Aquos 32GA5U / G5C32) it's props
and upgrade it from 6hr VHS to 2hr S-VHS on it's SD performance. The
tuner does show promise with a great source.

Watching prime time vs after 2am material, I'm seeing some better
source material and the set is doing a good job with a good SD analog
cable signal.

One or two shows (literally) I saw had an exceptional signal, and the
picture was easily as good as the typical cheap tube sets you see
these days.

Most of my gripes are with SD color response variations. If you go
into the advanced menu and select monochrome (black and white mode),
all the cable channels look great. All sharp, no objectionable noise,
good grayscale. This in itself is pretty amazing considering all the
bad you hear about SD performance on many sets.

In addition, cartoons and any computer graphics material look great.

I'm going to have to say the color problems are probably poor
technical skills or resources on video production crews, and an
indifferent cable broadcast product.

It's too bad the Sharp doesn't have the kind of sensitivity and
filtering to deal with color signal quality variations, but I guess
that's like saying it's too bad the panel isn't 1080P. And while
we're at it, it's a LCD panel, it's got a matte finish surface and
limited color space. There's going to be a different look and feel.
You have to stay in front of it too, stand up and walk around the
room, and the picture pales.

I was planning to pick up a KV27FS120 or 130 for cable TV, but I may
just go with the Aquos instead. Especially considering the lack of
much content you really want to see on cable that you wouldn't be
renting the DVD's for anyway.

Oh, the speakers aren't bad. Not hi-fi quality, but they do the job
better than the classic Sony TV audio that was always too low on 2 and
too loud on 3. Will dig my old Cambridge Audio subwoofer unit out of
the garage and see what that does for the sound.

One thing I didn't mention is the set has two digital inputs: HDMI and
DVI. This feature is going away on the new models which will be HDMI
only.
 

george

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">>><" wrote:
>
> On Wed, 13 Jul 2005 18:57:48 -0700, >>><<>~>> wrote:

> >SD picture quality is watchable (think 6hr VHS), but won't make you
> >forget your old XBR anytime soon. It's tuner shows promise with an
> >exceptional signal, but it lacks the technology to pull in every weak,
> >noisy channel and make them look acceptable the way a really good ($)
> >old Sony tuner would.

> Ok, I'm going to give the set (Sharp Aquos 32GA5U / G5C32) it's props
> and upgrade it from 6hr VHS to 2hr S-VHS on it's SD performance. The
> tuner does show promise with a great source.

> Watching prime time vs after 2am material, I'm seeing some better
> source material and the set is doing a good job with a good SD analog
> cable signal.

> One or two shows (literally) I saw had an exceptional signal, and the
> picture was easily as good as the typical cheap tube sets you see
> these days.

> Most of my gripes are with SD color response variations. If you go
> into the advanced menu and select monochrome (black and white mode),
> all the cable channels look great. All sharp, no objectionable noise,
> good grayscale. This in itself is pretty amazing considering all the
> bad you hear about SD performance on many sets.

> In addition, cartoons and any computer graphics material look great.


Some cableTV set top boxes produce poor video in SD mode when using the
component cables, which many use. I have found out (by using calibration
DVD and my scope) that the video from my Pioneer stb has excellent video
when using the composite (svideo) or video outputs of the stb. But the
the blacks are clipped too high and color look terrible when stb
component outputs are used. Strangely enough, the stb component outputs
work very well with HDTV signals. Fortunately the Aquos allows you to
swap inputs and save many picture settings. I use input1 for SD (svideo)
and input2 for HDTV (component) and can select the one I want from
remote. BTW, I did try several stbs and all the Pioneer V3500HD boxes
were same way. Now that I know the story, I switch inputs as necessary
and get excellent SD and HDTV with my Aquos 37 inch set. I had a Sony
Wega 27 inch tube set side by side viewing SD with my Aquos and pictures
were actually much superior on the Aquos, due mainly to progressive scan
on SD with Aquos.

George
 

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On Fri, 15 Jul 2005 07:32:50 -0500, George <steber@execpc.com> wrote:


>
>Some cableTV set top boxes produce poor video in SD mode when using the
>component cables, which many use. I have found out (by using calibration
>DVD and my scope) that the video from my Pioneer stb has excellent video
>when using the composite (svideo) or video outputs of the stb. But the
>the blacks are clipped too high and color look terrible when stb
>component outputs are used.

I tossed my comcast set top box after a week of auditioning five years
ago. I'm running components on the dvd player, but straight analog
cable to the NTSC tuner on the Sharp. I may try a good video amp in
line though to boost the signal, and see if that improves things. I
seen lots of posts where people claim the key to good NTSC is a above
average input signal strength.

Dialing down the color level more helped a bit with the channel
variations. You can crank the level down a lot and still have lots of
color. A bit different than the old tube set's controls.
 
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