Home Theater Reviews

HP MD6580n Review – Rear Projection HDTV

HP MD6580n Rear Projection HDTV

HP’s MD6580n, which took the Best of Show at the Digital Life Expo earlier last month, is under the gun at Cnet. There, she attains the Excellent score of 8.3 out of 10.

This 65 inch masterpiece should be worthy of your interest, if you’re in the market for a 60 inch plus rear projection HDTV.

The good: Accurate color temperature; excellent black-level performance; accepts 1080p sources via HDMI; ample jack pack accessible via front panel; thumbnail source selection feature.

The bad: Nondefeatable edge enhancement; somewhat inaccurate primary colors; can’t fully resolve 1080p.

The bottom line: While it doesn’t quite deliver the best picture among 1080p HDTVs, the HP MD6580n’s innovative design and future-ready inputs may tip the scales in its favor anyway.

HP MD6580n at CNET

Sony KDS-R60XBR1 SXRD 1080p RPTV Review

sony KDS-R60XBR1 SXRD hdtv The Sony SXRD rear projection hdtv units are all the buzz right now, and it’s easy to understand. The big brand of Sony coupled with their image quality reputation makes for quick notice on the tech side.

Ultimate AV take an in-depth look at this 1080p unit, the KDS-R60XBR1, and here is what they found:

Full 1920x1080p HD resolution
CRT-like black levels and contrast
Rich color gamut and outstanding saturation

No place for center channel speaker
Poorly organized instruction manual
No direct input access


“Physically impressive, with a distinctively superior picture to match, Sony’s new KDS-R60XBR1 sets the standard for large screen rear projection television. It beats the images produced by any large screen LCD RPTV I’ve seen (including Sony’s), offering subjectively CRT-like black level and contrast ratio, richly saturated, natural colors, and levels of detail only a full 1920×1080 chip (or three) can produce. For now, it appears that only JVC’s new 1080p LCoS sets offer these SXRD sets any competition—at least technically.”

The high gain screen grain and perhaps some intrinsic noise are the only serious complaints I have about this set’s picture performance. That said, if you mostly watch DVDs on a good CRT based RPTV, I’m not sure you’d gain enough to make trading up to a set like this worthwhile.

Nevertheless, with this level of performance priced at $5000 for a 60″ display, predictions of the demise of rear projection television are wishful thinking at best. Show me a 60″plasma or LCD flat panel display priced at $5000 that delivers this kind of picture quality, and I’ll reconsider. For now, this set appears to put Sony back on top. It’s really something special.”

Right on, that’s what the buzz is all about – 60″ HDTV goodness at a fraction of the same-size plasma cost.

Heck, online this beaut is selling for less than $3700, check it out:

KDS-R60XBR1 Full Review

Via HD Blog

Optoma PD50A Plasma TV Review

Audioholics, our favorite home theater addictophiles have reviewed Optoma’s 50 inch plasma HDTV offering.

This plasma is not the best as far as features and control set, but it makes up for it in the price department. Also, you’ll want to look elsewhere if you view a lot of standard definition (non-digital) material, as its processing for interlaced sources is poor.

Out of a possible five for each category, here is how they scored it:

4 – Build Quality
3 – User Interface/Remote
2 – Features
3 – Detail and Video Quality
4 – Contrast & Black Levels
4 – Color Reproduction
2 – Calibration Options

3.25 Overall
4 Value

The Optoma PD50A plasma television is, as we mentioned, quite possibly the least expensive 50-inch plasma display on the market (street price). For users with digital sources it’s almost a no-brainer, unless you’re a stickler for D65 color temperature and a perfect color profile. In that case, you’ll need to spend quite a bit more money to get this much television. For the rest, the Optoma represents a plasma display that is large, attractive and will be quite impressive to your friends.”

Full Review

Via HD Blog

Samsung HL-R6768W Review

Samsung HL-R6768WCnet takes a look at this 67″ 1080p rear projection behemoth from Samsung.

The review final rating is Very Good, 7.6/10.

Noteworthy on this HDTV are the 1080p input (but it’s only for PC input) and very deep blacks.

The good: Excellent color accuracy after calibration; superb black-level performance; generous connectivity, including 1080p-capable computer input; exhaustive feature package.

The bad: Black level changes on the fly due to permanent implementation of the DNIe circuit; severe edge enhancement in most picture modes; cannot accept 1080p signals via non-PC inputs.

The bottom line: The Samsung HL-R6768W is a strong contender for the best 1080p HDTV we’ve reviewed yet, but nondefeatable DNIe processing spoils its chances.”

Samsung HL-R6768W Full Review

Mitsubishi WD-62628 Review

Mitsubishi WD-62628
Cnet reviews this 62-inch DLP rear projection 1080p HDTV.

They give it a “Good” 6.9/10. However, it seems that the biggest complaint they have is color decoding, but it doesn’t seem that they first calibrated the set?

I wouldn’t let that deter me, as I would calibrate my hdtv before drawing any conclusions. Also considering the 6 user reviews averaging 9.0/10 I’m not so sure they got this one right.

CNET Review

Sony HS-60 Review

Sony VPL-HS60As front projector fans anxiously await the availability of the Sony HS-60 front projector, here is a review from avbuzz.

“The black level is so impressive that you never imagine such solid black coming from an LCD projector. The black is pure [and] does not have green bugs like DLP projectors… The picture is sharp and clean. The color is vibrant and vivid, but not over saturated.

Although the HS60 is more expensive than other 720p LCD projectors, its build quality is worth the extra cost. Sony has already eliminated or minimized the typical weaknesses of LCD projectors. Nothing is perfect. I hope Sony will improve the response time of the dynamic iris to get rid of the blinking effect… Comparing DLP projectors in the same price range, I reckon the HS60 presents better color than Benq 7700 and the Sharp Z2000. The contrast is not lagging behind the DarkChip2 DLP Projectors. ”

If you are looking for a 720p LCD projector, make sure you include this model as an option.

Sony HS-60 details – AVS Forum

Review :Yamaha YSP-1 Surround Sound in One Box

yamaha ysp-1 Yamaha has a great product for those of us who want surround sound without the pain and hassle of wiring and installing rear speakers.

This gem works by using 42 separate drivers and amplifiers with some super special digital processing. By sending the audio signal to the each of the (40) 1.6″ drivers with varying delays, our ears are tricked into hearing the sound from behind, beside, or in front of us. Pretty cool stuff…

The technique is remarkably effective-when you play the test noise used to adjust the YSP-1’s effect, it actually sounds as if you have left and right speakers positioned a few feet to either side of the unit. And what’s even more remarkable is that you would swear there are surround speakers on the sides of the room.

“I cannot believe how much the surround-sound effect resembles that of the Infinity TSS-4000 speaker system I reviewed for the July/August issue of Home Entertainment. Spaceships whiz past me, music from soundtracks envelops me, and I rarely get the impression that I’m hearing some sort of digital audio trickery instead of a full 5.1 system.”

This is a great companion to a plasma or projector screen, just mount it right up to the bottom of the screen. You’ll want to seriously consider a subwoofer, though. The (2) 4.3″ woofers just can’t handle solid bass.

Current Short Review
Thorough Review from AA

Epson Cinema 550 Review

epson cinema550 front projector Here’s a new review from Projector Reviews, on the Epson PowerLite Cinema 550.

I’m not real wild about the projector reviews on that site, as the reviewer doesn’t calibrate the projectors beforehand. That can be a plus to some, especially if they just want something that looks great out of the box. However, I’m a tweaker. A $30 disk and a couple hours of tweaking adjustments produces worthwhile gains.

That said, on to the review:

Excellent “Living Room” mode for dealing with rooms with ambient light, yet produces very good color, and contrast balance
Good color in Theater Dark modes, but requires minor adjustment for best color accuracy
Brightest projector in its class
The greatest range in lens shift of any projector we have tested, for maximum flexibility in mounting, or allowing the projector to be placed well below the bottom of the screen.
Very quiet in Theater Dark modes
Excellent warranty with overnight replacement program
Many u ser savable settings
Excellent remote control
Many preset modes for handling everything from darkest modes for best black levels, to bright modes for dealing with ambient light.

Noisier than several other competing projectors in it’s non Theater Dark modes
Image slightly soft on DVDs (480 resolution)
Black levels are good, but others exceed the Epson’s performance

“Overall, the Epson is excellent for users with mixed viewing requirements, (sports, HDTV, movies, and probably gaming), especially if you don’t want to fully darken your room. For those primarily interested in DVD viewing, however other projectors do exceed its performance. While black levels and shadow detail are very good, a few others do better.”

From this review and other opinions I’ve heard, I would recommend thoroughly checking out the Sanyo PLV-Z4 or the Panasonic AE900U before making a decision. I think these models offer more bang for your buck than the Epson.

Epson Cinema 550 – Overview

Sanyo PLV-Z4 Projector Review

sanyo plv z4 projector

Here is another review of Sanyo’s awesome PLV Z4 Projector from HDTV Expert.

This machine is one of the top LCD projectors under $3500, and sits in the same class as the Panasonic PT-AE900U.

Review Summary:

“The PLV-Z4 is one of the best HD-resolution LCD projectors I’ve ever tested and a big step up from its predecessors. Color quality is improved – it’s as good as the Panasonic PT-AE700U — contrast levels are up, and grayscale tracking is getting better. The dynamic iris has a lot to do with it, but so do the expanded color controls. Dynamic irising is all the rage now; numerous LCD projectors and some LCD rear-projection TVs have incorporated it to kick out better black levels.

The longer zoom lens is probably the best idea of all. The 145W UHP projection lamp has enough juice in it to overcome the smaller aperture of this lens, and my measurement of 350 lumens should be more than enough to light up an 82-inch to 100-inch diagonal screen in a controlled lighting environment with a 1.5:1 projection throw.

The PLV-Z4 does an excellent job with 480p, 720p, and 1080i signals. To put the icing on the cake, add a good video processor for 480i or 576i composite or component video sources and take SDTV signal quality to the next level.”

Full Review

Sony KDS-R60XBR1 Review

sony 60 sxrd KDS-R60XBR1 Here is yet another review of Sony’s KDS-R60XBR1 SXRD rear projection beauty. This unit is one of the most popular as well as its 50 inch SXRD twin.

Cnet give this gem 8.8 out of 10 (Excellent) with an Editors’ Choice badge.

The good: Relatively deep, clean blacks; accurate color decoding and flat grayscale; full HDTV resolution; excellent feature package; generous connectivity, including PC input; extensive picture adjustments.

The bad: Blacks are not quite as good as those of the best DLP rear-projection sets; inaccurate primary colors; cannot accept 1080p signals.

The bottom line: By today’s standards, the Sony KDS-R60XBR1 is expensive, but its fabulous performance and feature set make it well worth the price for early adopters.

HDTV on the Sony KDS-R60XBR1 looked awe-inspiring. In particular, HDNet via the HDMI input from our DirecTV HD satellite feed was remarkable.

Thanks to the 1,920×1,080 resolution, visible details were breathtaking.

A 1080i multiburst pattern from our HDTV signal generator was reproduced cleanly at the HDMI input, indicating that the set is giving you all the resolution from 1080i HDTV sources–not something all 1080p HDTVs can claim.”

Yet another thumbs up for this set.
Full Review