HI all-
replacing my current hitachi ultravision with a 53" high def TV and looking for recommendations. budget about $5k but could go a little more if needed. no real space for front projection (narrow type room and recessed space for TV - no screen), so going with RPTV. Ideas? Thanks!
I think the Pioneer Elite is still considered the best, although the Platinum series Mistubishi is close. There is someone here on AudiogoN usually selling brand new Elites for wholesale prices.
Actually, the Diamond series from Mitsubishi is better than the Platinum. Not only a better exterior finish, but better lenses and screen. A 55" will run you anywhere from $3500-4500. I own one. But, I do agree that the Pioneer Elite is the best for the 5K price range. The difference between the Pioneer and the Mitsubishi are there, but not sure if worth the extra $1500-2000. For my money, the Mitsubishi was excellent.
i can get the pioneer elite pro 520 for $4k + $400 shipping. that's pretty good considering local retailer is asking $5400 but down to $4860 at best offer. after tax and delivery this is about $5200. i save $800 by going with the guy on audiogon. seems good, but does anyone know the difference between the 520 and 510? does anyone think it's worth it for the extra $$ to go pioneer elite vs mitsubishi? i've heard the pioneer has a much better line doubler when compared to the mits. any thoughts? baz
If you are running a progressive scan DVD player (with true 3-2 pulldown recommended) then you should not worry about the TVs internal line doubler as it will be disabled. Cable or satellite is another matter, but honestly the picture from those signals is questionable anyway (for regular TV viewing get a direct view set). The Pioneer uses slightly larger CRTs, which is a plus for HDTV signals. The Pioneer allows a 72 point convergence setting, while the Mitsubishi allows "only" 64 point convergence setting (honestly, this is more than enough to garranty an extremely sharp picture). But if you want THE best, and can get a good deal, then get the Pioneer. As soon as you get the TV home, call an ISF certified technician and have him/her come out to professionally calibrate your TV for color temperature and convergence ( this is not the menu system color selection, they will use special codes on the remote and sensors on the screen). This will cost you $150-250, and will be the best money you ever spent. I have not kept up with Pioneer's latest numbering system, so check out their website for info. As a side note, an ISF calibrated Mitsubishi and Pioneer should perform nearly identically for all DVD related material and about 90% of all HDTV signals. Others may disagree, but then again, your eyes will make the final choice. Good luck.
I agree with Argent, his comments are identical to mine. I have an Elite 510 but agree that digital cable is better on my 36XBR400. A 520 for $4000 is an incredible deal. Jump on it. The Elites are the best rptv's period. Bazmataz, you may be able to get another set nearly as good for less, but your deal is so good the Elite is cost effective for you.
To clarify, I meant that the Mitsubishi should perform almost as good as the Pioneer for most HDTV applications after a proper calibration.
I own a Pioneer Elite, they are the best, a little more expensive but worth it, had it professionally calibrated (this is a must and its worth it)

Although, I am not in the market for a rear projection HDTV as of yet, I have recently begun exploring the market as I do intend to get one within the next two years. As I already have a progressive scan DVD Player (a Pioneer Elite DV-37..... a SWEET machine.... no matter how you put it.... I can put it up against some of the newer low priced Toshibas, Sonys and Panasonics out there and it still comes out on top each time), the eventual purchase of a rear projection HDTV is inevitable. Now the question is, which is the best HDTV RPTV for the money?? I think that would depend on the size of the set in question and the amount of money you intend to spend. As I am in a small room and such, right now, I am putting my attention toward the smaller HDTV RPTVs (42-Inches to about 47-Inches), and I am going to spend in the neighborhood of about $2,500.00. For the money I am going to spend, I am going to be paying attention to the Mitsubishis, Panasonics and the Toshibas. But now, if I am buying a larger set and spending more money like you are going to be doing, then there is ONLY one brand I would even consider. And that is Pioneer Elite. For a set in THAT price class in which you are talking about, I think that Pioneer Elite is the UNDISPUTED leader in that regard. So, if I am spending my money then, then my money says go with Pioneer Elite.

It's just too bad Pioneer does not market an "Elite" model in the 42-Inch to 47-Inch size class. Because if they did, then that would be the one I'll be looking at as well.

I did a side by side comparison with the mits diamond and the pioneer elite 520 today. i must say, the mits picture looked brighter with better color, but the pioneer seemed to handle NTSC better, and the stretched look seemed better (more real) with the pioneer. the mits looked squished. although the pioneer didn't seem as bright, it was much smoother, and a more film like appearance. nevertheless, the color detail and brightness disappointed me. these were both new out of the box and same exact signal at same time (courtesy of the store i was in). any ideas why this big difference? couldn't really decide which one to like. also, the mits fits a 55" screen into a smaller chassis than the pioneer's 53" screen. also, the store agreed to match my internet quote of $4400 shipped. they want 349 for two additional years of service (over pioneers basic 2) and will calibrate twice per year included in the charge (as well as clean and convergence adjustments). all comments appreciated!!
I think thats wonderful that the store will match your internet quote!! Now you're getting somewhere.... I would be surprised if the Elite isn't as bright or detailed. Got to wonder if it needed a little adjustment. I actually have my "sharpness" and "brightness" turned down (set to -3) to make the picture more natural. Buy the one you like the best, thats really the point. Its interesting that you mentioned that the Mit is in a smaller package. Is it shorter or more shallow? Because the Elite screen goes to within 1" of the edge of the cabinet, except on the bottom where they put some speakers (you wont' use) and the crts.

In store head to head comparing is worthless. These sets have so many things to adjust, and hence so many things to be wrong, that you just can't rely on in store. Different dvd players interreact differently with different sets so each set has to be adjusted with your dvd player for optimal performance. The lighting, cables, etc, can be different. Were both sets displayed with the same signal form the same dvd player? Was one progressive and one interlaced? My 510 looks vastly superior at home than it did at the store. Of course, it should after you tweak it the way you like it.

It is common for stores to have their sets set up in "torch mode" i.e. the brightness and contrast turned way up. This may sell sets to the masses but it has nothing to do with accuracy and long term viewing pleasure. It's like turning the treble way up on your stereo, it may sound good for a short time (ie an in store demo) but it's fatiguing long term and ultimately not enjoyable.

You'll love the 520.
actually, both tvs were directly side by side, with the same ntsc signal from satellite and the same hd channel when set that way. each was placed to factory default settings as well.

as far as the issue of size, the mits was not as wide as the pioneer, but had a 55" screen. the pioneer is only 53". the difference is in the side of the tv, where the mits only has about 1cm of space on each side (left and right) while the pioneer has more like one inch...

guess i'll stick with the 520...
Bazmataz, I've owned an Elite 510 for almost two years now, and It's worth every penny I spent! Don't get too hung up on which television looks better in the store! They all can be tweaked once you have it at home! Also if you do decide on the Pioneer wait for at least a month before having it ISF calibrated, the reason being if their is a problem with the set, it will have shown up by then.

I had a bad red gun that had a small pin hole on it and had to be replaced. It has been flawless since then! Also you can Duvetyne the set yourself, and save a few dollars that the ISF tech will charge you. By doing this the contrast will be much improved, giving you even better depth in your video. Good luck!
Who sells Pioneer Elites for the best possible price? Wouldn't you worry about getting beat up in shipping? I'm in the market for a HDTV and have been looking at the higher end Hitatachi's Mitsubishi and Pioneer Elites. I'm not sure I can afford an Elite but could swing one if I could get a really good price. What are the model #'s on the Diamond Series Mitsubishi's? Thanks for a response for a newbie.!!!
hi newbie... hehe...
there's a guy on audiogon who sells the elite pro 20 series for really good prices. the 53" one was about $4400 delivered. i think his handle is 'micshin' or something like that. check the home theater - video for sale ads or do a search for pioneer elite from the home page. i know it sounds strange, but sound advice (a local high end dealer) actually OFFERED to match that price, which I couldn't believe.

There are advantages to ordering from a local dealer. First, you can trust them a bit more and have someone to go to in case of problems (which in my case there usually are!). Also, I have never gotten a service plan before, but for this kind of TV, I'm getting it. It's about $400 for 5 years, and it includes three cleanings/adjustments annually. Also, any issues, the local dealer comes to my house and fixes it themselves (no 3rd party warranty company). Those cleanings/adjustments are necessary at least annually on these TVs and can cost $80-$120 per visit otherwise. Yes, you can do it yourself, but I'd rather not fuss with something like that on my own, plus you void the pioneer warranty (2 yrs) if you go in on your own.

Next, I was a bit nervous to have a TV like that shipped to me. All that bouncing around and stuff. Plus, what do you do if something goes wrong and it needs to be fixed? Are you going to pack up a 400-500 pound TV and have it shipped for repair? That would prove troublesome at best I think.

With the economy the way it is an high-end audio/video retailers possibly feeling a pinch, I'd see what you could get the TV locally for. Even if it's a couple hundred bucks more than shipping, I think it's clearly worth it to get it locally. Anyway, good luck, sorry for babbling for so long!

Thanks for the response on the rptv's. I think I'm sold on the Pioneer Elite. Does anyone out there know if Audio King (the retail store ) chain have a web site. They are my closest retailer. About three and a half hours away from home. I'm also very apprehensive about shipping such a large, heavy and expensive item all the way from Washington State to Northern Minnesotsa. I'm in a dilemma. Oh well, thats one of the down sides to living way out in the country. Thanks again very much for your help!