About a year and a half ago I was looking at the same rear projection TVs you are considering now. I was able to do a side-by-side comparison of all these TVs and found the Pioneer Elite to be the best, followed by the Pioneer regular line, then the Sony, and last, the Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi dealers must make more money on Mitsubishi sales because most of the dealers pushed the Mitsubishi's on me. One of the arguments they used was that Mitsubishi coats their lenses so that their brightness will not diminish over time. Well, the measured brightness of the Pioneer is over double that of the Mitsubishi. So even if my Pioneer becomes less bright after ten years, it will still probably be brighter than a brand new Mitsubishi. As to picture quality, I compared a NTSC Pioneer to a HDTV-ready Mitsubishi. Because of its internal line doubler, the Mitsubishi did have a smoother picture. I still prefered the Pioneer, however, because the picture was so much brighter and the colors so much more vivid. The Mitsibishi looked washed out by comparison. As for the NTSC Mitsubishi, it was throughly out-classed. I would go for the Pioneer - my wife and I love it.
Although I do beleive that Mitsubishi is better than average ( I own one ) If I had the money to spend it would have been the Pioneer Elite. Regular Pioneer is not on the level of Mitsubishi or Sony, It would be better compared to the RCA,Hitachi,Toshiba, Samsung,Sears LXi. The Elite is in a class by itself. In my area it is usually easy to distinguish the combination of quality and price they are not far from each other in most cases. Remember once its in your house there will not be anything beside it to compare it to so its even easier to look good there.
EG1 is right. Pioneer is tops, but depending on whose model is most current, Toshiba and Sony are next. Mitsubishi does not withstand comparison, although they make a good TV.
One manufacturer left out of this discussion is Zenith. They have two new HD units, one a 56", the other a 64". VERY impressive picture, and priced competitively with the Elite and others of the same caliber.
I looked at all the above mentioned and I thought the Pioneer excelled above all but one. I bought a 60" Marantz. I thought the Picture quality was the best I have ever seen on a rear projection. No matter what you decide on spend the extra 50 bucks and get Vedio Essentials to set it up. It makes a huge difference.
Unfortunately, there is not one best rear projection manufacturer. Mitsu is O.K., and so is Pioneer. Pioneer's products are usually priced at higher price points, so its not fair to compare them to cheaper alternatives. Currently, Toshiba's products will give you some of the best picture for the money (after you have it tweaked by an ISF technician). This is ABSOLUTLY CRITICAL in order to get the best picture. There is no, I mean no rear projection tv that is set up correctly out of the box. Most manufacturers realize that consumers don't know what proper black levels or gray scales look like, or flesh tones for that matter. They do realize that people will try to make a purchace decision based on what the set looks like in a flourscently lit showroom. So they tweak (read innacuratly adjust) the set to look appealing in this environment, exagerate the blue gun to make the picture punchy, and throw in a little red to make the fleshtones more appealing. No matter how you try to adjust the picture from the user remote, you will not see the actual potential of the set. If you want a great picture, plan on spending that extra $300 or so and get it "fixed" by your local area ISF technician.
YES Ehider;Great advice!! ---Hobbes,I saw an uncalibrated Marantz,and it is the equal to Pioneer Elite,no question. I already owned my Pioneer at the time,and was sorry I hand't seen the Marantz beforehand.
Hi Guys, I believe that Marantz is really a badged Phillips tv.
The pioneer elite is a great TV the picture quality is first rate, but I have to tell you that the new mitsubishi diamond series 55907 or 65907 has come a long way and definately rivals the elite in picture and is more flexible when it comes to rear connections. At two to three thousand dollars less mits all the way. I had owned the 65905( last years diamond series) and I was very dissapointed the new model with the new doubler blew me away at he difference so much so that I ended up buying it instead of the pioneer( my wallet is still thanking me.)
What about Hitachi? I have a Hitachi UltraVision and enjoy it vey much. I was told that Hitachi makes the guns for almost all other projection TVs except Sony.
As the owner of an Elite analog PTV, I obviously prefer Pioneer. After viewing the new Elites, I feel they smoke the Mits and new Sony XBR widescreens. The reg Pioneers are damn close to the Elite. I can't speak for the Toshibas and Marantz--I only saw the Pioneer next to a Sony and a Mits (Diamond). My own opinion--if you can't (or don't want to) afford the Elite, get the regular line Pioneer and a good progressive scan DVD like Pioneers DV37 or Sony DVPS9000. This will make the TV look like an Elite when viewing DVD. Of course, for the price of the Sony 9000, you could have an Elite! Thru HD sources, they are also very close, but viewing NTSC, the Elite clearly (Hah!) outperforms the others. Particularly nice is the lack of digital artifacts that appear on the Mits. The Mits also has a different color balance. This can lead to a perceived "brighter" picture, since the reds and yellows are predominant. The Pioneer TVs both lean more toward greens and blues. Whichever you decide, definitely use a video setup disc, and consider the ISF option. If possible, try to view one with a direct DVD feed with component video. Most dealers use a distibution feed with a mediocre signal, typically composite video.