36 inch Digital TV with black matte console and digital surround sound audio - Component Video Input - 60 Hz Digital progressive scan - Digital comb filter - picture-in-picture - Digital Picture Formatting (Several Aspect Ratios)
This is a follow up to a couple of other posts I have made.
Quick tip: to enter the service menu press "menu" key on front of tv, use remote and scroll down to service menu, then press the menu key. I have mine all setup and I haven't done it in a while, so if it isn't the menu key try the others around it. You gotta be quick as well!
Updates on my past gripes:
The combing on hatch patterns appears to be actually an artifact from the cable tv people. I have not seen the combing on any other source. I have not had a need to use the RGB input yet. Picture quality is great even from cable. I have to say if you can pick one of these babies up cheap like some of the other thrifty reviewers I would do it. I have messed around with my dad's XBR450 and it is ok. The art blows it away as far as colors go. I am trying to get my dad to play with the XBR's service menu but he is meek. I think in the end the XBR might have better geometry if the service menu settings will go far enough. The flat screen on the XBR is nice but it causes a ton of glare (could be the room). Also, what good is a flat tube if the geometry sucks? The XBR came out of the box whith a HUG horizontal bow. Another thing is the SONY DRC is utter crap! The loewe line doubling is FAR superior in my opinion. Alas, the XBR does have 1080i. If that's not a big deal and you can pick up an art for around 1500, or less, that is a damn good deal in my view. I noticed that the art will make a cheap DVD player look good. My father also has the NS700P DVD player and depending on what mode you are in can make a huge picture quality difference. The Loewe and the Panasonic I used looked great no matter what mode (i.e. DVD player's 4:3 letterbox, 16:9, 4:3 pan and scan settings). Although, the loewe did look great with the 16:9 squeeze. The NS700P isn't very smooth as well, where the Loewe's line doubling is NEVER choppy. Bottom line: if you can get a decent interlaced signal to the Loewe it seems to output a great picture. My future plans include a reliable DVD player modified with a better clock and high quality RCA output opamps. Think about it, most manufacturers use the same MPEG decoders (Genesis, DVDO, etc..), what really makes a DVD (or CD) player better is the signal output stage. This high-end A/V stuff really is a racket. Use your head and don't listen to most of the high end sales people when they talk expensive cables and directional cable (this one is the worst!). The only sore spot has been that the tube transformer died. I live in phx, so it didn't take long for the medics to arrive (2 days) at no cost to me. The medics said it was a common mode of failure and gave me a better part (I hope). If reliability is no longer an issue I will stay satisfied as a Loewe customer. BTW, the new ACONDA 38 is impressive. Will write more later!
Nice TV and I got it for $1300 less than An overpriced SONY 36XRB450. How could I pass up such a deal. Even Better the set comes with a 2 year parts and labor in home warrenty, try to find that on any other brand. Great picture from dvds played by Sony play station 2. The same with UHF stations recieved with an antenna. Variable picture from dishnet. ( We all know how bad satalite tv cam be. ) But this set produces a great pictue better than any other set I have seen with each of these inputs. Sound very good for a TV. The set is heavy weighing in at just under 270 pounds. The picture is a bit dull but I think It needs to be calibrated by a service tech, (This was a floor model). There is a service menu but one should not change these setting unless one knows what they are doing. Has vga input for future HDTV input, draw back is it will only do 480P. One of the best TV sets around.
a Audio Enthusiast
Date Reviewed: April 10, 2001
I'm more of a videophile than an audiophile, so picture quality was more important to me in upgrading my television than a big screen. After lengthy comparisons, both with the in-store cable signal and DVD, I found the Loewe TV delivers the most clear and accurate picture of any television on the market. The components that make up Loewe's line of TV's are just better than those from asian manufacturers, and the quality shows up on the screen. The built-in Loewe line doubler is amazing. Playing cable the Loewe looked better than a DVD being shown on the Sony WEGA 36". It's widescreen feature produces a clearer image than the Panasonic, whose native format is widescreen. PLUS, it has the turbo-keen feature of when you shut off the TV, the screen does not black out at once, but closes in from the sides like a curtain being drawn. I don't know if there's a technical advantage to this (the salesman said it was easier on the tube), but it looks *really* cool. This TV is an all around winner, but I think Loewe is moving into widescreens only, so all the 2000 models (planus, art, calida, arcada, etc) are discontinued now or soon to be. I got mine for $1950 because it was a floor model. Even at the $2500 this TV is a bargain.
This is an update to my last review. I have since found the hidden service menu and set up my tv to my liking. The service menu is great, it allows you all the adjustments of a typical Sony Trinitron computer monitor ( trap, bow, H-size, etc, etc). The service menu also lets you adjust Y/C timing and component timing, RGB color levels, option bits (be VERY careful with the option bits), as well as a ton of other things. Very nice..
I bought the panasonic DVD-RV30 recently to explore the signal quality of DVD's on my set. I have to say I am very impressed. I would have to say, in my mind, there is no real reason for a progressive scan DVD player with this set. With that said, I don't think the fact there isn't a HD component input is a negative. Also, the automatic 16:9 squeeze is great! The squeeze only works with the S-vidio input for some reason though. Also, Loewe recommends the S-video input over the component in their manual. I don't really know why, perhaps the set's digital processing is optimized for the Y/C signal format. I have to say the Matrix looks amazing, especially after I set up the brightness, contrast, color, and tint with video essentials. (actually tint is perfect, set at zero, which ws encouraging). The black level stability is great on this set, i.e. the blacks will remain the same even as the amount of whites and other colors increase.
However, I think to get the most of the set you should disconnect the velocity scan modulation cable in the back of the set. I can't stand the effect of this feature. To see the differences VSM makes, go into the TV picture menu and enable the NTSC mode, VSM is only turned off in this mode (unless the cable I mentioned in disconnected). Why should you disconnect the VSM cable? Well if you try to adjust the brightness, contrast, etc with NTSC mode on, the set switches NTSC mode off (and, of course, VSM back on). Its odd I know. I wonder why loewe didn't put VSM enable/disable in one of the service option bytes? Maybe they did and I am just ignorant. I will investigate.
Anyway, with VSM off and the set properly set up, with video essential or any equal, this set looks pretty damn good. Colors are GREAT and seem to track linearly from extreme to extreme. As far as geometry goes, the set is good, not great. The geometry would be a lot better is it wasn't for the useless upper and lower corner adjustments in the service menu and the non-flat tube. I can really live with this though because you can't see it when things are moving. I prefer better colors over geometry, besides, in 16:9 DVD mode the picture is out of the corners.
The component inputs look like crap from my panasonic DVD, it might me the player, but I think the component input on this set just sucks, I didn't attept to fix the picture because there isn't 16:9 auto detect with the component inputs. Maybe the component timing in the sevice menu would help.
I can tell you how impressed I was with the picture from my panasonic. I wish I knew someone with a real high end player to compare and contrast.
Lastly, the comb filter, at least I think its the comb filter, in Cable TV mode seems to mess up on plaid patterns such as mini blinds, sport jackets my dad used to wear, etc etc.. not a big deal but I was surprised to see it on a set of this level.
I have heard there is no 16:9 squeeze in the RGB mode for this set, if so I will be disappointed. I talked to sensory science (importer of Loewe sets) and they said they are in the process of getting a component-to-RGB converter box UL approved. This should satisfy anyone that wants a 3-2 pull down progressive player (unless there is no 16:9 squeeze, my fingers are crossed).
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