Now that I’ve spent 24 hours with the TV I can expand on a few things that a couple of hours playtime only allowed me to gloss over, and how to solve a couple of problems that cropped up for anyone else who might be getting or already have the same TV.
- As usual with TVs the default settings are crap. I’m quite happy with the following settings, which look good for games and DVDs: contrast – 85; brightness – 70; sharpness – 25; colour – 50; tone – Warm1.
- Turn off digital noise reduction. It leaves some weird grey trails in black areas of bright sections (examples here) which is incredibly annoying and looks horrible in stuff like credits or movies with a lot of high contrast black and white (Sin City, for example).
- When connecting a 360 to any TV via component, remember to flick the switch on the cable from TV to HDTV. I spent a while trying to work out why it looked so crap before realising it was in 480i and not the 720p that I’d set it to.
- The skipping issue on the SD-350E is really annoying, but thankfully the artifacting problem is gone through HDMI. Amazon are sending me a replacement which should be here tomorrow so that I can see if I just got unlucky with this one, but nonetheless 576p looks great. Now just give me affordable HD-DVD because I need 720p movies.
- Annoyingly to turn the PS2’s output from RGB to component you need to go into the menu and change it yourself, which it won’t do over a component cable. You have to run it through SCART, change the output, and then swap in the new cable, and that just about makes it look passable. I pray that the PS3 can upscale the games.
- It’s been said that PGR3 doesn’t actually run in true HD and when you see it running on an HDTV it certainly appears to be true. It looks good but nowhere near the impossibly gorgeous DOA4.
There you go, then. We’ll see if there’s anything else that bears mentioning but now that the teething problems have been ironed out for me I’m very happy with things. The TV gets a thumbs up from me if you’re looking for HDTV on a budget.