on December 26, 2010
First off, I'm not a biased reviewer. Everything I review, I do it for the sake of truthness.
By the way, I own the 40 inch of this model.
I have owned and do own SEVERAL TVs, ranging from brands and types. I am a HUGE audio/video phile, and I always have been since the introduction of high definiton teleivision. I'm going to break this review down into a few parts.
SETUP + BUILD QUALITY
- Pretty straight forward. Easy to assemble, but the back semi circular black piece doesn't like to stay in place and doesn't feel super high quality. The stand however feels sturdy especially once the TV is screwed into it. This is an easy part, it's four screws which is nothing difficult. Now, onto the TV. Compared to other Sony models I've owned or do own (S5100, XBR4, SXRD XBR2, Trinitron 34 inch CRT, EX 46 inch), this TV feels VERY high quality. The bezel feels very well made and produced, unlike a few Sonys I've seen before. The screen also feels very high quality, and is not super reflective, unless there's a lot of light. Then, it gets interesting. The remote is set up decently, but may be a little confusing to some. Again, straightforward. Upon turning on the TV you'll enter a setup screen etc, you know the rundown. You will be prompted to set up an internet connection, and when you do you'll have tons of interesting aps to keep you busy for a while. Netflix and the Golf channel are to name a few. The menu system is also similar to that of the Playstation 3, and is VERY easy to navigate. Good rating here Sony.
FEATURES + INPUTS
Pretty short category. FOUR HDMI ports! That's pretty decent. You'll have standard Component, Composite, Tuner, and PC inputs. All put very well on the back or side of the TV. 3D TV, and it can simulate 3D for ANY video, so it isn't just 3D capable, it's 3D ready. In addition it also has the internet aps I briefly spoke about and has all the basic features and inputs you want from a TV. Menu is very easy to use.
Okay, the big category now! Before I begin speaking about this, I ALWAYS let my TVs burn in for 80+ hours of use, and then I have them professionaly calibrated, NOT BY BEST BUY. Best Buy calibration is total garbage - I speak from experience. I pay a seasoned professional who does a fantastic job with all the latest ISF gadgetry. Out of the box, SD picture is decent. It's not as good as say a top CRT, but the SD is comparable to other TVs in this category of Edge Lit LED. It's good, but not fantastic. Some channels look better than others. Out of the box the HD picture is where this set shines. It gives some very deep blacks and showcases a vast array of detail. It's sharp, and there is VERY little motion blur. The CineMotion setting I set to off. Detail is equally impressive in light/dark scenes, and all HD sources look very, very good. I use the Playstation 3 as a Blu Ray player and I play all sorts of console games such as God of War 3, Mass Effect 2 (360), Call of Duty, etc. I also watch a massive amount of blu rays from comedies to action, and the picture never fails. I compared this to a LX9 XBR (Brand new), and I thought the picture quality was VERY similar. I forced the guys at the Sony Style store to move these two sts side by side with the exact same inputs. The XBR 9 only had VERY SLIGHTLY better detail in darker scenes (splitting hairs), but that may have been due to other reasons. Overall, quality is wonderful. Again, motion blur even in dark scenes is not evident. I like to test a certain scene in the game "Resistance 2", to showcase any motion blur, and even when only 120Hz is turned on there is very little or no blur. By testing the Bravia 3 engine, my calibrator found the engine was powerful and moving images where showcased very well. We were suprised, because most of my Sony sets in the past failed during this test.
However, I DO NOT like an out of the box picture, personally. It's over bright, the colors are torqued up and are innacurate, and these other features such as "advanced contrast control" or "LED control" are garbage. Turn them off completely. Get this TV calibrated - and even then, it isn't 100% perfect. My calibrator worked hours to get the gray scale as accurate as possible. He came very very close, and the TV calibrated very nicely. We have it on the "Custom setting", which Warm 2 as the color option, and brightness set to 51, Picture to 75, and color to 52. We have ALL SETTING OFF except Live Color set to low. Back light is on 6, because I like it a tiny bit brighter. Sharpness needs to be set to 0, it ruins a picture. If I get enough likes on this review I will post my gray scale calibrations.
This all may be true, but the picture is NOT without flaw. Due to being edge lit, you do have a little bit of cloudiness. I have both the 40 inch and the 55 inch model, and it's MUCH lower on the 40 inch. It's only seen slightly at the edges in very dark scenes, but still there. The 55 inch was worse, but still not very evident unless in a dark scene. And even then these sets aren't as bad as others. It's not noticable really on the 40 inch. This however, is the only flaw I see. I am very, very picky when it comes to my TVs and this one delivered.
The 3D is very nice - especially on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and also Dispicable Me. I also like Deep Sea 3D, but at a few scenes it gets blurry. Overall I really like 3D and at first was not a believer. I tested the LG LED and the Samsung as well, and the Sony was my favorite. I also LOVE Samsungs because of it's 10 point gray scale adjustability, but this TV had better picture quality.
Overall, in this catgeory it gets a 9.5.
Ugh. The sound on these speakers are very tinny. They don't produce bass well at all, and to me are garbage. I use a Samsung 3D receiever with two Pioneer towers up front with a Polk Center channel and Polk rears with a 10 inch 250 watt Polk Sub. I refuse to listen to a TV's speaker, as they sound horrific. I noticed even with HDMI voices tend to sound muffled.
Overall, a wonderful set. The only problem is the fact that the backlight at very dark scenes can get annoyingly cloudy, but that's edge lit LED. Picture quality is very detailed, and the gray scale gets 95% accurate when calibrated. Out of the box decent SD settings, but wonerful HD settings. The 3D capabilities on this set are done nicely, and Sony's 3D glasses are among my favorite or comfort. Sound is terrible though - but that was expected.
Enough "helpful" buttons pressed, and I'll post my full calibration settings. (Wont look 100% on your set because each TV is different, but will be closer).
on August 9, 2010
I've had this set for about a month now and absolutely loving it. If you are in the market for a new HDTV, you should try this set out at your local SonyStyle or B&M electronics store as a future proofed set even in the presence of so many 3D skeptics. If you like gaming, you will be pleased to see HD gaming has been taken to the next level. Just play Motor Storm 3D and you will believe.
2D is amazing, and 3D is stunning! I didn't notice ghosting when viewing native 3D content as compared to the Samsung/LG sets (where ghosting was extremely obvious). Although this is an LCD set, the 3D clarity were similar to the Panasonic plasma sets I also tried. I ended up going with this set because the glasses felt better designed.
Only negative is the limited native 3D content so far... but things should get better by this winter and early next year. Can't wait for some football on ESPN 3D.
UPDATE (11/28/2010): I've had this set for a little over 3 months now and my opinion on it is still the same, better if it was possible to go over 100%.
As stated before, amazing picture quality both in 2D and 3D.
It wasn't an important feature for me when I purchased this set, but I am now starting the realize how nice the black levels are on this set. Once you get used to the black levels on this TV, you will notice the mediocre black levels on cheaper or traditional LCD HDTVs and finally see what you've been missing by not getting a Plasma... but this is a LCD (LED) set that has black levels comparable to Plasmas - a must see. Plasmas are absolutely a non option for me because I do a lot of gaming and pause my DVR alot, don't want to deal with burn in problems down the road.
Additional positives I discovered about Sony 3DHDTVs in general are the replaceable batteries for the 3D glasses. It will end up costing much less to operate than the Samsung rechargeable types because once the batteries in the Samsung glasses are dead, you have to replace the glasses. Much cheaper to replace the CR2032s ($1.50 - $2.00 each for a good one) than to purchase new glasses.
3D Gaming is georgeous on this set. Gran Turismo 5 in 3D mode is a must try for people who like 3D (native 3D mode was hidden deep inside the game options menu - resist the temptation of just pressing the simulated 3D button on your TV's remote if you struggle with finding the 3D option as I did for a few minutes).
3D blu-ray library have definately improved, and next year releases looking good... but still needs time to mature. I still think some the exclusive releases are slowing adaptation of 3D HDTVs, but I could wait - it is nice to see demand for native 3D blu ray on auction sites pressuring some movie studios. You may notice 3D content on DirecTV may flicker a little when compared to native 3D blu rays because the DirecTV signal consist of two channels of 720p or 1080i instead of two channels of 1080p as you would get on a blu-ray or PS3 game. Neither one of these issues are issues with this set specifically, but with 3DHDTVs in general. Native 3D blu-ray and games are amazing on this set.
Reflective surface may reflect some direct sunlight. I have a large window with vertical blinds directly across from my entertainment center and behind my couch. During the brightest time of day, a small percentage of those lights can seep through my blinds and be reflected on the glossy finish. It isn't a problem when I'm just watching TV 2D or 3D with regular room lighting or during the day. But when I play GT5 in 3D mode in the middle of the afternoon, it can throw my perception off as I try to focus further down the road. But since I don't get to play in the middle of the afternoon that often, it isn't an issue for me.
Integrated speakers are horrible. I didn't expect too much though... this set is designed to be thin for visual aesthetics and so naturally doesn't have the required airspace for the integrated speaker sound to reverberate and amplify itself. Hooked it up to a home theatre system, and problem solved.
on August 24, 2010
In a world of so many options for LED LCD TV's, I can say that this is an excellent choice. I sold my Pioneer Elite plasma due to the flicker, and was looking for a CCFL backlit LCD, but was not impressed with the selection this year (wanted CCFL backlit as I own a Samsung 46B750 LCD from 2009, and the picture is spectacular). You will often see reviews of edge lit LED's state issues with clouding or flashlighting and uneven backlighting. The HX800 has a very uniform backlight with no issues seen with other manufacturers. I would recommend, however, to purchase the panel from somewhere like Amazon with a liberal return policy because you don't want to get stuck with a panel that does have issues. For the price, this is an excellent panel with accurate colors, very good black levels and shadow detail, and excellent motion handling. Before buying this panel I had bought the LG 55LX9500 full array LED local dimming set and was disappointed with the banding and uneven backlighting. Overall, the HX800 is a great panel.
on September 7, 2010
I wanted to upgrade my TV. I had a 50" Samsung Plasma I was gonna move to my Den to replace the Old TV there.
This LED-LCD TV has much Thinner sides allowing me to fit this in my Entertainment Center as it was only 2.5 inches wider than my Samsung PN50C590 (47.8 wide). 5 More inches while only sacrificing 2.5" of width. Sweet. (This ones 50 3/8" wide)
So when I started the Hunt for a New TV the Question was do I want 3D.?.?
I went to several stores and demoed several 3D TVs.
The Samsung 7000 Series had a deal like this going on, but I was underwhelmed by that TV, Maybe it was a Weak Demo?
The Panasonic was more impressive in terms of the 3D then the Samsung, but the Demo left me wondering why nothing was moving very Fast.?.? Perhaps there is ghosting issues? I don't know... I next Tried out the Sony which the Guy Helping me said was his Favorite. I was much more impressed with the 3D, especially when MotorStorm hit the Screen.
At this Point I did not buy the TV cause I like to do research before jumping.
I found a good Deal for the TV, 3D Transmitter, and 2 Pairs of Glasses with a 3D BluRay Player / Surround System.
After getting it all home and having it for a week I am even more impressed.
MotorStorm 3D Rift which is different than MotorStorm Pacific Rift, same tracks but the Disc Version does not have 3D, that game is wicked impressive. It is in the Playstation Store, there is a 1 Level Demo as Well. Super Stardust HD is also patched for 3D and is really cool as well. It can be more fun to die cause a bunch of Particles Fly out at you when you die... Sweet.
The 3D content will automatically turn the 3D on. The 3D button on the Remote will allow you to use a Simulated 3D on 2D programs. It worked pretty good on Football and Some older games like MAG and Halo:OSDT, but it was no where near Real 3D content. You'll know if your game is 3D cause it will warn you before it starts into 3D. Motorstorm 3D Rift and Super Stardust started up with a Selection "Play in 3D" or "Play in 2D"
After I played with my 2D settings and started noticing Shutter in movements. The Default Settings did not have this problem. But I like using these settings.
I started with the "Scene" General.
I adjusted picture settings and used "Vivid" which give a Crisp Bright Picture.
I set MotionFlow to Standard.
I turned Cinemotion to OFF (I think that was the one Causing my Strange Pic Shutter)
Backlighting at MAX, Picture at MAX.
Color Temperature : Cool (Try em all and see what you like best)
The Rest I left where Vivid had set them.
These settings this TV is so Crisp it is Scary. The Black Levels are Great.
It looks way better than my Samsung Plasma in my Opinion. We have been watching 24 on Netflix and I could instantly see a difference the Day we hooked this TV up. Wow does that guy have that many Potmarks on his Face.?.? Vice President in Season 6.
Anyways; I was skeptical about 3D and Now I am a 3D Lover.
Granted there is very little available as far as 3D movies. If the Movie Includes Glasses it will not work with this 3D.
That was Cheap 3D with the Red/Blue glasses. You want to look for 3D Blu Ray.
From what I can tell as of Sep 7 2010 there is only a small handful of Movies:
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (You can get this for Free if you Register your TV online with Sony)
- IMAX Deep Sea 3D (You can get this for Free if you Register your TV online with Sony)
- Monsters vs Aliens (Only available in Samsung Bundles Right Now)
- Clash of the Titans (Only available for Arm and Leg on eBay)
- Coraline (I think this is only with Panasonic Bundles)
So there is not much in way of Movies right now. The Games are there and More are coming out supporting 3D over the next few months. So if you're already in the Market for a TV, this is a great one with 3D.
Additional Info / Update.
Batteries in the Glasses are not Rechargeable. Uses CR2032 watch battery. I have not had to Replace mine after 2 months already. I registered online and got (3) 3D Blu-Ray Discs; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, IMAX Deep Sea 3D, and a Demo Disc with 30-40 minutes worth of 3D. High Velocity Bowling was updated for 3D that looks pretty good. Tumble came out in 3D which uses the Move Controller, Really sweet when you see in 3D and move the Controller in and out to Manipulate Blocks. I have not Used the TVs Internet Features cause I do my Netflix etc. from my PS3, to use the Internet Features you will need a Sony UWA-BR100 - Network adapter - USB that will plug in the Back.
on October 4, 2010
Connections: 4 HDMI 1 optical out and a pair of RCA's are certainly enough. A couple of USB's round and an Ethernet connector round out the input out puts. Note to consumers skip the Sony only wireless and find a way to hard wire to your network. The amount of internet streaming is such that the wireless USB is really just too slow to keep up. You can stream Netflix with it but the process is painfully slow. Same with BD live it works but you won't want to use it. Connected to a Netgear powerline system it was MUCH BETTER working with online content. The E570 3D blu-ray player only has 1 HDMI, 1 optical in, Ethernet and 2 usb connectors and an FM antenna. The wireless USB comes with it but again, online content overwhelms it. Unfortunately it also has proprietary connectors for the speakers so you must use the speaker it comes with or slice in the wires for your favorites. This actually proved to be a blessing in disguise.
Picture- Stunning. The out of the box settings were very near what we saw in the store. That was Good and BAD. Good from the stand point that if we bought the TV expecting to see the vibrant picture we saw in the store, we would not have been disappointed. Bad because the picture in the store is not very accurate, its oversaturated, over bright, way too much contrast and too sharp. Once I got it calibrated which was somewhat frustrating because the set is smart enough to make adjustments for content type, signal type, ambient light, bright scenes dark scenes ect... Turn all that OFF before trying to adjust the picture. Once you get things set correctly you can turn them back on to good effect. Once adjusted the picture and contrast level on this set are just amazing. True 1080 content is just breath taking. You can see every detail down to the texture of the fabrics and pours in the skin, for everything that is in focus. Anything not in focus in the shot gets a bit of a grainy if you don't tune the sharpness WAY down. Once you do the picture is simple great. The COLORS are beautiful, on our set the green gain needed to be adjusted down quite a bit to look natural and balance with the red and blue but again once done it was just magnificent. Very vibrant when it was supposed to be. Now here is the rub. Once adjusted to be accurate, you will not like watching 480 content because it will just look sharp enough. 720 or better and you're in heaven. On this set you can see the difference between blu ray , dvd, 720 and 480. Yes HDMI does make a difference and the set is accurate enough to show you.
Sound - The sound on the Set is adequate for watching the news and can do a mediocre job of simulating surround sound but frankly this tv was designed with home theater in mind. It has speaker just in case. Now combined with blu ray home theater it's a whole different ball game. I had no intention of using the Sony speakers that came with the home theater set fully intending to use my old Bose system, but since the connectors required using the special connectors I hooked it up just to give them a try. WOW... these little guys have some guts. Crsip highs well defined mids and decent lows. My anaylser showed them to respond much flatter than my Boses( translation, better accuracy with less EQ tweaking) . The sub absolutely THUNDERS. I had concerns about firing bass into the carpet but the diffuser held make the bass even more Omni directional and with a measly 1000wats the system easily shakes everything in the room, (and all the adjacent rooms as well) The setup and balancing was easy and it certainly delivers a better audio experience whether movies or cd's than my 7 year old Boses.
3D- Best of the bunch. We demoed the Panasonic and Samsungs as well. The Samsungs in 3d mode just weren't as sharp, you could see too many instances of dual halo like images that spoiled the effect. The Panasonic was a good picture but the glasses cause any outside light source to flicker, and the set itself seemed flicker a lot as well with them on in 3D mode. The Sony glasses may flicker for a second or three when first turned on but then it goes away. You can look at anything with them on to include a laptop or light and they don't flicker unless you turn your head from the emitter. When you turn back they will flicker until they sync with it again and then you are home free. It takes less than a second or so most of the time. WHY 3d with so little content. Firstly the set has a duper detailed vibrant 2d picture. It also is a really good 2d to 3d up converter that does anywhere from excellent to nothing depending on the content you are watching. IE watch Good Times, AFV or most 480 content with it will get you no effect(or a headache at best), where as Finding Nemo, Lion King, UP, and Kill Bill or Baseball adds so much depth to the tv it looks like your set is just soo deep, really nice. It works fairly well with most 720 sources and starts to really pop with 1080 content. Secondly none of it is close to true native 3d content. I'm not really a football fan but you just can't believe what its like to watch a game in 3d. Its like they cut a hole in the wall and the field in right behind it. Incredible. Now I'm watching everything espn3d has. Video gaming is good but the few wild life movies available like Africa Safari from IMAX are just gorgeous. Even with the loss of brightness and slightly less vivid color with the glasses on,(the set goes extra bright in 3d mode to compensate) natural non 3d gimmick shots are breath taking and the depth of field really helps one get into the picture(pun intended). Once you start you don't want to do back. With so many good films having been done in 3d originally and released on blu ray, up convert does well and the growing list of native 3D content is such that it once experienced you'll find it worth the price of admission.
on September 26, 2010
We considered Samsung C8000, Panasonic VT25 (plasma), Sony HX909 and Sony HX800.
Clearly, both Sony's were better than the Samsung's though the Samsung C9000 being only 0.3"
thick was very enticing but Samsungs seem over-bright and the picture did not seem natural.
The Panasonic plasma VT25 is also a 3D TV. Plasmas compare very favorably to the LEDs. They
have richer colors, and very natural pictures. And the 3D was very vivid, more than on the Sony LEDs.
But the pictures are less sharp, and plus the plasma picture quality degrades over time, and in about 5
years they don't look as good. Though one has to say, that the plasma tvs have become quite thin
over time. In the end, we decided to go with the Sony LED TV as they have a longer life, sharper
picture, and overall seemed a bit better built, and the quality of panasonic 3D glasses is pathetic.
So, that narrowed it to a Sony XBR HX909 and a KDL HX800. XBR is Sony's top of the line TV.
HX909 has a full array local dimming, while HX800 edge-lit local dimming. The first gives better
contrasts but the difference between the two did not seem so great. HX909 also has a monolithic design,
an opticontrast glass panel, and a lighted Sony logo. It's a beautiful looking TV. To compensate, the HX800
has a very thin bezel, making it look very sleek, and costs $800 less (we considered 52HX909 v 55HX800.
The difference is only the looks. The quality of both TVs is the same. Since the HX800 bundle included a full
3D blueray home theatre system as compared to just a 3D bluray player for HX909 (both bundles include the 3D
kit), we decided to go for the 55HX800.
In almost 3 weeks of usage, we are very happy with its performance. Real 3D content is amazing. It does seem
like things are happening right in your living room (including the tiger shark roaming there). The simulated 3D
is less impressive. While with 2D bluray movies, the simulated 3D effect is still quite impressive, with standard cable
it is not. Sometimes, the eyes can strain while watching 3D content but I think that is an issue of the settings which we are still playing with. You will need the sony wifi adapter to connect the TV to the Internet (any other wireless adapter is not going to work though you can hook it up by ethernet). Once connected, the Internet widgets are amazing. You can directly stream netflix movies on the TV, and they quality is very good, almost dvd quality.
Overall, I think this is the best value 3D TV on the market, and close to the best 3D LED TV. We only wish it's colors were as
vivid as those of the plasma TVs we saw (herein Panasonic, LG and Vizio plasma TVs as seemed to be better, so it it not a matter of brand but technology).
Highly recommend it, and the deal is great too! We bought it from the sonystyle website.
It had been almost 10 years since we upgraded our living room TV (which was a 50 inch Sony tube TV) so it was time. We decided that we wanted to buy a pretty good one that would keep us happy for a long time. We did a great deal of research and tire-kicking, and this Sony Bravia 55 inch appeared to us to have the best picture of anything we could find anywhere near its price point.
The picture on this unit is quite literally stunning when used with a Blu-Ray, HD (i.e. from iTunes) or even a good-quality DVD or cable/satellite source. The LED lighting gives the picture a wonderful clarity and "pop" that you don't see on every model of flatscreen TV. Frankly, I had never seen anything like it. The impressiveness of the picture quality on this set is hard to overstate.
We have only used the 3D capability a few times, as there are as yet very few movies available in 3D format. However, the 3D quality of this TV is amazing, and when more choices do become available we will likely very much enjoy it.
The sound on this set is adequate. However, I like excellent sound, and we purchased the Sony HT-350 Soundbar (which I have also reviewed on Amazon) which we really like. It very much improves the richness and quality of the sound. The HT-350 interfaces beautifully with the Bravia.
Overall, this TV leaves pretty much nothing to be desired. The picture is fantastic. The unit is gorgeous and will compliment any living room decor. Highly recommended without reservation. A fantastic product and the leader at its price-point. RJB.
on November 17, 2010
I purchased this TV because of the LED-LCD screen and size and the price. I found it bundled with a PS3 a 3D transmitter and 2 pair of 3D glasses for one low price from Best Buy. I can not believe the picture quality. This replaced my 720P 46" Sony Bravia LCD TV that was only 2 years old and the difference is amazing. The 1080P combined with the 240Hz motionflow pro makes football and action scenes in movies look even better. It's like being at the game without having to spend all the time and money getting there and it's better then my local movie theater by far. The picture quality is so good you feel like you are right there experience it in person and not watching from your couch. This is one of the few LED TVs that still has an audio out. This was important to me because I did not want to have to get a new surround sound system too. The four HDMI inputs was important to me too as I have three, one for my directv, one for the ps3 and one for my surround sound/DVD player. On my old TV I had to use a switcher box. The 3D was also a factor in my purchase. My wife hates 3D and will not go see a movie that's in 3D. Now I can buy the movie for cheaper then going and we can watch it in 2D and I can watch it again in 3D. The glasses are a little tight as I have a large head but with the noise piece adjustment I found it manageable. Any small discomfort is quickly forgotten about when you start seeing the picture flying at or away from you. I watched a few movie in simulated 3D but there are more 3D blurays arriving for the holidays, I can't wait to watch those. The remote also controls most function on PS3 too. It wont turn it on but that's OK with me as I only use it to watch Blurays and the TV automatically switches to that input once the you put in a disc. My wife loves that as see now doesn't need to remember how to do that again.
If you want to experience TV instead of just watching it then this is what you have been waiting for. I know it was for me.
on December 16, 2010
I originally posted this review as an answer to a previous reviewer complaining of Headaches after using the 3d option. After I relayed my experience so far, I figured, more people may have this issue so I posted it on review page.
As for the TV I couldn't be happier...I bought it at Costco, almost $1000 cheaper than most places I looked so Price to Value, it was a no brainer. The picture is great, the weight was surprisingly light for the size. My initial experience was great, quite impressed.
The only initial Con I noticed was that it was really lean on the instructions. It comes with an "imanual" which you can bring up from your remote, but some, like I am, prefer to review things in "3d" as in on paper. I admit I haven't gone through the whole imanual so can't speak to its usefulness, although it did come into play regarding figuring out the problem (hopefully) I had with the 3d function on my set. The glasses and 3d transmitter came with their own instructions.
**ADDENDUM Con....the below issues I had with viewing 3d was directly related to my "SONY" Tuner interfering with my "SONY" playstation to speak with my "SONY" 55' 3D TV.
So....that is all about the non 3d experience...overall very good as expected with many of my Sony purchases.
Onto my adventures in figuring out the 3d on this TV (remember, this does not speak to the entire model, it may be that I got a bad one as far as the 3d goes of the lot....Again, this is in a response to someone saying he had a bad headache from watching 3d, and someone saying it may be a PS3 setting needs adjusting (which didn't fix my problem either :P):
I believe what might be giving you the headache is the "simulated 3d" option of the this tv. From what I understand, it is a thing you can turn on that takes a 2d signal and process it through the 3d glasses and transmitter to "simulate" the 3d.
I also had massive headache issues after trying out the downloaded free games you can get after downloading the 3d update to your playstation3. I assumed like most that maybe it was something to eventually get used to. Luckily I have another source of 3d. Comcast has some on demand free 3d movies (nature, fish and such). When I played those, comcast would pop up a thing that says you need to set your 3d format to "over and under" (or top and bottom, I forget).
Basically, when you go to the TV's 3d opitions menu, you get three choices: Over Under/Side by Side/ or Simulated 3d. The choice you need is determined visually by what you see on the screen without the glasses, if you see two pictures one on top of the other then it's over under for example. When I had the proper setting, I was able to watch the feed no problems, squitnting eye strain or headaches.
I bought Despicable Me 3d as my first 3d movie, and proceeded to try to watch it. Unfortunately, my ps3 refused to play the 3d version and insisted I choose "view in 2d" (no other option available...just push button and watch in 2d). I went ahead and pushed the "3d" button on my remote for the TV and rebooted the playstation hoping it would recognise my 3d tv this time. No such luck. I viewed the 3d blu ray in "3d mode" anyway. The image seemed almost 3d but not quite, and again I started sensing the headaches. This was not 3d, especially when compared to the 3d I saw on comcast.
Luckily, I bought this model Sony (glasses and all) from Costco so I had customer support to go to. We went over a bunch of stuff...settings on TV, playstation etc for over an hour. He finally said we should just try to get a hold of Sony. While waiting, I continued to look over what options i had in for the TV. This is when I noticed the description of "Simulated 3d". It said something to the effect of "view 2d images in 3d"!!!! So the name of the option is exactly what it is, it is not really 3d as intended but an option if you wanted to give yourself a headache viewing non 3d images in a "simulated" 3d!!!! (Headaches-ville....no reason why IMHO to have this setting ....really? view 2d movies in simulated 3d with the bonus of a headache??)
On top of that, while going through all the settings related to the TV with the Costco support, I realised one of the settings we checked, which is the factory default, is the one that has your TV automatically detect a 3d signal and switch accordingly. If you have been paying attention from earlier....each time 3d initiated on my TV, I had to initiate it. The TV never automatically switched even though I had the "check for 3d signal" setting on. The comcast feed, I had to go in and set the 3d to "over under".
I told that to the support, and he seems to agree with me. Unfortunately, by the time we came to this realisation, Sony had shut down for the night, so we couldn't confirm. I have an appointment with them today so will update. I am starting to think, I just got unlucky and bought a bad one, but will see if Sony support can fix this without me having to unhitch this behemoth from my wall and take it all the way back to Costco. (Thank God Costco no muss no fuss exchange policy). Will update.
PS I initially called Costco support to start a "ticket" on this item because every once in awhile (Four times in appx 20hrs of viewing time), the screen goes blank...I still heard audio, but the screen would go black for maybe 2 sec. The support had me change the TV setting regarding sleep or ambient light sensor, I forget now. He promises it should not happen again, but it happened pretty infrequently, but per Costco's 3 mnth return policy on electronics I have time to see if it does. No one want's to spend $2000+ and still have infrequent glitches :)
OK got it figured out and thankfully, I don't have to return my TV.
It turns out, the tuner (a Sony as well) I have all my devices running through is apparantly interfering with the TV's ability to talk to the PS3 and the Comcast cable box. I only bought it 1 1/2 yrs ago back when all HD TVs came with only one HDMI input, so the tuner is not ancient or anything, it has 4 HDMI inputs and 3 components so is meant to handle this job (did I mention it is made by the same manufacturer as the TV?). It finally worked when I plugged the PS3 directly into one of the 4 HDMI inputs in the TV.
Am glad to finally have the 3d but VERY disappointed that even though my tuner is newish and from the same company that I can only watch 3d content using the TV's speakers and not the sound system I had set up for my entertainement system. Seems pretty aggregious of a company to make systems that can't communitcate with each other.
This speaks to the my early impression of my original "Con" for this product (add the inability for components to speak to the Sony TV through a Sony Tuner), that there is minimal literature that comes with the package that would explain what to expect or how to initiate the 3D. Would have saved me alot of time had I known that the TV switches automatically to 3D mode when it senses the signal. If you have to switch it, then you are most likely watching "simulated 3d"
So to summarise:
1. The 3D TV should AUTOMATICALLY switch to 3D mode when it receives a 3D signal. If it doesn't and you use the 3D button on the remote, what you are actually watching is "simulated" 3D which I don't understand why this is an option as it is not really 3D (now that I have it working, I can confirm). Furthermore, you will find yourself squinting alot and end up with a nasty headache that, for me, seemed to last over a couple hours.
2. If you are using a Tuner to run all your HDMI and AV through to your TV, there is a chance it might interfere with components "talking" with your TV. I have a Sony Tuner and it still inteferred with the PS3 talking to the Sony TV.
3. Regarding the PS3. I initially came in looking for answers from this forum and found one poster relay something that turned out useful.
A. Davis posted "Had similar problem, but then found that our PS3 had the TV's screen size set at 65 inches when ours is actually 55 inches. We only discovered this after going through our "video output settings" in the PS3 to automatic, where the PS3 then asked about the tv size and we set it correctly. Now, couldn't be better, best 3D picture around and no nausea or headaches "
When this worked on my TV is when I got the 3d Signal to the TV.
Hope this helps someone not have to spend the time I had to to figure this out (most could have been avoided if there was a little more helpful instruction book)
BTW all those that got it working through their entertainement tuner, could you post what model, cause it seems the Sony I got is useless in this situation. thnx.
***Update March 2011
I finally solved my sound issue by running the digital audio from my TV to my Tuner, so the PS3 is connected to the TV's HDMI then the TV's audio to the tuner via digital audio, so I didn't have to rely on the TV's audio. Also, I found out that just like USB and USB 2.0 before it, HDMI cables now are different from HDMI just a few years ago. That might have been why my Tuner blocked the 3D signal to the TV. Apparantly there are old HDMI and new HDMI cables. Something else to check if you are running into signal issues.
on September 23, 2010
After recently comparing this with other HD 3D big screen televisions at Best Buy and considering it the best product available, I ordered it from Butterfly Photo. Problems with the vendor:
1) No tracking info provided. After the stated delivery date came and went, I contacted the delivery company, only to find out that the TV hadn't even been shipped yet.
2) Once delivered and set up, I found a jagged, quarter inch wide streak running through the picture screen. Checking Butterfly Photo's return policy, I discovered they do not take back any TV over 19 inches, so now I have to deal directly with the manufacturer to get it replaced.
Caveat emptor. Buy the product, but not from Butterfly Photo.