on August 31, 2012
I have a five-year old Bravia LCD that I love. The picture on it is superior to the Samsung LCD and Plasma I also own. I had very high hopes and expectations for this new Bravia I bought. It has exceeded both.
Wow, the picture is stunning. Even the wife said the picture was really good, and that was while watching an old episode of friends on TBS. The settings allow for good adjustment of the picture and provide a really nice menu to tinker with. The sound quality of the TV itself is good. PS3 looks great on it.
It's so thin and light hanging it was a snap (and I am not handy). The remote is really good. It's cheap feeling, considering this is a middle-high end TV, but it's shape is very comfortable and the buttons are all pretty intuitive.
All in all, this isn't the cheapest set, but I have a bias towards Sony televisions. I'm sure the Samsung and LG LCD/LED sets are comparable in picture, and probably cheaper in price. That said, I just really like Sony and this TV is phenomenal. Plus, I got an extra PS3 in the deal, so that's a bonus!
UPDATE: Just watched Resident Evil in 3D using the PS3 blu ray; amazing. Also watched some of the 3D trailers on the 3D Experience app. The picture is sharp and clear. Using the latest Sony glasses, which are light and very comfortable. Fantastic picture. I have no previous 3D experience to go by, so take that into consideration. Again, LG and Samsung probably make excellent 3D sets as well (LG is passive I believe, so the glasses are more convenient and cheaper/free with set), but I am very pleased with the performance of this set.
on November 20, 2012
EDIT 1-28-2013: Screen uniformity
It is approaching crunch time till I have to make a decision on whether to keep this TV and I have been thoroughly examining it.
Uniformity: In a pitch dark room, I displayed an almost pure black image (pure black turns off all LEDs, so that doesn't work), turned the back-light to max, brightness to max, picture to max, contrast to max, and turned off all the other settings (including local dimming). This reveals all of the panel and back-lighting imperfections. What I saw was somewhat disappointing (zigzag clouding, LED lighting/color inconsistencies, dirty screen effect/ short banding... Google images for "sony hx850 clouding" to see how this looks like). This was a serious stress test on the panel...simply turning on local dimming to "standard" hid most of the imperfections. Turning down back-light and turning up brightness made the screen 90% free of imperfections. Tweaking the other settings led to 95% imperfection free. Since I discovered the clouding, I now know where to find it and I can barely see it in some content. Overall, the right settings seem to mask the imperfections and they are not visible in normal content. In specific scenes, a bit of this is visible, but you really have to be trying to find it and set your vision focus on it. I think if you are going to be looking for these things during normal content, you'll be hard pressed to see anything in this TV when using the right settings.
Gaming: This TV excels in gaming. Fast motion is literally crisp/clear in the "Clear Plus" and "Impulse" setting. Other than faint trailing, the "Impulse" setting is truly artifact free, but it induces flicker on white colors; setting vertical sync in games seems to fix this. "Clear Plus" has faint halo "digital noise" that is hardly visible and not distracting. I think both settings are better than plasma, which has dithering, color trailing, and blurring in fast motion. "Reality Creation" adds incredible amounts of detail to games that I would find it difficult to go back to a TV that doesn't have this feature. The latency increases somewhat with "local dimming," "MotionFlow," and "Reality Creation" turned on, but unless you are a hardcore gamer playing tournaments (probably using a 24 inch monitor for that anyway), you not going to notice it and the latency is negligible; the latency is content-based and can be anything from 20ms to 40ms, depending on the amount of processing needed. Unlike plasma, you will not get panel degradation or burn-in.
Movies: This TV handles movies well. With the right settings, 24 fps motion shudder is not a problem. In a dark room with a low back-light setting and "MotionFlow" enabled (further dims display), black is truly black and contrast is great; using ambient light tricks, I don't think you can get better black (even in a plasma), which literally matches the bezel anywhere on the panel. When there is a bright images in the center and black on the edges, there is some "greying" of black, but this is never too much of a problem, even in a pitch black room. Unlike the "warm/flatter" images in plasma, this TV shows everything in "clear/vivid" detail. Reality creation seems to clean up content that is not HD, but I only tried this once on a Netflix stream (via AppleTV), which is mostly 720p now. I have not tried 3D and probably will not use this due to lack of content. Viewing angle isn't as good as plasma, but is good enough when sitting in front; greyer color seem to fluctuate the most and some colors don't change at all from angles.
Conclusion: This TV is almost perfect. It would be perfect if uniformity, viewing angle, motion, and latency increased a tiny notch. Perhaps next year's models will be better, but this seems to be as good as it gets as far as edge-lit LED TV.
EDIT 1-21-2013: I want to address the motion shudder in movies complaint below.
I found out that setting MotionFlow to "Smooth" or "Standard" and CineMotion to "Auto 1" gets rid of 99% of judder. Using "Clear" or "Clear Plus" is great for games, but induces MORE shudder in 24 FPS content. Clear Plus shows almost perfectly blur free motion, but there is a faint trail. The trail is not visible in normal content, but can be seen in a simple object moving through a simple solid background. Smooth/ Auto 1 = Soap Opera Effect. Clear Plus/ Auto 2 = clear frames, but judder.
EDIT 1-9-2013: I've had this TV for almost 2 months and it has been preforming flawlessly. A few things I noticed:
Motion in games: Setting the TV to Clear or Clear Plus allows fluid/blur free motion that I have not see in any other TV. I do have a complaint: In complex fast motion (lots of colors and shapes), here seems to be a really minor digital "halo" artifacts around objects that stand still and have motion around them (like when panning the camera around a person, it looks like random grainy dark pix-elated stuff up close around the head and body); and in simple fast motion (few colors and shapes), there is a faint motion trail when a white object is on a dark background (a double of the object trails behind - for example, a mouse pointer on the black title screen of Skyrim). Oddly, both of these things do NOT occur in Impulse mode. Impulse mode gives off an annoying flicker in 24fps content (like movies), but works fine in most games (little flicker, but supposedly it increases latency); a note about Impulse mode... it dims everything considerably and you must increase the back-light, picture, and a few other settings and maybe even turn up the gamma to get decent brightness (even in a dark room). I have been using the Clear-Plus settings and not paying attention to the first 2 complaints because they are extremely minor.
Motion in movies: I notice a lot of motion shudder in 24p content (movies), which is normal. The TV seems to get rid of maybe 75% with the max smooth motion settings, but there is still plenty of shudder. The new Panasonic plasmas' cine-motion settings are smoother, but induce detail blur. Of course, motion shudder is the fault of 24 FPS movies, not the TV.
Dirty Screen Effect: Being a perfectionist, as much as I wish I would just ignore it like my wife (who says she never see it), I keep wanting to find this visible when watching stuff. In 99% of content, it is not visible at all, but occasional scenes like sky camera pans, it shows up for a few seconds, I immediately see it and it stands out, particularly a shot thick band in the center right stands out. This complaint kind of makes me want to exchange, but I worry the new TV will have it the same or worse issues.
Viewing Angle: This kind of has me stumped. When sitting 6 feet away and in the center, occasionally it seems the left and right sides are brighter than the center. If you move to the left or right, the effect follows; for example, move to the right, then the right looks normal, but the left looks brighter. Other times, it seems the whole screen is uniform even from a wide angle. This may be due to the content I am watching.
Black: Overall, black is black on this set with a few limitations. Light comes from all 4 sides, so if there is a scene with a small dark side and mostly bright everything else, that side isn't deep black (more of a very dark grey). Otherwise, if there is a black object surrounded bright everything else, that object is surprisingly deep, bezel matching black. Sometimes black is amazing and other times it dark grey.
Other comments: During bright content, all sides of the TV seems to have a really thin line (less than 1 finger up close) that is lighter than the rest of the screen; it seems to stand out more during motion. Fast motion seems to have a slight "jail bar effect" of light/dark/light/dark bands. The corners have a dark spots (the top 2 more so than the bottom 2).
This is the best LED TV out.
Everything about is near perfect except one thing: Dirty Screen Effect (see in a solid color slide when looking VERY carefully to find random vertical and horizontal darker short bands) exists on all LED LCD TVs. It is on this set as well, but it is so minor, you will never see it normal content. You probably can't see it if you watch 8+ feet away.
Problems like blooming (glow), clouding (light spots), and flashlighting (edges brighter than center) exists on all edge lit LED LCD TVs. A test for this is watching movie credits in a completely dark room. With local dimming on and back-light turned low (less than 4), blooming is surprisingly very minimal (only visible in the extreme movie credits in dark room test), clouding doesn't exist at all (mine is literally cloud free), and flashlighting doesn't exist (edges are as dark as the rest of the panel). During normal content, edge lit problems simply doesn't exist on this set and you'll never know about them unless you know what to look for.
Black looks like pure black in all content. The panel during movie credits looks pure black with ambient room light, but you can see the blooming in a dark room. In content that has high contrast and has some kind of graphics near the edges, black is pure black. During normal content (games and movies), black is pure black so much so that it literally matches the bezel.
Viewing angle is great, but not as good as plasma. You will see some color fluctuating (mainly grey) when moving head. It isn't a problem if you are sitting still, 6+ feet away, and sitting in front. Viewing angle of edge lit LED LCD is surpasses back lit (like the 929).
Gaming lag is far better than the Panasonic and Samsung higher end plasmas. 40ms with all the settings turned on and half that with them off.
Sony's processing features are first class. Reality creation turns non-HD content (including games graphics) into rich detail... it is actually surprisingly effective and I had a few "wow" moments of what it did to Skyrim (turning it off made everything seem blurry). Motion processing made the soap opera effect (1 setting) or simply took the judder out (separate setting). My comparison with the plasma showed that the Sony allowed "true judder/artifact/blur free motion" in games (Panasonic VT50 plasma had blur and judder/shudder/rainbow color artifact like crazy).
With the price dropping, this TV should be on top of your list. Sony is getting back in the TV game.
Unlike plasma, this TV allows more than "weekend blue-rays." Hook it up to a computer monitor, console, gaming rig... you name it and it delivers.
on December 20, 2012
I decided that I deserved to replace my 2006 Sony 46" projection television with this bad boy. And let me tell you, I am not disappointed. If you have a fast internet connection (10mbps), you can stream 3d from the Sony 3d channel. Also, I bought the Playstation3 3d glasses (most reviews said they fit better and could be worn over prescription glasses) and they work just fine with this television. No need to purchase the Sony Sync Transmitter. The television has everything you need built into it.
I also bought the Sony BDVN790W Blu-ray Home Theater System to go with this and they work seamlessly. However, if you decide to get two Sony devices, only connect the newest made device to the internet. Connecting both of them and then registering them via the Sony Entertainment Network can cause them to argue over which one should have priority and that is a headache. I made the mistake of setting up Netflix and Pandora on both devices and found it was better to unhook the Blu-ray System from the internet and just use the Bravia to access everything.
This thing is heavy and bulky to hang. If you are not a large person who is used to assembling gadgets and such, pay the extra cash to have someone set it up and mount it to your wall (if that is what you want to do). If you aren't, call a friend over to help you can attach the base to it and set it up on a sturdy table. I bought the extended warranty because if I'm spending this much money on something, I might as well throw a couple of hundred extra at it to make sure that I don't end up with a lemon 2 years later. Odds are, this television will be in my home for at least another 5 years.
I won't waste your time pretending that I understand the fine details of color contrast or proper 3d interpolation. I will say that I purchased a Samsung 46" UN46EH6000F for my grandmother and set it up next to this Bravia. It is obvious how much clearer this Bravia is compared to the Samsung when watching fast action like a football game. Also, having them next to one another allowed me to see what everyone meant by viewing angles. It is much easier to see the Bravia if you are sitting diagonally from it. The Samsung image turns into a blur when viewing it from an angle.
Lastly, when you purchase this, also buy a super fast USB memory stick. I don't think you'll need anything larger than 4-8gb. When you plug that into the television, it will save some of your internet data making your television run faster each time you use it. Similar to how your internet browser (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer) has temporary internet files that make it reload pages faster.
If there was one thing I would complain about, it would be the lack of a keyboard to type stuff into the television. There are options to use your smart phone as a remote... but I would have loved a little keypad on the remote to make it easier to surf the internet or to type in words when accessing the Sony Entertainment Network.
I have not hooked my PC up to this yet, but I plan to. I'm curious to see what the Milkdrop 2 screensaver, Rift: Planes of Telara, and Far Cry 3 will look like in 3d on this beast. :-)
on January 28, 2013
I've read every review on the web I could find about the HX850 and the basic idea you get is this TV is one of two things. 5 stars and just amazing, or 1 star because someone got a lemon. The truth is somewhere in between.
I first purchased the HX850 from Amazon and I think their delivery service is as good as the local people they contract. Mine was ok, TV seemed fine but noticed a defect after a few days and had to ship back. Instead of going through all that again I just bought from Best Buy, same price but the tax.
The defect was minor but enough to return the TV...however since I had two of these TV's I can tell you they have the same problem, off angle viewing is terrible. The TV is capable of producing a great HD picture, but you should be sitting direcly in front of the TV, if you shift to the side even slightly you'll start to notice pixelation on the sides and corners of the screen especially in dark scenes, it's almost unwatchable.
That brings me to another problem with the TV...the LED edge lighting does not work very well, often as scenes change you can see the light on the screen shifting, it can be very distracting. And again since I had two and they acted the same way I'm sure it's the TV itself.
Another issue is Standard Definition programming. I do all I can to only watch HD, but sometimes content is just in SD...even when broadcast on an HD channel. The SD pictures I've seen are absolutely horrible, to the point that I cannot watch SD.
I would summarize that if you intend to watch the TV only for Blu-Ray and true HD video sources, and sit directly in front of the TV, this is the set for you. If not, avoid and look elsewhere. After a month of trying to get the setting right to correct these problems I've given up and am moving on to Plasma...we'll see how that goes.