on August 13, 2013
To provide a little background, I had originally ordered the Samsung UN60F7500 and after receiving two TV's with physically noticeable manufacturing defects (both manufactured the same day in the same plant, go figure!), I opted to receive a refund and try an entirely new brand. I was glad this happened because I hadn't realized what I was missing until I received the Sony KDL-55W900A. Now before I begin, keep in mind that the Samsung F7500 is essentially a semi-step down from the F8000, which would be the W900A's direct competitor. So, take any comparisons I make with a grain of salt as I am only able to provide my own personal experiences with the products I've had the pleasure of owning. The difference between the Samsung F7500 and F8000 is 1) a slightly higher artificial motion rate (most videophiles turn off motion processing anyways) and 2) 2x the scanning of number of zones in an image for micro dimming purposes, so essentially dimming at more local of a level than the F7500, as well as precision black dimming capabilities (in other words, deeper, richer, more accurate blacks than the F7500).
-----PICTURE QUALITY TRUMPS SIZE-----
At first, I was afraid that going from a 60" to a 55" would be a huge letdown; after all, you lose ~20% screen area when downgrading. However, the noticeable improvements in quality control and picture quality from my 60" TV more than make up for the smaller screen. Simply put, my W900A has perfect screen uniformity. Zero clouding, zero DSE, zero banding, and little to absolute zero flashlighting (depending on what your backlight and brightness are set at). The picture quality is extremely impressive: rich colors, impressive blacks, and great motion handling, which I will touch on in the Pros section further down. (Note: towards the bottom of my review is an Update dated 3/21/14 in which I introduce another 2013 Sony TV set option for those that refuse to "downgrade" to a 55" TV).
I had come from a 2009 Samsung LCD as well as briefly owning a 2013 Samsung F7500, and I can attest that both TV's had their own quality control issues. In the case of the more recent F7500, the flashlighting was extremely noticeable regardless of my backlight/brightness level (claimed to have been non-existent at mid-backlight settings by most owners I had spoken with on the web) and a large blob of light was always noticeable on the right side of my screen during dark scenes (although I must admit that they had fixed the majority of clouding and banding issues that plagued the 2012 Samsung ES models). However, I couldn't help but feel that Samsung was still about playing a panel lottery until you get the right one. Unfortunately, their quality control on TVs has a long ways to go before I consider another high-end Samsung TV.
As soon as I turned on the W900A and turned off the Eco Sensor to get it nice and bright, I calibrated using Disney's WOW calibration disc (my suggested calibration settings are towards the end of the review) and went through a few movie scenes in search for screen issues. I made sure to pop in "300" on Blu Ray to look for any vertical banding that was especially noticeable in "300" on one of my prior sets. No banding issues. I placed in a few other movies to look for severe flashlighting while having the backlight at 100%. It was there, but barely even there, especially when compared to the F7500. I also looked for uniformity issues, clouding, etc. Although I had grown used to a panel lottery with prior sets, I finally found a TV that I only had to order ONCE and had zero issues out of the box. I watched "Star Trek" and Harry Potter's final movie all the way through and must say that the blacks are "out of this world" good. Very rich--almost (but not quite) plasma quality. Of course, you have to tweak with the settings to get the blacks looking nice and black (I had LED Dynamic Control on Standard, which really helped create those rich blacks).
1. RICH, DEEP colors. Sony's Triluminos technology widens the color gamut available for viewing. Although I have read that the source you are viewing must support the wider color gamut, I still feel that it must be doing its job regardless because in my opinion, the TV produces a rich field of colors on the screen that you'll salivate over. Especially when watching animated films. I do not believe this technology can be turned off (I haven't found a setting specifically related to Triluminos), but there is an option for Live Color that has 4 different settings (including OFF) to make colors pop out even more. I found that every setting but LOW was over saturating the colors a bit, which should give you some perspective on how colorful this TV is without using any color enhancements.
2. VERY impressive black levels. Not plasma blacks, but for an LED set, I have never seen blacks this deep. The LED Dynamic control is excellent. I found that I did not need to use the Black Corrector setting as even on LOW, the blacks were being crushed. However, with LED Dynamic Control on Standard and Gamma at -1/-2, the blacks are insanely nice to view.
3. High native refresh rate and realistic-looking motion processing. 240Hz is always a plus and Sony's Motionflow works very well. Unlike my Samsung TV's where I've seen noticeable juddering/stuttering images no matter the preset setting I used, Sony's does a great job of not making video look artificial. Of course, you can manually adjust your Samsung TV's motion processing to decrease judder and stutter, but I really like the fact that Sony's works right out of the box as the average consumer does not have the patience or know-how to adjust these settings.
4. Input lag is one of the best on the market for 2013 LED's. In fact, only two other TV's beat the W900A in the 2013 lineup and they are also Sony TV's. This was another HUGE plus coming from a Samsung. Sony's W900A has a consistent 17-19ms response time in graphics and game mode whereas my Samsung TVs both struggled to make it into the 40's (mostly averaged 50-52ms in game mode for both sets). Sony timed this TV set perfectly with the PS4 release!
5. Impressive viewing angle. I'll start with my background: all of my prior TV's (both LCD and LED lit) had noticeably poor viewing angles. You could notice a substantial difference in picture quality just from moving from the center to the edge of the couch (which is only moving about 3 feet to the left/right on my couch and at roughly a 25 degree angle from the center of the TV). I hadn't had a comparison, so I thought this was relatively normal in LCD/LED TV sets. However, the W900A's viewing angle is so wide that I can sit at the edge of the couch or even in a sitting chair to the left of my couch and still not sacrifice picture quality. By the time I sit in the chair to the left of my couch, I've moved ~6 feet from the center of the TV at around a 50 degree angle, but the screen fade is barely noticeable (yes, it's noticeable, but only if you're really trying to focus on it).
1. If you're into Smart TV functions and apps, look elsewhere. If you use a 3rd party streaming device like a PS3/PS4, Roku, or Apple TV, then this shouldn't matter anyways. Sony has the typical apps like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus, but they are far behind Samsung in this field. The user interface is clunky compared to Samsung's and the appstore is...well...there isn't one. There are preloaded apps on the TV that you will be unable to delete and that's about that. Although, I can say I am glad Sony no longer relies on the XMB interface as that was even harder to navigate.
2. The TV only comes in 55" in the US. I believe they have 42" and 46" variants overseas, but here we have one option: 55". This is especially disheartening for those TV enthusiasts such as myself who are converting over from 60" and 65" sets. In order to get a 60" Sony, you have to stoop down 3 pricing tiers to the R550A, which means a lot of the video processing that you get with the W900A will be non-existent and the panel, among other parts, may not be as high of quality. Since writing this review, Sony introduced the W850A, which is a 65" TV that I talk about in my Update dated 3/21/14 below.
If you are on the edge about this edge-lit LED TV, I would recommend you get it and try it out for yourself. If the small size is bothering you, take comfort in knowing that I adjusted to it relatively quickly when realizing how superior the PQ is to other sets I've watched. If you are a gamer, this TV is a MUST. The input lag is great and games look amazingly rich in color and contrast with Sony's Triluminos and X Reality Pro technologies. Even avid movie watchers will have a difficult time not admiring this TV. A+ in my book.
The TV is still impressing me every time I turn it on. I recently hooked up my computer to the TV and the picture looks great. I've hooked up my PC to TV's in the past and have been immediately disappointed with PQ (usually blurry or grainy on a TV). This TV acts as if it were a normal PC monitor, except 55" in size! Once in Graphics mode, the input lag is not even noticeable to the average gamer. The only thing I must say I was disappointed with was to find that the TV only supports 60Hz refresh rate when you are using a PC. My actual PC monitor supports 120Hz and the difference between the two is noticeable enough to me since I've been using 120Hz for the past 2 years (to the average person plugging up your PC, you won't notice a difference). However, the PQ and low input lag are so impressive to me in Graphics mode that I cannot help but give PC gaming on the TV 5 stars as well. You simply cannot find another high-end LED TV on the market that is as PC friendly as this one.
I've put hundreds of hours into this TV now and can safely say I have ZERO buyer's remorse/regret. The deep black levels, rich color, and minimal input lag have me thinking I must have the best LED TV out in the market right now. I have been playing Grand Theft Auto V on this TV for the past couple of weeks and the experience has been so much more real with the W900A compared to prior TV sets. In Graphics mode, my response time bottoms out at 17ms, which truly makes you feel as if you ARE the character--not just controlling the character. I've had quite a few family members and friends view the TV as well and receive all sorts of compliments. Even though the TV is 5" smaller than I had hoped, the superior quality is an exceptional trade off that I am more than willing to make.
I have recently purchased the PS4 and spent the weekend testing it out on this TV. As I expected prior to purchasing, the TV and PS4 seem to go hand-in-hand with one another. On top of the excellent input lag in Graphics mode, the TV recognizes the PS4 (labels the input "Playstation 4" automatically) and Bravia Sync Control for HDMI allows me to use my TV remote to power on/off the PS4 as well as navigate the PS4's menu. Of course, all of these features were available with the Playstation 3 as well, but it is at least comforting to know the features carry over to the next generation.
I know I'm slightly late to the party with this update, but thought I would at least point out that Sony released the W850A in September 2013, which is a 65 inch TV that has an extremely similar panel to the W900A. So...for those that think 55 inches may be too small for their living room setup, please check out this alternative. It has also received great reviews and feedback from consumers and critics, similar to the W900A. There are three main differences between the two TV's:
(1) The W850A has a 120Hz refresh rate and artificial Motionflow of 480 vs. the W900A's 240Hz refresh rate and Motionflow of 960. Since I do not own the W850A, I cannot run input lag tests on it, but have researched its input lag as consistently scoring 18ms, which ranks it the 2nd best 2013 LED TV for input lag behind the Sony W802A (which has the lowest input lag of any TV set in 2013 at a whopping average of 17ms). The W900A (where I am averaging around 18ms) ranks 3rd in input lag on most websites. As for the artificial Motionflow, most videophiles tend to keep theirs off anyways, so it may be of little importance.
(2) The panel. The W900A touts a "Deep Black Panel" whereas the W850A does not have this feature. The "Deep Black Panel" does not directly affect picture quality, but rather *indirectly*. It is how the TV handles ambient lighting within a living room. Simply put, the W900A will perform better in a bright room with a lot of light because it won't be as reflective as the W850A will be. This will make the W900A appear to have higher contrast and deeper colors in a bright room, but if you were to compare the W900A and the W850A side-by-side in pitch black, the picture quality will be almost impossible to differentiate.
(3) The W850A has a Bass Reflex Speaker Cabinet vs. the W900A's Long Duct Speaker Cabinet. Look, folks...the X850A (one of Sony's 4K TV's from 2013's lineup) has a Bass Reflex Speaker Cabinet as well, so it's hard to say which one is better. I haven't listened to the W900A and the W850A side-by-side, but let's be honest...mostly everyone owns at least a 2.1 channel system by now that has crisp highs and thumping bass from a subwoofer, so I do not see this as a pro or a con either way. However, if a TV's speaker sound is important to you, it may be worth listening to both in a Magnolia Room at Best Buy.
So...with all of this being said, I would seriously consider the W850A if you are interested in a larger screen size. It still has excellent picture quality and--I'd be willing to bet--very low input lag.
-----CURRENT SETTINGS (UPDATED 04/18/14)-----
My calibrations are always different from mainstream "professional" calibrations because I do not like extremely warm color temps and usually stay away from "Cinema" modes. Overall, I found that the default factory settings are well calibrated with where I wanted my picture to be, but have made a few tweaks here and there over my first few hundred hours of viewing that you will notice below.
Scene Select: General
Color Temp: Neutral
Noise Reduction: Off
Dot Noise Reduction: Off
Reality Creation: Off
Video Area Detection: Off
Smooth Gradation: Off
Motionflow: Off OR "True Cinema" for less motion blur w/out sacrificing PQ
Black Corrector: Off
Adv. Contrast Enhancer: Off
LED Dynamic Control: Standard
Auto Light Limiter: Off
Clear White: Off
Live Color: Off (for more color saturation, turn to Low)
Detail Enhancer: Off
Edge Enhancer: Off
Skin Naturalizer: Off
Wide Mode: Full (You must go through a separate HOME menu to find this)
Auto Wide: Off
Auto Display Area: Off
Display Area: Full Pixel
Eco Settings: Off (VERY IMPORTANT--you must go through a separate HOME menu to find this)
My settings for gaming are the exact same as the above except for a few changes below...
Scene Select: Graphics
on November 10, 2013
This TV is absolutely amazing! I did literally months of research to find the best deal I could, and this is it. This TV is the best LED TV you can buy, hands down. It even beats out the overpriced Samsung models that try to compare in quality. The quantum dot display technology does really make the difference. If you want to see the magic for yourself, just go to a bestbuy with a magnolia center and you can see this TV next to all the other higher end televisions. The colors on this TV are way deeper than anything else in the room. I get compliments on my tv all the time because of how great the color is and how deep and inky the blacks are. It really does measure up to the best plasma tv's when it comes to the black levels. The local dimming feature of this TV really helps out with the blacks as well. The 240 refresh rate is also very very nice. I have not had to adjust this at all out of the box. It just works, like it should.
For the gamers out there who are looking for the best tv for their games, this is it, and if you are any sort of a actual dedicated gamer you would know that a big concern for you is the input lag. Typical monitors run anywhere between 3/ms and 20/ms lag depending on what kind you have. TV's are way worse averaging between 30/ms-60/ms lag making playing games on them frustrating at best. I don't believe that gaming should be a chore, so one thing I researched was input lag. This TV has an input lag of 17/ms!! I could tell right away the big difference the lack of input lag has. The only way to find less input lag is to either buy the Sony 802A which has about 16m/s lag, or go buy an actual computer monitor. There is no other TV out there with less input lag. Since this model is far superior in every other way to the 802A, I decided to give up that 1m/s difference. I think the TRILUMINOS display will be the best way to get the most out of your brand new Playstation 4 and it's awesome graphics! You are going to need a serious TV to handle the next-gen consoles.
The picture quality is crisp and clean, EVEN when you attach a computer. As with most other televisions, as soon as you hook up a computer to display on your tv, the resolution gets shotty at best and you are left with a crummy picture, especially when trying to read text. The Sony 900A looks amazing. I am actually writing this review with the 900A as my monitor, sitting 8 ft. away, and I can read this just fine with zero zoom applied.
Speakers are okay. If you are going to use this TV right, then you already know that an separate surround sound set up is your best bet. I actually use the built in speakers myself, but I can see the potential with a separate system.
The design of the TV is spectacular as well. There is a very thin edge and a nice aqua blue bezel accent on the very edge that is subtle and gives the tv a bit of a luxurious feel. Who else can say their TV is blue, and looks good at the same time...only if they have a Sony. Sony offers a few other models with this same feature as well. The stand is shiny chrome which I find very nice and not distracting at all. The stand also allows for left and right swivel.
There are 4 HDMI and 3 USB hookups on the back in various spots. It comes with 2 remotes, both of which can do the same things, but the smaller remote is great because it has only the most important buttons. Makes for a slick design that is easy to use. The functions of the full remote can be found after a few clicks on the smaller remote. The tv hooked up very easy to my internet too.
This tv comes with 4 Active 3D glasses. Let me stress this...ACTIVE 3D!! I have done research into the passive and active 3D realm for a while now and I just can't understand why anyone would buy a TV with passive 3D technology. This Sony 900A has active 3D, Thank you Sony for doing this right. Active 3D allows for full 1080p resolution during 3D viewing. Passive uses half of that because it needs to split the picture to create the 3D effect. Actually it uses all 1080p but you get half the resolution in each eye. Why buy a kick ass TV for half the quality of resolution. Then, some people go on to say that the active 3D glasses are heavy and they hurt to wear, boo hoo...and some even say they are loud and they can hear the shutter noise during quite parts of the movie... BULL$#!%...Technology has figured out how to make the active 3d glasses weigh practically the same as the passive glasses, and I muted my TV to see if I could hear the shutter noise. There was none. These glasses are comfortable and silent. The only way to do 3D right is by going active instead of passive. Don't let the TV salesman at the store, or the company advertisements tell you otherwise.
As a side note, the 3D on this tv is great! You can even adjust how dramatic it is and the tv can even turn non 3d content into 3d content automatically. This is a very cool feature if you are into the whole 3D thing. Also, This TV lets you play Full Screen 2 player using the 3D Active technology. Just put on the glasses and adjust the setting appropriately and this tv will allow both players to look at the same full screen, but only see their own display. Quite the feat and It looks good too. My brother and I were shocked when we were playing against each other.
The 900A comes with a wide variety of apps, with the most popular included, Neflix, Hulu, Prime, Ect...
For those that are glued to their phones all day, you will be pleased to hear that it is very easy to connect your smartphone to the 900A. For example, you can load up a video on youtube, and play it on your tv from your phone. You can view your pictures that you have saved on your phone as well. They get displayed in all their glory on 55 inches of real estate. Sony also has a remote control app that you can download on to your phone and it will hook up your smartphone to control your TV with all the functions of the regular Sony remotes. It's pretty sweet actually and the app itself is smooth and looks great.
There is still more to say about the 900A, but the bulk of the important stuff is above. I really did do a lot of work comparing TV's and I am so glad I went with this one. This TV just works, like it should as advertised, it is truly amazing in every aspect. It is the Rolls Royce of LED Televisions and I know there is not a better one out there, I checked.
on June 9, 2013
Wow, is a reaction I got once I calibrated this TV, the colors even if viewed from a standard color gamut pop very nicely. If you really want to see how vibrant the colors are just try watching fireworks in full HD and I guarantee your jaw will drop to the floor.
I used to own XBR HX950 that was somewhat defective so I had to return it and instead of getting a replacement I got this TV and between XBR HX950 and W90 the difference in how vibrant the colors are is massive. Besides the colors this TV produces, it has the same deep blacks if not close as HX950 which is quite surprising to see sense HX950s main focus was to have really deep blacks more of so in really high contrast ratio scenes. Another thing I noticed is that while HX950 has glare problems because of it's backlight technology this TV doesn't but rather it has flashlighting sense it's edge lit which isn't as big of a problem as glare is, at least to me it isn't. Other than that the Sony's TVs are known for their X Really PRO software engine which makes twicking this TV to your desires a snap. I'd say this TV is the best 1080p TV I have seen to date compared to any brand.
I noticed a lot of people have problems with calibrating this TV to get optimum color. The thing with color is that it's mostly determined by the source. A lot of edited film is made saturated on purposes to compensate for not that great saturated TVs. The best way to adjust this TVs color is not the color setting in the picture setup but the live color in advance settings, though to get the most accurate color you'd have to have your source to support Deep color/x.v. Color and sYCC, for now there are not a lot of devices that support Deep Color but I reckon in the future it'll become more prominent. PS3 and I am sure PS4 support Deep Color.
on January 6, 2014
I purchased this set as an upgrade for the KDL-52W4100. I was completely pleased with the 55W4100 but wanted to make a move for a smart set with the 240Hz, 3D, and internet features, primarily the applications that come with a smart set and the built in Wi-Fi.
At the current price point, I would be looking at the KDL-55W900A, the Panasonic VT60 series and the Samsung F8000 series. While I think that the original pricing of $3,299.00 for the KDL-55W900A should have provided a screen size of 60 to 65 inches for the price, once it was lowered to the 2K range, I could live with the 55 inch screen size. The picture accuracy was more important to me than the extra inches of screen size.
I loved the Panasonic Plasma's contrast, color, and the organic feel to the picture, but the plasma set was just not bright enough for me. The Samsung F8000 sets looked very good in the brick and mortar stores, but seemed to have more applications, whistles and bells than I would need. The quality of my prior Sony set kept bringing me back to Sony. The KDL-55W900A was rated in the top of sets by Sound and Vision magazine and by Home Theater magazine. CNET has a review saying it was the finest LCD/LED set available and Consumer Reports rated it very highly, dinging it only for the original price of $3,299.00.
I'm not going to compare Plasmas to LCD sets or get into technical arguments. Videophiles can be very vocal when it comes to specs. So, I am just going to review my experience with the KDL-55W900A.
The set comes with two remotes, one small remote with basic functions and the main remote that is backlight. It also comes with four pairs of glasses for use with the 3D as well as the batteries. The glasses are fairly light for active 3D glasses and the battery life is satisfactory. They are not rechargeable. The nose rest on each set of glasses is removable for those who wear prescription lenses. I wear glasses and did not have any trouble wearing them over my lenses.
The out of the box settings for this set are quite good. The Cinema setting works fine for Blu-Ray discs and movies broadcast in HD. The sports and game settings also work quite well. For each of the Scene settings Sony has also a specific sound setting. For the most part, I think they work very well together. But, everyone is going to have differences with picture preferences and sound preferences. In particular room lighting is going to play a big role. When I first turned the set on I saw more reflectivity than I would have liked to have seen. Then again, the room the set is in is right next to a sliding glass patio door. This makes for some of the harshest viewing conditions for today's HD TV sets. I found that turning off the ECO Sensor dramatically improved any reflectivity issues the took place during the day. At night with the shades closed and controlled lighting the set can become quite bright. I do wish that Sony had placed an ECO Sensor button on the remote to allow use of this function rather than having to go into the menu to use it. At night I might have a use for the ECO Sensor, but with the settings I currently am using I find that the picture maintains it's degree of brightness throughout a viewing day.
Some notes on the set:
Reflectivity: The set does have a glossy screen but seems to have no reflectivity issues, other than my unfortunate glass patio door, than any other set would have and I believe the reflectivity issues are better than those found on Plasma sets.
Appearance: The set has a small footprint. The bezel is not obtrusive and just barely there so you are getting most of the 54.6 inches of viewing area unimpeded. Actually, the set is a beautiful design. The majority of complaints I have heard involve the plastic chrome stand. I have had no problems with seeing reflections from the set in the stand and really do not notice it at all, but a matte black might have been a better color choice. The stand is plastic and light but sturdy.
Menu System: The user start up guide comes with the set as a paper copy, but the remote has a button for the manual that is displayed on the TV. There is no more digging through drawers to find the user menu. The complete manual is on the TV set. The menu for all the functions is neatly laid out. I think anyone spending time with it will find using it an easy experience and intuitive. You can easily change the settings and reset them to the factory settings at anytime.
Sound: No, this is not going to be high fidelity, but it is an improvement over earlier sets. The sound settings seem well thought out and work for me. There is plenty of sound to enjoy normal programming, sports, games, and movies. Of course, to get a large dynamic sound field you will have to buy a soundbar or connect the set to a home theater system. For the size of my room I find the sound more than acceptable.
Applications: The set comes stocked with plenty of applications. I have not compared the Sony with other sets, but Amazon Prime, Netflix, and most any other application is there that I could want or would use.
Wi-Fi: The Wi-Fi setup, wireless for me, was about as easy as you can get. I do not have to use my Blu-Ray player or Sony PS3 for those anymore. Probably a mute point as I connected a ROKU 3 player to the set, which is 1080 friendly.
3D: If you are used to seeing 3D in theaters wearing passive glasses, this set will knock you out. Granted there is minimal 3D viewing material out there and wearing glasses for a prolonged period gets old but the 3D on this set is absolutely outstanding. The set will also simulate 3D from 2D programming and has a number of adjustments for 3D if this is a priority for you.
Games: The lag time on this set has been measured as the lowest available. This is the Gamer's perfect TV set.
HD/Blu-Ray: Blu-Ray discs come alive on this set. I am currently using a Sony BDP-S5100 3D/Blu Ray player and it uses the Sony Triluminos scheme when it is available on the disc. Broadcast HD is spectacular, particularly on the newer films. The Blacks are ink black, the detail exceptional, colors are vibrant.
My Settings: While some will use the factory settings, others will tinker with there own preferences and lighting conditions. Here are some settings to get you started. I used the same format that was used in John's review from 8/13/2013. You can alter the setting for any of the Scene Selects, but I decided to alter and use Scene Select General and left the others alone. I found that for me, at least, my settings give me the best of general broadcast TV whether HD or SD, Sports, and most movies. I use these settings for most TV, with an occasional exception for using Cinema for Blu-Ray. My settings were based on John's settings from his 8/13/2013 review and from watching a wide variety of programming, sports, movies, broadcast TV, HD channels, nature programs, and general viewing.
Scene Select: General
Picture Mode: Standard
Color Temp: Warm 1
Note: Many prefer to leave all the noise reduction off. Personally, I have not noticed a difference. It would most likely be helpful only on older film material in any event.
Noise Reduction: Auto or Off
Dot Noise Reduction: Auto or Off
MPEG Noise Reduction: Auto or Off
Reality Creation: Off
Video Area Detection: Off
Smooth Gradation: Off, involves Frame Interpolation
Motionflow: Off (leave off unless you have some flickering on 3D material. Will help remove issues with 3D if they occur. Set to Motionflow Standard for 3D flickering) involves Frame Interpolation
Black Corrector: Off
Adv. Contrast Enhancer: Low
LED Dynamic Control: Standard
Auto Light Limiter: Off
Clear White: Off
Live Color: Off (For more color pop, turn to Low) I left mine off. It's not needed and seems to add red to faces
Detail Enhancer: low
Edge Enhancer: Off
Skin Naturalizer: Off
Screen Area: Wide Mode Full
Auto Wide On
4:3 Default Off
Auto Display Area On
A note on Frame Interpolation:
Smooth Gradation and Motionflow both involve Frame Interpolation. Using these can give film a completely different look. They are unnecessary. I recommend going through these setting with a movie you are watching and see how it goes from a film look to a soap opera look so you know what impact they will have if you decide to use them.
Eco Sensor: Off. ECO Sensor is located in the screen menu under preferences. The two main items that impact the picture are the ones that impact backlighting dependent upon scene being displayed and the light sensor that analyzes the amount of ambient light in your room. I leave both of these off and end up with a picture that remains constant in brightness.
(From John's 8/13/2013 review.
My settings for gaming are the exact same as the above except for a few changes below...
Scene Select: Graphics
Color Temp: Neutral )
Instead of the above gaming settings I just use Game Mode, but lag time will likely be lower with the Graphics setting that John uses, especially when playing the more intense action games.
Sound Booster On
Voice Zoom +2
Advanced Auto Volume Normal. Using Night setting seems to disable all settings and goes to ultra quiet.
Volume offset zero
I've spent over a month trying to find fault with this TV. I was not able to find anything that was a problem with it. It arrived with no dead pixels or flashlighting. The display is uniform throughout. Off Axis viewing is good but pretty much in the same league as other sets and better than many. Blacks are inky black, not plasma quality, but you would really have to be looking for that and it would only occur with certain material. Colors are superb. I found the detail to be excellent. There is no banding. I simply cannot fault the TV on anything it is advertised to be. My only con is that I would have easily paid the original price for a 60 or 65 inch set and I am sorry they do not produce those. Other than that, I believe the only sets that could possibly be better than this set are the 4K sets, yet to be proven or the OLED sets, which cost far too much at this point. I would easily purchase this set again and believe that I have not seen a better TV set in this same class.
on May 29, 2013
The color quality of this model is incredible due to the innovative technology of ColorIQ and Triluminous. You won't believe the reds and greens and blues that this unit achieves. If you want the highest quality picture at a reasonable price, this is your choice.
I set this TV up yesterday and it was easy and quick. I am streaming Netflix movies through WiFi with minimum set up time. The onscreen step by step instructions and built-in instuction manual make the task just like following a recipe.
on February 27, 2014
Since almost everything had been said about this TV, I'd like to focus on some new angels not previously discussed. I had been using an old Samsung set for years which I was happy with. When the Sony arrived I noticed it was not creating the same intensely bright images I was accustomed from the Samsung no matter the setting. After a while I realized something epic: the over-brightness of the Samsung made things look LESS realistic especially for indoor footage (consisting, in my estimation, about 85% of all video footage. Objects(on the screen)begin to lose solidity when they gain too much brightness. The images on the Sony were often stunning (on Dish content)but it really depended on the quality of the signal. Unfortunately the broadcast quality of some channels is still not up to standard. Objects on the Sony were far more realistic, let alone the impact of Sony's superiority of black levels. I knew there was no going back. My entire concept of what a superb image consists of had greatly shifted. The colors on the Sony were more appealing and and in conclusion I consider this Sony TV a serious accomplishment that deserves a genuine acknowledgement.
on March 13, 2014
This TV is so great that I had to write my first review on here. I did so much research on TVs before I purchased this one. The picture quality is amazing and nothing beats it but 4k TVs. I went to BestBuy and they had this side by side with the Samsung F8000 60" and F7100 (also 60"). Both TVs looked great, but the colors on the Sony W900 are SO much better and WAY sharper. The F8000 and F7000 models were so bright that the colors looked faded and washed out. You could even notice the pixels on the F7100. I had two other people with me and both said the Sony had a picture that was far superior. The F8000 was listed at $2400 and the the Sony W900a was $1700 (huge price drop since last March when it was $3300). It was a no brainer which one to choose.
I watched the BluRay of the Watchmen when I got it. The first fight seen looked awesome! Even better than I remember from the movie theater! The blacks are dark, the colors are vibrant, the picture is crisp, and the motion is so clear. No color saturation issues whatsoever (unlike Samsung). My wife especially likes watching the Walking Dead on this TV; she says it looks like Daryl is right in the room with her.
If you're into gaming, especially FPSs, you cant beat the lag input. It's the 2nd lowest lag input TV on the market- only beaten by another Sony model. Playing Titanfall on my Xbox One is freaking awesome. You can see every bullet and you never wonder how you died. No more, "It looks like he only shot me once!" or "I didn't even see him on my screen!"
You also can't beat Amazon's 5 year warranty for $230. This TV is just amazing! I hope this helps. :)
on December 16, 2013
The Dilemma Phase
--2000$ on a 55 inch TV? Should I or shouldn't I? That was my absolute position a couple of weeks ago.
--Well, I thought of Sony and the reviews people took time to provide here and that nothing in this cosmos is foolproof/permanent/faultless and you have to take some risk somewhere else if not this anyways; decided to put some trust in all of that and clicked 'Place Order'. It seems it was definitely worth it now.
Shipping & Packaging & Delivery:
--Shipping was on time ("to the day" in my case since there was snow).
--I have to mention and thank the guys delivering this (2 people from a company called Ceva) who made a lot of effort on a snowy day to bring the TV to me. My delivery window was for 4 hours (10am to 2pm) so they called at about 1pm and informed that they were running late due to traffic conditions and small delays adding up from their earlier deliveries; they made it at about 4pm but am very glad they showed some professionalism and that they cared enough to let me know. They carried it to my living room and opened it, screwed on the stand and also switched the TV on to ensure things were looking ok; even offered to throw away the packaging but I kept it anyways.
--Packaging was perfect but the actual box by Sony that the TV comes in is a little weird I must say; it opens from the bottom and does not have flaps. Will be slightly inconvenient to pack while moving I guess.
--Pretty big and will need two (normal-sized) people to handle it.
Picture & Color:
--The quality of the picture is brilliant and the colors are very rich. I am not an expert on video but I am definitely not color blind and can say that any color looks like it should and black looks black.
--I have not tested blu-ray on this yet but HD videos run beautifully so am sure it will be a treat.
--Once or twice, I have seen that it takes about 3-5 seconds to turn on completely; not sure if this needs that warm-up but it does come up after that. Not a major issue to me personally.
--The 3D...oh the 3D! It definitely feels like things are popping out and you don't really have to try for that. I can already see my money going away on 3D movies. One thing though, if the glasses are not engaged in watching 3D content for 15 mins or so(i guess), they seem to go into sort of a standby (probable battery saving mode) and if you then turn on a video, you see the blurry 3D video. Because of this, I initially thought that the 3D on this TV sucked and then realized that I was spending too much time in browsing through videos and the glasses were not active by the time I actually started one; have to press that small button in the middle on the nose ridge to re-register the glasses with the TV( happens very quickly in 2-3 secs) and we are back to the amazing world.
--The glasses have not turned off during a video (max 5-10 min long ones that I have seen till now) and I feel that if you are watching a full-length 3D movie, the glasses are constantly in use and will/should not turn off unless we pause or stop for a while.
--There are a decent number of short 3D clips offered by Sony by default, which you can enjoy at the beginning to check out the 3D; not necessary to be ready with a 3D player and a 3D movie for the experience.
--Two remotes, 4 pairs of active 3D glasses which work beautifully.
--There is a plethora of apps for videos on the TV - Hulu, Netflix and a ton of others but there is a separate section for them and don't get in your way if you don't need them.
--It has an elegant design with that blue thin strip on the bezel giving that extra little touch.
--The Sony logo on the TV positioned above the stand has a smooth fading LED effect which is nice and never have I felt any interference in view due to that.
--The TV looks classy.
--I have used Amazon Prime Video (a built-in app) extensively on the TV and it works great and fast for HD videos with its inbuilt WiFi; never felt any lag/loading delays whatsoever.
Issues, if any yet:
--None! This is my 2nd week with the TV so time will tell how it fares along the way but I am enjoying it so far and hence, deservedly 5 stars :).
Hope this helps in giving a little nudge to someone who is stuck on the Dilemma Phase :P
on March 11, 2014
Having worked for Panasonic and owning two of their best Plasma’s albeit from 2007, I had to say shopping for a new TV made me a bit biased as I never have been a fan of non-Plasma units…until now!
Looking at the various manufacturers, I pulled the trigger on this Sony mainly because it is by far the best and most noticeable at displaying true to life accurate colors and the only LED make that I’ve found comes close to matching the true blacks and full spectrum of dynamic range that at one time only a plasma can provide. Specs always look different than real life and that’s very true when comparing todays newer TV’s.
Vizeo at the low end but price point driven finally drew my look-see. Mainly because when I read the reviews they sound so glowing and the specs are hard to beat as well. However, seeing them in comparison both in-store on their store display modes or tuned by me while in the store, the picture for even their best units leave a lot to be desired in terms of accuracy and detail.
Samsung was another line I looked at. Overall, very punchy and over-processed. They catch your eye and area a well-known brand, but again, side by side, one will notice they are not remotely as accurate as this Sony.
So what do I like about it?
Did I say accuracy? WOW! Watching this TV is like looking out a very clean window on a bright day. Outside the new 4K screens on display with their demo modes running, there wasn’t a TV in Best Buy or other retailers that looked anywhere near as good as this Sony. Triluminous display isn’t just a marketing term. That technology really does show in this TV. Being spoiled with Plasma, I had a concern with motion issues but trusted that 240Hz would be good. It’s more than good actually; Sony nailed it with the capabilities of this TV. From Sports to gaming, the response time and display are flawless. All LED’s have some type of “motion control” to enhance smooth flowing images as does this one. However I turn Motion Control OFF. Even on the lowest setting, Cinema Mode, it does cause a very slight shudder to be visible on 1080i cable shows where movement is sudden/quick. It’s just plain not needed IMO. There are zero issues with sharpness or clarity with it off. Crank it all the way up and you’ll quickly see what “soap opera effect” is. I’ll leave it at that.
Viewing angle and brightness are not an issue with this TV. Ours is positioned in a corner and viewed from a slight angle in most all cases. However, even at about 30-40* or more as I sit off to the side, it’s very clear, sharp and no real change is visible. I do unlike many, run it in auto brightness mode. If you don’t and you’re watching TV at night with lights dimmed, it will be way to bright. Brightness isn’t something you need to be concerned with here. Our great room is a wall of windows but even the sun coming in doesn’t wash out this beast. I have noticed zero issues with lighting or hot spots. The panel is perfect in every way from evenness of lighting to no screen light bleed whatsoever. Well done Sony.
Appearance wise, the unit is beautifully crafted. I love the beveled edge around the very thin bezel/screen. Caught in the right lighting it has a beautiful blue-green shimmer that adds a tasteful appearance to an otherwise typical family room appliance. The only change I have made to the unit is the best/stand. I can appreciate the Chrome look, but find it a bit distracting. I simply scuffed it up and applied a stain finish charcoal gray lacquer to it to help it blend in with the glass top on my stand and help it match the rest of the accessories around it.
In conclusion, be ready to become addicted to watching just about anything. For me, high def late night TV like the new Tonight Show comes alive as does the nightly news. I say that because I’m a fan of dark blues and reds of which this TV kills the competition at displaying and which tend to dominate such shows. Test it out with Dark movies like 300 or any of the Hobbit Movies and you’ll gain a whole new and never expected way of an LED handling such dimly lit scenes. This TV is better in many ways than even current Plasma’s.
Enough reading already….you can tell by the reviews here on Amazon this TV rocks! Time to go buy one!!
on March 17, 2014
I took a long time reviewing lots of TVs and reading reviews before I bought this TV. I know I wanted an LED and I narrowed it down to this Sony and the 8000 series Samsung. The decision to go with the Sony really boiled down to picture quality and I don’t think it can get better in a 1080p than this Sony. I don't recall seeing another TV in the last couple years that had so many positive/5 star reviews, except may the latest Panasonic plasma. I bought this TV to be my primary, family room TV for 5+ years. I considered going with a 4K unit, but lack of content and my slow internet access made that decision for me. I also thought that if 4K TVs come down in price in 2 or 3 years I can move this TV into my bedroom or office (this is the only way my wife is OK-ing a $2000 TV in my office).
Outstanding picture quality right out of the box. I tried some of the adjustments people listed online including John, the top reviewer on this thread. I like the stock settings better. I adjusted the brightness and backlight a little to my taste, and that’s it. I tend to like a vivid picture over the cinema “soft” look. I would like to reduce the soap opera effect by about 20%, but other than that I think it’s perfect.
Smart functions are great for me. I don’t consider myself a power user of this by any means. I have read that the Samsung’s smart features are better, but access to a few online services is all I really care about. You get smart features with every device now; a Blu-ray player, Apple TV and Roku boxes only costing $100, if something better comes along I’ll just add it. There are so many options out there, I don’t feel like I’m stuck with the smart features of the TV, I can change those easily and on the cheap, I can’t change the picture quality. I use Netflix, YouTube and Amazon TV, they all work great and are quick to access. I have the TV hard wired and the connection seems very fast and reliable. I have a tablet and a smart phone so I will probably not use the TV for internet surfing much. I do use my phone (HTC One) in conjunction with YouTube on the TV. I can search using the keyboard on my phone, then watch the videos on the TV by clicking a button, cool feature.
3D. If I could have gotten a TV with better picture quality without 3D I would have bought it. But they all come with it now. I think my kids will use this feature a lot more than me. We have only watched Gravity in 3D Blu-Ray so far and I have to say it was impressive. I would say the 3D was not quite as “pop out of the screen” as you get in a theater, but the picture quality in 3D was much better than anything I’ve seen in a theater. The set came with 4 pair of active 3D glasses.
The TV is very nice looking. I like the brushed metal bezel that is not too thin. The blue/cut glass looking edge is a nice touch. The only thing I would change would be the silver Sony badge on the bottom. It can catch some glare from lights in the background and shine a little. I had an older 46 inch Samsung before this TV. It had big wide bezels on it and it was a thicker TV. This new TV is very “cool looking” above my fireplace.
The screen is very shiny and reflective. The TV is in my family off the kitchen and dining room. The lights in the kitchen above the bar are always on. At certain angles you can see the lights like a black mirror. At other angles you can see a prism or rainbow effect from the lights. This is usually only an issue when the screen is black or a very dark scene. When we watch a movie at night, we turn those lights off and the screen is just perfect.
I can’t comment on the built in sound of this TV and I’m surprised it would be an issue to anyone. If you have a TV of this caliber and you don’t have better than stock sound to match, you’re missing half of the experience.
I highly recommend this TV to anyone in the market for a new one. In my opinion, this is the pinnacle of 1080p TVs, I don’t think a clearer image in 1080p is possible. Sony has always had the best picture quality of any TV brand, back in the tube days and now in flat panels. If you have not bought a new TV in a while, you will be blown away by this one.