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on November 20, 2013
10/15/2015 UPDATE: Nearly two years later and this TV is still going strong for me! Definitely a fantastic purchase. As someone mentioned in the comments, there is in fact a Game Mode that reduces lag. You have to go into Scene Select and then select Game Mode. I tested some older generation games on it that require sharp reflexes like Ninja Gaiden on NES and it works great - so I can in fact recommend this TV for gaming after all. Still love this TV.

I have just purchased this TV and it was delivered on 11/20/2013 - I will be updating this review in progess as I continue to explore different functions of the TV.

SHIPPING AND DELIVERY - Although this has nothing to do with the TV itself, I will say that I was really disappointed with the delivery. The last time I purchased an HDTV off of Amazon about four our five years ago, the Pilot driver brought the TV in, helped me unpack it and set it up and waited patiently while I inspected it for defects and made sure that it worked. Today, the driver did not even make an attempt to help me unpack or set it up. She said that this was not a "white glove" delivery and that basically she was just here to drop it off. I informed her there was only one option for shipping and it said nothing about white glove - it just told me roughly when it would be delivered. Not sure what that was all about, but I wasn't happy... especially considering when I purchased a TV from Blurst Buy awhile back, the delivery people were awesome and I didn't have to lift a finger. The TV ended up not being what I wanted and I returned it for a refund, but the delivery guys were awesome -- the guys that picked it up were awesome too. I understand that once Amazon turns it over to Pilot for delivery, it's somewhat out of their hands, but considering the high volume of tech such as HDTVs that they churn out, Amazon really should consider beefing up their shipping mechanisms for items such as HDTVs.

PICTURE - So far the picture is great although it does need calibration. My old Sony Bravia 40" LCD was properly calibrated using the Spears and Munsil calibration Blu-Ray and the picture is still pristine. This will take work to get this tweaked right and I will update this section as I go. 11/21/2013 edit: After calibrating the picture with the Spears and Munsil Blu-Ray and with a few of my own personal preferences added, the picture is pristine. But beware the surface of the screen is somewhat more reflective than an LCD if you're used to that sort of thing. It may take some getting used to or just turn all the dang lights off.

MOTIONFLOW: The MotionFlow feature works great, but out of the box it is already enabled and you will probably want to turn it OFF for regular TV viewing. MotionFlow is really only for live sports. Trying to watch a movie or TV show with it on will look very weird because the screen is refreshing faster than the framerate for the source material that you're trying to watch. The result is that live action shows will look like a cartoon as they move around. Home > Settings > Picture > Advanced Settings to disable/enable it.

AS A PC MONITOR - I do a lot with an HTPC that I built sometime back for heavy 1080p gaming, Windows Media Center DVR functionality along with Netflix/YouTube/Hulu with my Home Theater PC hooked straight to the TV via an HDMI cable. Out of the box this TV does not play well with a PC input. It recognizes anything with a PC input and automatically sets the picture mode to "graphics" which leaves all of the picture settings inexplicably grayed out. You can't change anything such as color temp, brightness, cinemotion, etc. I have a GTX 580 NVidia graphics card. The solution for this (thanks internet) is to go into your NVidia Control Panel and go DISPLAY > ADJUST DESKTOP COLOR SETTINGS > Then scroll down to Content Type Reported to the Display and select "Full Screen Videos." Problem solved. Now the TV thinks of the HTPC as any other video source and you can select whatever picture settings you need to. This is especially important since odds are you will have multiple HDMI inputs (your gaming console of choice, a PC, and probably your cable box) - each with their own proper picture settings. If you're a nerd like me, odds are your cable box picture settings may be different than your HTPC picture settings for gaming purposes.

SONY SYNC (11/21/2013) - will be the bane of your existence. Disable it. Home > Settings > Setup > BRAVIA Sync Settings... set it all to off. It kept muting my surround sound system for no reason any time I changed inputs. And I have better luck keeping the audio video in sync with this thing disabled.

MENUS (11/22/2013) - The menus are fairly cumbersome. On my older TV, you could just push Menu and go straight into Picture settings. With this you have to push Home on the controller, go all the way down to Settings, then you can get into Picture settings. This may not seem like a big deal, but I like to be able to toggle the MotionFlow feature on and off on the fly when I'm going back and forth between live sports and regular television/movies.

NETWORK CONTENT: Well this is interesting. If you go HOME > MEDIA > VIDEO, the TV will actually bring up a menu where you can choose between a connected USB drive or any PCs that are set up for sharing on your home network. This is particularly interesting if you have a home server which houses all of your video content. You can access it straight from a menu on your Sony BRAVIA as long as the TV and the computer are on the same network. I was able to watch content that I had recorded on my home theater PC (HTPC) using Windows Media Center while streaming it off of the PC. The con though is that the TV's onboard video file decoder isn't that good and the video quality is bad. You also can't fast forward so trying to FF through commercials of DVR'ed content is not possible. So while this is a neat feature, I will probably just stick with watching the DVR'ed content on my HTPC connected to the BRAVIA via HDMI cable because the picture quality is better and you can FF through commercials. Side note: Windows Media Center records TV content in a .wtv file format. I tried moving a recordered .wtv file (a DVR'ed episode of The League) onto a USB drive and inserted the USB drive into the BRAVIA. The BRAVIA would NOT recognize a .wtv file on a USB drive, but it would recognize the .wtv files in my shared folder on my HTPC. So I can watch DVR'ed content streamed directly from the HTPC but I can't watch DVR'ed video content that is stored on a USB drive. I have no idea why that is. Just a head's up if you are thinking of doing something similar.

- The TV's internal speakers are okay... good enough. But if you're buying a TV this big, odds are you can afford a surround sound system and by all means, do that. I'll just say that if you are piecing your home theater together in parts and can only afford to do a little a time, the TV's internal speakers are good enough to get you by until you can afford to buy a surround sound system.
- If using a surround sound system and you notice the audio and video go out of sync, just turn the TV off and then back on again. This does not happen often, but it can occasionally happen when switching between inputs frequently.
- If you plan to utilize an external surround sound system, I would recommend one with HDMI inputs that just has straight video pass through via HDMI to the TV. The reason for this is that although the TV's specs boast being able to output Dolby Digital 5.1 via the optical cable, often times due to silly Hollywood studio copyright issues it will NOT pass true 5.1 surround sound out of the TV's optical audio out port. It will output 5.1 if the source is over the air DTV, but not if the source is a BluRay. So okay, if your configuration is BLURAY PLAYER (HDMI) > TV > (optical) SURROUND SOUND RECEIVER, then it will only be outputting 2-channel stereo from the TV's output jack. However, if your configuration is BLURAY PLAYER (HDMI) > SURROUND SOUND RECEIVER (HDMI) > HDTV, then you'll get the true beautiful Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound audio off your Blu-Ray disc as it was intended.

- The TV will recognize and play .mkv files off of a USB stick quite nicely. That's... very handy.
- If the TV keeps dimming and brightening and you are not sure why, it's probably the Contrast Enhancer. This is a "feature" that adjusts the TV's brightness and contrast based on how much light is in the room. I find this annoying. HOME > SETTINGS > PICTURE > ADV SETTINGS and set the Contrast Enhancer to off if you think so too.
- This TV does not have a dedicated "game mode" like some other Sony Bravia models, but I really haven't had a problem with input lag so far.

FINAL VERDICT (11/28 edit):
There are some nitpicky things I could probably dissect about this TV, particular the menus, but after I have had over a week to really get to know it... I have to say that I really do love this TV. I've used it for a lot of different things. When paired with a decent surround sound system, it really does make for a great home theater experience. I watched Star Trek Into Darkness on Blu-Ray the other day and it was just like being at the theater. All I can say is this is a fantastic television and it was worth every penny.

This is also the "non-3D" version of TV. There is a 3D version which is currently listing for a few hundred dollars more. I'm not going to knock you if 3D is your thing, to each his own, but for those of you who could care less about it but still want a great, large HDTV to finalize your home theater, this is the one for you.

12/08/2013 edit: After having spent more time with this TV, I have to mention that I truly believe there to be just a half a second or less of input lag. If you're not a gamer, this does not apply to you, but if you are, be warned. Unfortunately, this TV does not have a dedicated "game mode" either like Sony Bravias in the past. For those of you that don't know, input lag is the half a second or so amount of time it can take for a larger TV to process a picture. Obviously when you are playing a game, you want no input lag because you're gonna get blasted to bits. I guess I found a use for my old 40" Sony Bravia after all. I'll be setting up a dedicated game station elsewhere in the house. Although graphically games look AMAZING on this TV, I cannot recommend it if you are using it for heavy gaming due to the input lag.

12/13/2013 edit: Regarding the price. I purchased this at $1299.99 about two weeks before Black Friday / Cyber Monday in 2013. Around Black Friday weekend, the price skyrocketed and I am now seeing it for $1468.97 as of today. I would recommend adding the item to your shopping cart and then watching it for a few weeks or even a month or so if price is an issue for you. I watched the price for approximately two months and found $1299 to be the "floor" for the price. It would go down a little at a time until it bottomed out at that price for a few days before jumping back up in the $1400s for a few weeks.

I will continue to update this review from time to time as the weeks and months go by and if I found out any more useful tidbits about it, I will be sure to make an edit. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
1515 comments| 86 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 7, 2013
<Updated on 20th August 2015>
I can't believe I'm typing this but I hate my tv.
It is incredibly poorly designed and frustrating to use.
There are way to many steps to accomplish anything on it and it's incredibly slow.
I've done tests to compare loading movies on my TV versus on my laptop and this TV is just terrible.
Add to this the fact the steps to do anything are way more convoluted than necessary and it just becomes a huge pain.
I would strongly encourage everyone to stay away from this TV and Sony in general if this is any indication of their general design philosophy to user experience around TVs. I will never buy a Sony TV again and will trade to something else as soon as I can.

<Updating on 9th March 2015>
The picture is great, the sound quality is good, and the price is pretty unbeatable!
I have two gripes:
1) The performance and design layout of the user interface is terrible. It's really really slow and very user unfriendly to move between menu options. Extremely poor menu design layout in my opinion. I wouldn't buy this TV again for these reasons alone. It's incredibly frustrating.
2) The default settings cause major Soap Opera Effect [Soap Opera Affect, SOE].
While this is a well known technical phenomenon, SONY still ships the tv with default settings that make this really annoying. Full disclosure: I don't know much about TVs, or their underlying technology. Frankly I don't really care either. I just wanted a big tv to watch action movies on. When I first started watching movies on it, I was really frustrated. Over the course of a few days I drove my wife crazy complaining about this, although she said she preferred the vividness of the picture. It drove me nuts though - movies didn't look like movies [and I love movies which is the reason I wanted a big screen tv]. Anyways, I searched the net up the ying-yang to find a solution. I chatted with two Sony reps over CHAT but without success [they both actually claimed not to know what the Soap Opera Effect was which is pretty hard to believe]. It got to the point I had decided to return the tv and get a Samsung. Then, purely by accident, my son was watching a movie, and I hit the OPTIONS button on the remote which brought up Picture settings, I set the PICTURE MODE to CUSTOM and voila - no more SOE! I can't tell you how great that felt!!! Full disclosure, I had also set the MOTION FLOW option to OFF from a previous chat conversation I had had with a Sony technician. Just setting MOTION FLOW off by itself though does not solve the problem.
Here's the full set of steps I took with this model to turn of SOE:
1) Make sure a movie is actually playing *while* you are making this change!!
In my case I played a movie on Netflix app [Specifically Marvel's "The Avengers"]
2) While the movie is playing hit the OPTIONS button on the remote
3) Select PICTURE Settings and from there select PICTURE MODE on the right
4) Set the value to CUSTOM
22 comments| 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 4, 2013
I bought this TV for a living room, with normal light conditions with large windows to the side of the TV, but they do have curtains to block out light. It looks great even with the factory picture settings out of the box. I am working on calibration to optimize picture settings, and with every adjustment it keeps on getting better.

For this price, and especially a brand name like Sony you can't go wrong with this TV. I was thinking of getting a plasma TV, specifically the Panasonic S60 models. They are not that much cheaper, however through intensive research I found plasma's do have better picture quality, but LEDs are more likely to last longer, have better durability, and I believe %80-%90 of the TVs bought in 2013 so far are LED.

Another major turning point to my decision to get this LED instead of the Panasonic is lighting conditions in the viewing room. I have a decent amount of light flowing in the living from the windows around the house during the day time, and from my research a LED would be in these viewing conditions. LED screens are brighter, and tend be less reflective in bright settings, and I have witnessed this in my own experience with this TV. Higher-end plasma's can perform well in bright settings, like the Panasonic ST60 but that 60" model is $500 more.

You can't beat the ability of plasma's to display the dark scenes in movies; however this TV does have pretty good black levels. If I was buying for a bedroom or basement I would probably go with Plasma due to the darker room, however for even a moderately bright living room I would go with an LED personally. Picture quality on this TV is perfect, and you will not be disappointed. I don't care much for 3D, so did not even consider the more expensive r550a model.

I have played GTA V on my PS3 and it looks great on the TV, no input lag whatsoever. I have run numerous scenes from different movies to test whether this TV would meet my expectations, and it passed my test. Avengers, transformers, breaking bad etc... all look great. At the beginning there was a soap opera effect on these movies, however if you follow calibration setup guides from the internet it will work out fine. One thing I would recommend is to turn off all those so called effects by Sony, cinemotion, contrast enchancers, etc....

The speakers are good on this TV, but with any TV they can no way compete with a home theatre system, but they are good enough for TV speakers.

I have read a lot of reviews stating the smart TV portion on this Sony model is kind of slow. What I found is Netflix & Hulu Plus work great and I have had no issue on browsing other apps as well. However, the interface is a bit slow but not as much as some other users have stated. Browsing in the Apps is fast as it normally is but browsing through Sonys interface, similar to the PS3 XMB screen is a bit slow. I don't really mind it, as I just use the smart tv to for Netflix, youtube & hulu and it works great. It can no way compete with the processing speed of a laptop or desktop but its fine for regular use. If you want to browse the internet just like you do on your laptop, just hook it up with an HDMI. Also, with this TV you get a free 1 year subscription to both Netflix & Hulu Plus, which is $200 savings on its on!!!

Overall, I would recommend this TV to anyone looking for a quality large screen TV. I was also on the fence about the plasma vs. LED debate. If you can control your lighting, I would recommend plasma any day, specifically the ones made by Panasonic. If you have a moderately bright room, and do not have full control of your lighting in your room I would go with an LED, as it will provide a better viewing experience.

Originally bought and reviewed from

Edit 1: Two months in and still loving the TV. A tip though for new buyers, the factory settings, specifically the auto selection, give a soap opera effect to movies and other media. Just disable all of those extra features in the picture settings, like motion flow and other enhancers and the soap opera effect will be gone while the picture quality will look great like before.

Edit 2 (4 months in): Just bought the Panasonic S60 plasma for another darker room in the house, and the black levels and contrast on the Panasonic is visibly better. However, this Sony TV still holds its own and I still continue to enjoy it. Would still recommend the Sony for a family room, as it performs well in bright conditions and low light. While the plasma I have suffers a bit under the lights, but you can't beat its rich picture quality for movies, especially those darker scenes. For a family viewing area with decent ambient light get the Sony you won't be disappointed, as it is great for day-time viewing and night.
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on March 9, 2014
I've owned the Sony KDL-70R520A for 2 months and had spent much of that time trying to calibrate it to my liking. I was growing more frustrated as time went on. It was then that I found another reviewer's recommended settings that I finally had what wound up to be an excellent starting point.

The reviewer's recommendations were: Backlight (5), Picture/Contrast (85), Brightness (40), Color (58), Hue (G2), Sharpness (15), Color Temp (Warm), Noise Reduction (Medium), MPEG Noise Reduction (Medium), Motion Flow (Off), CineMotion (Auto 1), Advanced Contrast Enhancer (Off), Black Corrector (Off), Gamma (0), Clear White (Off), Live Color (Off), LED Motion Mode (Off).

I was very impressed with the settings but tweeked it further for my own tastes as follows: Backlight (5), Picture/Contrast (95), Brightness (50), Color (50), Hue (G2), Sharpness (15), Color Temp (Neutral), Noise Reduction (Medium), MPEG Noise Reduction (High), Motion Flow (High), CineMotion (Auto 1), Advanced Contrast Enhancer (Low), Black Corrector (Low), Gamma (0), Clear White (Off), Live Color (Off), LED Motion Mode (Off).

One note regarding the CineMotion setting. Play the movie Blind Side and go to the 0:09:00 mark. This scene is a diagonal panning of an outdoor seen with a brick tower from high above to the entrance of the gateway of the tower. You'll see a tremendous amount of stuttering or jerky movement with any setting other than Auto 1.

I'm so much happier with this set now that it is calibrated for our environment and I hope this will help others as well.
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on November 23, 2013
I received my 60" Sony R520A yesterday. Right out of the box the set was close to perfect. I reset the picture setting to Custom and did a little adjusting after I attached the stand. Today I used The World of Wonder Blu-ray to tweak it a bit more. I'm impressed with the black level, the lack of any light bleed, and the picture in general. I was afraid the set may have been too large for my great room, but I could have gone larger.
My experience with the shipping is mostly positive. Pilot freight handled the shipping from Phoenix to Jacksonville by air, and then from Jacksonville to me in GA. It arrived in 5 days! I was to receive it on Monday, but they called and rescheduled for Friday. Two men delivered the set, took the box off the set, plugged it in and turned it on using the remote. They made it clear that they wouldn't do anything they didn't have to. They do not install the stand, place it on a table, hook the cable to the set, see that it functions other than the setup menu appearing. They weren't hanging around for any bad news. Thankfully, everything was fine. My wife helped me lift the set onto the table after attaching the stand.
The set seems to be well made. Not flimsy at all, and the included stand is heavy duty and easy to install. There is absolutely no leaning or free play in the stand. It attaches with 10 screws of 2 different sizes. Very simple. I plan on wall mounting it soon.
Unless you get a lemon or the set has somehow lost it factory calibration and you don't have the ability to reset, this set is a keeper. Those who complain about a bad picture most not know how to improve it with a little adjustment. Just hit the Home button, go to settings at the left. Click on settings, then right click to various adjustments. The first thing to do is to change the factory setting to custom before you adjust.
I had no problem getting Netflix and Amazon on the set. We watched an episode of Breaking Bad last night on Netflix over the Wifi and the picture quality was fabulous. It looked like a high quality Blu-ray. I have a Yamaha receiver and the R520A automatically turns the tv sound off when using the surround sound system. The set's remote will even adjust the receiver's sound using the TV's remote. The included remote is not impressive to say the least, but gets the job done. It doesn't match the TV's quality.
This set is replacing a 7+ year old Sony projection set which still works perfectly. I'm sold on Sony quality and after reading many reviews of the other brands, believe I've made the right choice. I highly recommend the R520A. BTW, the sound from this TV is the best I've heard on a thin, flat panel TV.
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on July 19, 2013
We love the sleek style of the tv and the clarity can't be beat. We're constantly amazed at how better the HD looks on this TV then our other one. 100% recommend it.
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on November 15, 2013
Excellent picture right out of the box. I originally had the Panasonic 65" S60 and within weeks it was randomly was going into safe mode and would not turn back on for several hours. I returned the panasonic and purchased the 60" sony from Amazon and couldn't be happier. I use OTA channels and Netflix. All channels look Great and streaming (ethernet cable) is faster then my other streaming sources. Paid less then $1300 shipped to my door!
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on December 19, 2013
I saw one review by I.T. Guy "Mikey" about this, but I still went and bought it from Costco. I had to return it after a few days of trial. I've really learned the hard way.
This TV has very good (to excellent) picture quality compared to my other new and smaller TVs from Samsung and Vizio. I even enjoyed watching movies from Netflix on this TV. They were fine and the picture quality was great. Just based on these alone, I would it give a 5-star.
I did not tried any other apps, but I tried the internet browser. I did not expect to use this TV to replace my laptop, but I expected to be able to at least use the internet browser from times to times (since this is a Smart TV). I did not expect to use remote to replace mouse and keyboard either. I had my wireless mouse and keyboard connected to the TV USB and the connection were OK. The problem, however, was the browser itself. It was terribly bad, slow, and unresponsive even with wired internet connection. It was completely useless. I had to doubt if there's anything wrong with my mouse and keyboard, so I connect them to my new Samsung. My mouse and keyboard worked fine with Samsung browser with the same internet connection.
If you plan to buy this TV as a TV, then this is an excellent choice since the picture quality are very good (or maybe excellent).
If you plan to use its browser, however, then forget about it - it's NO use - this TV is NOT for you. It is a shame that a large company like Sony is still far behind on the internet browser. I hope they will improve on this area, since I really love the Sony picture quality.
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on December 20, 2013
Well,since I upgraded from my 48" LG (which I love as a fantastic unit) I was a little taken aback at first at the size in our rather small living room.

This picture is HUGE and even more so because of the small outline around the screen. It just seems to float there.

SO far, picture quality is superb, sound surprisingly fine for a TV relatively, controls are primitive but adequate.

Quibbles (minor) The stand is highly polished chrome so the picture reflects off it in a fine line below the screen. Obvious in a dark room. Annoying.

The controls don't seem to allow for selecting scenes, even when picked out, from a movie so you have to skip to them. Or maybe I don't know the controls yet.

Picture will need adjusting. I suggest "Vivid" if the colors seem a little washed out.

I got this at the "C" store with additional Square Trade warranty for $100 more. That adds to the automatic 2 year to make it a 5 year deal. Well worth it.

I also got a Sling Box there as I don't have a TV signal. I pony off my friend's feed without paying for the monthly. Works great.

Next: a sound bar. Any suggestions?

UPDATE 12/25 2013

Still have a high opinion as above. However: using it as web server or as the SONY Entertainment Network has proven to be a long and awkward slog so far. Registering for Amazon Instant Video and other services took me over an hour with Sony Support. The Pandora setup is not as good as the one on ROKU. And I still am going to use the ROKU we have on an HDMI connection as my wife and son have a Netflix account and registering through SEN (as they call it) would have wiped out their history and preferences. Why? Haven't the faintest but why hassle it?

It doesn't seem that SONY has really figured out how to make this easy for the techno-lumpen like myself.

I will update as things progress or regress as it maybe.
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on June 6, 2014
First off -- I'm not a videophile. I don't see (nor really care) about the intricacies that some of the most hardcore people may find. For me, this picture quality on the TV is superb. The only thing I have to knock on it (but not enough to bring down the rating) is the media functionality. Navigating around the apps and using them is extremely clunky. I never touch them outside the first day I powered on the television. This TV is excellent for the price.
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