From the Manufacturer Bigger, brighter and better than ever, the KDS-R60XBR2 redefines the high-definition 1080p experience with stunning detail and clarity.
SXRD™ television meets the XBR® heritage.
Since 1984, Sony has awarded the XBR® designation to televisions with our highest performance, most advanced features and most sophisticated styling. Over the years, the XBR Series has convinced even the most skeptical magazine reviewers, won over the most jaded industry professionals, and dazzled the most discriminating owners. The exalted position comes as no surprise. For decades, Sony has led not only in television, but also in professional video. For example, broadcast professionals depend on Sony monitors for critical evaluation of TV picture focus, contrast, exposure and color. Unsurpassed in the world, this expertise has always been reflected in the engineering of XBR television. Today's SXRD™ Grand WEGA™ televisions carry this proud tradition forward. If you want the inside story on what distinguishes an XBR television, you've come to the right place. Here we'll take a look at how SXRD XBR televisions deliver a High Definition experience above and beyond the ordinary.
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Full HD 1080
|Sony's 1920 x 1080 display is naturally able to resolve finer details than the typical TV. (Simulated Picture for Illustration.) |
SXRD XBR television was designed from the ground up to deliver Full HD 1080 video. This means not only HDMI™ inputs with 1080p signal capability but also full HD resolution, right on the microdisplay. Sony's exclusive SXRD technology achieves a chip resolution of 1920 pixels horizontal x 1080 pixels vertical. This amounts to over 2 million pixels—resolution that other microdisplay projection televisions are hard-pressed to match. Sony's 2 million pixels are more than twice as many as 720p HDTV. The difference is profound. For example, in order to show 1080i or 1080P High Definition signals, a 720P television must first downconvert the signal, losing more than 55% of the pixels in the process! SXRD XBR television's Full HD 1080 design delivers every pixel of performance from HD sources.
What is picture quality?
|QUESTION: Which is responsible for picture quality? ANSWER: All of them. (Simulated Picture for Illustration.) |
For some TV manufacturers, Full HD resolution would be enough. But for the Sony XBR® Series, native 1920 x 1080 resolution is only the beginning. Sony engineers demanded all the other attributes of an outstanding television picture, including high contrast, superb color fidelity, natural gradation from dark to light, and excellent clarity. Sony SXRD XBR televisions deliver the total picture.
Where does picture quality come from?
Thanks to Sony's unsurpassed television expertise, we understand that almost every part of a projection television can enhance—or deteriorate—the final picture. For Sony, having the superlative SXRD™ microdisplay chip is only a starting point. Sony SXRD XBR televisions also boast the right inputs, advanced circuitry, a powerful Ultra High Pressure lamp, an exclusive optical engine, a motor-driven iris and a high-tech screen. We will look at each of these picture quality components in turn.
HDMI™ 1080p inputs While signal inputs may not make your heart beat faster, they have a profound effect on picture quality. Over the last 20 years, each new generation of video connections has enabled a marked improvement in home video picture quality. That's why SXRD™ XBR® television includes three High Definition Multimedia Interface™ (HDMI) digital audio/video inputs, each with up to 1080p capability.
|A single HDMI connection can carry uncompressed component digital video and uncompressed digital audio. |
- 1080p capability. These connections are compatible with the most advanced and soon to be released home video sources on the planet: Blu-ray Disc™ players and the PLAYSTATION®3 game console. These sources can exceed the performance of over-the-air HDTV broadcasts. In this way, you'll enjoy the latest and best that HD sources have to offer.
- Digital video. To preserve every nuance of your HD signal, the HDMI™ connection carries uncompressed digital video of the highest quality.
- Digital audio. Unlike the Digital Visual Interface (DVI) system, the HDMI connection also carries digital audio, including uncompressed digital audio.
- Three HDMI inputs. SXRD™ XBR® models include three HDMI inputs to accommodate a set-top box, Blu-ray Disc™ player and PLAYSTATION®3 game console simultaneously.
- Front input. One of the HDMI inputs is provided on the front, for convenient connection to a compatible camcorder or PLAYSTATION®3 console.
WEGA Engine™ HD circuitry
In a modern projection television, the video processing circuitry performs vital functions, all of which have an impact on picture quality. To maximize every last bit of picture information, SXRD™ XBR televisions incorporate the WEGA Engine HD full digital video processing system. This preserves the signal in the digital domain, avoiding unnecessary video degradation. The system includes three stages.
To maximize picture quality, the WEGA Engine HD full digital video system conducts three stages of processing in the digital domain.
|Sony's CCP-XA circuit (right) enhances conventional, composite video signals. (Simulated Picture for Illustration.) |
|DRC MF v2.5 (right) elicits higher quality conversion than previous Sony designs. (Simulated Picture for Illustration.) |
- Composite-to-Component Processor XA (CCP-XA). Even the latest HDTV must still accommodate old-style analog composite video input signals. Sony's CCP-XA circuit converts incoming composite video into component signals with wide bandwidth and rock-solid stability. Three dimensional video signal analysis yields excellent Y/C comb filtering and reduces the flecks and specks of pixel-level noise, as well as block noise and "mosquito" noise. The CCP-XA also yields extremely smooth color gradation, giving richer, more realistic skin tones.
- Digital Reality Creation™ Multifunction version 2.5 circuit (DRC™ MF v2.5). As broadcast and packaged media shifts from SDTV to HDTV, televisions must accommodate a wide range of signal formats. These include 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p. Sony's native 1920 x 1080 resolution means that these televisions never need to downconvert and throw away pixel data. It also means that any signal that does not originate as 1080p must first be upconverted. Sony's proprietary Digital Reality Creation circuit performs this crucial function.
Unfortunately, upconversions are notoriously difficult, as they attempt to turn a lower-resolution input into a higher-resolution output. Some televisions merely "connect the dots" with interpolation, ending up with a soft picture of higher resolution. Sony demanded more. Our proprietary Digital Reality Creation (DRC) circuitry analyzes the lower-resolution input signal in real-time, and then determines what that signal would have been, if it had originally been an HD signal. In this way, DRC circuitry can generate resolution that wasn’t present in the original signal. The result is quality that conventional interpolation has a much more difficult time achieving: stunning detail approaching HD quality from SD sources.
There's more. SXRD™ televisions with our WEGA Engine™ HD system incorporate the DRC-MF version 2.5 circuit, with increased processing power compared to our previous designs. This extra horsepower means that the advantages of DRC-MF can now be applied not only to 480i (SD) sources, but also to 480p, 720p and 1080i sources. This yields more detail for a wider range of inputs. The circuit also includes an advanced mode, optimized for content that has previously been upconverted from SD to HD. Combining this advanced algorithm with our Interlace-to-Progressive (I/P) conversion, Sony's 1080p Direct Creation achieves a picture of spectacular quality.
|If a signal doesn't originate as 1080p, DRC™ MF version 2.5 converts it beautifully. (Simulated Picture for Illustration.) |
|The DRC MF Palette on-screen control enables you to adjust the conversion according to the video source. Once you find the optimum setting, the television remembers your choice for each input. (Simulated Picture for Illustration.) |
- Image Format Processor 2 (IFP2). Sony's IFP2 circuitry establishes superb picture uniformity. A Digital Texture Enhancer optimizes the entire range of contrast from dark to bright while improving picture clarity. Motion Vector Noise Reduction minimizes unwanted artifacts in moving subjects.
The most advanced video processing block in the history of Sony projection television, WEGA Engine HD circuitry lays the groundwork for all the picture enhancements that follow. It's only available in SXRD™ XBR® television.
Sony's SXRD Microdisplay Chip
|Conceptual drawing of the SXRD chip in cross section. Light from the projection lamp enters through the top, passes through Liquid Crystal layer, reflects off the mirrored surface of the Silicon backplane and out toward the lens. |
Sony has transformed projection television with a unique approach to reflective liquid crystal technology: the SXRD chip. The acronym is short for Silicon X-tal Reflective Display, where "x-tal" is engineering shorthand for "crystal." The chip uses a liquid crystal layer sandwiched between a sheet of glass and a silicon substrate. This substrate is coated with aluminum to make it highly reflective. Behind the aluminum, Sony has arranged transistors, power and control connections to drive each pixel. Light from the projection lamp enters the liquid crystal layer, which blocks or passes the light on a pixel-by-pixel basis to make the picture. The light then reflects off the reflective aluminum and back out to the projection lens. This design has powerful performance advantages that make it ideal for video projection.
- Full HD 1080 resolution. Some projection televisions specify full 1920 x 1080 resolution. But underneath the hood, they use a microdisplay with onlyhalf the pixels. This means these televisions can only display half the pixels atany given instant. Sony demanded more. Because all the SXRD drive transistors, power and control connections are hidden behind the reflective surface, Sony can make the pixels microscopically small—just 7 micrometers (µm) across. In comparison, a typical human hair is roughly 70 micrometers thick. These microscopic pixels enable Sony to deliver full HD resolution, with all the pixels, all the time.
Film-like smoothness. Large gaps between the pixels, such as those used in H-LCD chips, tend to create "screen door effect," the sense that you're viewing the image through a screen door. Hiding the transistors and connections behind the reflective surface enabled Sony to minimize the gaps and maximize the smoothness of the picture.
|Slow response (left) can add unwanted blur to moving objects. Sony's 2.5-millisecond response (right) renders crisp, clear picture in many fact action scenes. (Simulated Picture for Illustration.) |
|Instead of milky blacks, the SXRD chip delivers a superb contrast ratio of 5000:1 (chip only, when measured with a conoscope). (Simulated Picture for Illustration.) |
- Blistering, 5-millisecond switching speed. Some displays can render still pictures beautifully, yet introduce unwanted blur during fast motion sequences. Slow panel switching is the culprit. Sony achieves incredible switching speed with an ultra-thin liquid crystal layer. So the picture remains crisp and clear, even during fast-action sports and movies.
- Superb, 5000:1 contrast ratio (chip only). Conventional liquid crystal panels normally display white without a drive voltage. This can reduce the contrast ratio, reproducing blacks that are slightly milky. Sony's SXRD chip uses vertically aligned nematic liquid crystal that normally displays black. So black reproduction is exemplary and contrast ratio is superb. The contrast ratio of the SXRD chip alone, measured with a conoscope, is 5000:1.
- Long Operating Life. The SXRD™ chip includes materials and operating structures that withstand thousands of hours in high heat without performance degradation. In particular, Sony surrounds the liquid crystal with an inorganic alignment layer specially formulated for long life.
It's no surprise that each generation of Sony SXRD products has been greeted with excitement and enthusiasm. Products from the original SXRD custom installation projector to the Sony SRX-R110 professional digital cinema projector to today's Grand WEGA™ XBR® televisions have confirmed the Sony SXRD microdisplay as a landmark in television technology.
3-Chip Optical Engine
|The optical engine of Grand WEGA™ XBR® television delivers the full precision of Sony's three SXRD chips. |
While the SXRD chip itself is an extraordinary achievement, Sony engineers were determined to pursue equally lofty performance throughout the television. That's why they built three SXRD chips into the optical engine of Grand WEGA™ XBR television. In real life, when you look at an apple, the red doesn't flash at you and disappear. But many projection TVs use a single display chip and a color wheel to flash a sequence of colors, one at a time. This can cause color breakup, an unwanted "rainbow" effect, which may be visible or concern certain viewers. Sony takes a different approach. We built an optical engine that incorporates three separate chips—one each for Red, Green and Blue. So you see all the colors, all the time and color breakup is never a problem.
Thanks to Sony's three-chip design, you get stable, consistent color under all viewing conditions, in addition to high optical efficiency. In fact, these benefits of three-chip architecture are so widely recognized that in large-venue projectors, even the competing systems use three chips.
The optical engine starts with the bright light of a 180 watt Ultra High Pressure (UHP) lamp. Dichroic mirrors divide the white light into separate Red, Green and Blue beams. Each beam is a reflected against its own, dedicated SXRD™ chip. The SXRD chips "modulate" the light, creating the light and dark areas of the video picture. This modulated light reflects back out of the SXRD chips, is recombined by an optical prism and sent toward the screen in a unified beam of natural color.
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|A single microdisplay chip and color wheel are subject to color breakup, which may be visible or concern certain viewers. With Sony's three separate SXRD chips, color breakup is never a problem. (Simulated Picture for Illustration) ||Simulated image. This conceptual view of the SXRD™ optical engine shows the filtered Red, Green and Blue light entering at left, the three SXRD chips and the combined light exiting the prism, at right. |
High output Ultra High Pressure lamp
A key component of Sony's Optical Engine is the Ultra High Pressure (UHP) lamp. Operating at 180 watts, the lamp achieves not only high brightness but also a color spectrum carefully matched to the needs of Sony's Optical Engine. The result is superb efficiency: high screen brightness for each watt of input power.
To maintain optimum picture quality, the lamp requires periodic replacement. One replacement lamp is supplied with every SXRD XBR® television.
As the color beam exits the optical engine, it passes through Sony's motor-driven iris, which can close to block light or open to enable maximum light to pass. This enables Sony's Advanced Iris function, which has three operating modes.
- Auto 1 Mode. Elicits an incredible scene-to-scene "dynamic" contrast ratio of up to 10,000:1. Auto 1 mode automatically senses the average picture level of the video signal and adjusts the opening of the iris accordingly. The iris opens wider for bright scenes and shuts down narrower for black scenes. Auto 1 mode is optimized for highly dynamic program material.
- Auto 2 Mode. This applies a similar automatic adjustment, optimized for program content with less scene-to-scene variation in brightness.
- Manual Mode. You can also adjust the iris manually to High, Medium or Low, according to the ambient light in your room. For example, High delivers maximum output for brightly-lit rooms, while Low achieves maximum contrast in dimly-lit rooms.
In rear projection television, even the screen contributes to picture quality. It helps control light distribution, shaping the viewing angle and preserving contrast. A Fresnel inner screen concentrates light from the optical engine for maximum brightness. Next a Lenticular screen establishes a wide horizontal viewing angle. So you don't need to sit on the central axis of the television to enjoy a vibrant picture. Finally, a dark coating between the Lenticular ribs helps preserve high contrast.
Total picture quality
Sony's thorough approach to picture quality goes far beyond any single feature or any individual specification. Sony's total system method results in simultaneous improvements across the board with 1920 x 1080 resolution; high-impact contrast; stable, consistent color; film-like clarity and smoothness. The result is less like television, and more like a window on the world.
Other video features
*For supported resolutions and timings please refer to user’s manual
- Digital Cable Ready (DCR) HDTV tuner. The built-in tuner receives free, over-the-air HD broadcasts, plus clear QAM digital cable transmission, plus scrambled digital cable transmission when you insert a compatible CableCARD™ module into the television's rear-panel slot. (Cable programming requires access and subscription.)
- PC input*. The D-sub 15-pin PC input on SXRD™ XBR® televisions enables you to surf the Internet, watch downloaded movies, share photo slide shows or watch web videos right in your living room. No more huddling around that tiny computer monitor.
- Twin View™ two-tuner picture and picture. These televisions enable you to watch two shows side-by-side, in addition to flexible picture-in-picture options. One "window" can show HD or SD video and the other SD video.
- Free TV Guide On Screen™ interactive program guide. A fast, fun and informative way to find out what's playing, this system requires no monthly fee.
- Freeze Function. Enables you to temporarily freeze the picture in a separate window while the programming continues. This comes in handy when you want to copy a recipe, URL or phone number. Simply touch the Freeze button on the remote and copy the details down at your leisure.
While many owners will choose to connect their SXRD™ XBR® televisions to an external audio system, Sony builds in complete facilities for on-board sound reproduction.
- Digital amplifier. The inside of a television is hardly the ideal environment for a high fidelity amplifier. Size and heat constraints impose severe practical limits. That's why Sony adopted the use of a digital amplifier. In addition to high output and low distortion, the amplifier is amazingly space efficient and generates very little heat. The result is impressive audio performance from an all-in-one television.
- Dolby® Digital decoding. Modern digital program material, including HDTV broadcasts and DVDs, offer Dolby Digital sound tracks with rich dynamic range, low distortion and extended frequency response. These televisions include a built-in Dolby Digital decoder to reproduce these sound tracks through the built-in stereo speakers.
- SRS® TruSurround® XT audio. DVD and HDTV broadcasts include rich surround sound information, the effect of which can be lost without a full 5.1-channel speaker system. SRS TruSurround audio processing takes advantage of the psychoacoustics of head-related transfer functions to simulate the effect of surround sound even when you're only using the television's built-in stereo speakers. The latest TruSurround XT technology adds three advancements. Dialog Clarity enhances speech in surround sound programs. TruBass extends the perceived bass response beyond the physical limits of the television's speakers. Finally, WOW widens the perceived stereo soundstage.
From the very first model, Sony XBR® televisions have always broken fresh ground in design. SXRD™ XBR televisions carry that tradition forward with "wing" speakers that project beyond the sides of the chassis. On the KDSR70XBR2, these speakers can be removed. This makes for more flexible installation in systems where an outboard audio system will reproduce the sound. As with all Sony projection televisions, these models are so thin that they're often mistaken for flat panels. For example, the KDS-R70XBR2 has a giant 70-inch screen (viewable area, measured diagonally). Yet it's slimmer than recent 32- inch diagonal tube televisions!
A Final Word While technical papers and mastery of specifications have their place, they're not required to appreciate the SXRD™ XBR® televisions. All you need is a good High Definition source, a comfortable chair and some time to sit back and watch. When you do, Sony's XBR technology will speak for itself.