43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Viewing experience on another level
, October 3, 2012
This review is from: Sony XBR55HX950 55-inch 240HZ 1080p 3D Internet Full-Array LED HDTV (Black) (Old Version) (Electronics)
I am giving this television 5 stars even though I am currently waiting on a replacement unit from Amazon because of several bright red pixels in the middle of the screen. Like always, Amazon was top notch with delivery, customer service, and response...handing this issue quickly and with no drama. The new replacement TV is expected to arrive tomorrow and this time when I power it up at delivery, I will open to Sony Home menu (full graphic screen) which obviously shows the pixel flaws. Yes packing it back up will be a hassle but well worth the final result.
This picture is by the far the best I have ever seen on an LCD and I have seen many. Currently we have 4 other Sony XBR LCD TV's of different ages and sizes and there is no comparison to this new model. This XBR55HX950 will replace a Pioneer Elite Pro 530HD rear projection TV (nearly 10 years old and still kicking); which says a lot because the Pioneer is fabulous but getting dated and many possible replacements have come and gone once compared beside this TV.
In general, after quick calibration and tweaking the XBR55HX950 picture is approaching the level of our dedicated home theater(OPPO BDP-95 BluRay, Anthem Statement D2 processor, JVC Reference Series projector, Stewart 110" Studiotek 130 G3 screen). This Sony's white levels, black levels, and contrast are stunning and gone are the common LCD dragged jerky motion images...this TV is fast and smooth displaying motion. The black is so black that in a completely dark room, the screen light showing black between commercials is virtually undetectable. We are displaying Blu-Rays with the Sony BDPS790 which is a great player and very convenient with the HDMI link control. I cannot comment on 3D performance, as we did not buy this TV for 3D as I consider it too gimmicky and fake looking irregardless of how it is presented. I may borrow some glasses from a friend so our children can check it out, but that is not a priority. Also, regarding our children they already have figured out the menu system, switching between sources, playing Netflix, and playing Blu-Rays...they are tech savvy for 6 and 7 years old.
The color depth and edge detail is spot on and sharp looking with displayed images so real and natural. Our children were watching a movie with a bright white Maltese dog via Netflix streaming and they even commented on how white this dog was and how its hair was so real looking...a difficulty for LCD's displaying white. It does take a little tweaking of the settings and there are quite a few settings but I like Sony's menu system. I do still feel that with more involved TV menus Sony should adapt the format of a webpage explorer bar [like their website]with main features across the top, multiple drop downs, and use the Return button for Back.
The networking setup, Netflix, Amazon Prime videos, and DLNA worked flawless and all our videos [AVCHD), pictures, and music came through from our QNAP NAS Twonky Server with no issues. The file interface could certainly be improved with features such as Play All, Select particular videos to play or pictures to display, and image thumbnails (think about something like the excellent PC and tablet interface for SONOS for those who know it). The OPPO has a little better interface in this direction. The i-Manual is great...it is about time this convenient feature is there for quick reference of features particular for those not so technically experienced and it can be updated as the firmware changes.
To sum things up, I highly recommend this television, but if you need something bigger perhaps wait for the 65" model which will be coming out soon.
UPDATED 10/10/2012: The new replacement TV arrived on 10/4 as scheduled and the display was perfect. After spending more time with the TV, we love it even more. I have tested the built in speakers and to those who do not know about these thin TV's; do not expect full sound. Even after tweaking all the settings, the sound is weak and metallic. Most will be using processors or external speakers; so even though this is not deal breaker for such a great TV...plan on supplementing the sound to be in line with the great picture. One other annoyance is getting out of Netflix or Amazon video back to...cable for instance. The Input button on the remote give an error when it is pressed and will not return to HDMI or Components inputs.
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