Sony Grand Wega(TM) SXRD 50" Rear Projection TV KDS-R50XBR1
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- 50 Screen Size (Diagonally)
- SXRD Technology, WEGA Engine HD System, Cinema Black Pro
- 16 - 9 Widescreen Aspect Ratio
- Cinemotion Reverse 3 - 2 Pulldown
- CableCARD Slot and ATSC Integrated Tuner
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Looking for a widescreen TV? XBR(R) Grand Wega(TM) offers a great picture for the maximum 1080p HDTV service. Sony's rear projection HDTV is equipped with SXRD technology and offers a brilliant, colorful image pleasing to any pair of eyes. In addition to the dynamic SXRD technology, it features WEGA GATE Easy Operation Guide, CineMotion technology and Sony's WEGA Engine system. Rear projection is not flat-panel but, at about 18 inches deep, it fits on many countertops or its optional stand. Rear Projection allows larger screen sizes at more reasonable cost than flat-panels. If you're looking for supreme quality and value, Sony XBR(R) Grand Wega(TM) is the TV for you. Connections -HDMI , 3 i.LINK(R) Connections, Component Video Connection, Control-S In/Outputs, Optical Digital Audio Output, PC Inputs, 6 Audio Inputs, Audio Output, 3 Composite Inputs 1920 x 1080 Pixels for up to 1080p HDTV SRS TruSurround XT Equipped, S-Master Digital Amplifier, Steady Sound, Dolby Digital Twin-View (Picture in Picture) Memory Stick Media Viewer / Memory Stick(R) Media Slot Audio Power Output - 30 Watts Total (15W x 2) 4 Full-Range Speakers Simulated Surround, Sound Modes - Dynamic, Clear Voice, Natural, Speaker On/Off Auto Channel Programming, Channel Jump, Channel Label, Channel Skip/Add Parental Control with V-Chip Advanced Video Menu, Auto White Balance Black Corrector - High, Medium, Low, Off 3D Digital Comb Filter, Detail Enhancer, Digital Texture Enhancer Direct Digital II Circuitry, DRC(TM) MultiFunction Circuitry, DRC(TM) Palette Presets, Dynamic Focus(TM) Circuitry, Dynamic Picture(TM) Processor, ErgoBright Technology Game Mode, Picture Modes - Vivid, Standard, Pro English, Spanish, French menu displays Program Guide Access Power Save Mode - Standard, Reduced Programmable Timer, Sleep Timer (15, 30, 45, 60, 90 Minutes, OFF), 2-Event Timer Unit Dimension
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PS -- I just had a live internet chat with Sony customer service, and after they figured out that I knew that this has been an ongoing problem, they gave me a link to their website that says there is an extension of the original warranty due to this problem (it's a malfunctioning part called the "optical block"). If Amazon lets me do this, the link is [...]
If you can't paste that into your browser, just go to the Sony website and the announcement and instructions are under "news and alerts".
3/7/08 Sony says it will repair my set with a new light engine. Is that engine going to be more dependable than the original one that has failed on so many sets? The local TV service person says the new light engine has been fixed. Sony discovered the cause of the problem and fixed it. I hope so. This TV offers a great picture--when it's not tinted green. We'll see what happens next.
3/11/08 My set has been repaired and it works great now. No charge for the repair. Local TV repair service did a did good job and returned my set quickly. Will the new light engine hold up better than the original? We'll see what happens next.
One important note: If you are debating between the 50" and 60" models, you should know that both models use the same 120 watt bulb. With the 60" model having approximately 20% more screen surface area to light up, that translates to approximately a 20% dimmer picture than the 50 inch model. (If you ask me, it's not a "bright" idea to use the same bulb wattage for two projection TVs of different sizes, but I guess it keeps manufacturing costs down.)
Compare the two models side by side on the same HDTV content (I did) and you'll see a marked difference in the vividness of the whites and bright colors. The KDS-R50XBR1 50" really "pops" (like looking out the window on a sunny day); whereas the KDS-R60XBR1 60" looks merely average in the brightness department (the overall picture is still excellent, just a bit dimmer).
For me, I decided that a smaller screen with a brighter picture was more important than a big screen with a slightly dimmer picture - especially since this TV sits in a daylight room. Hopefully Sony will correct this oversight in a future SXRD model because the 60" picture is considerably more impressive purely from a size perspective.
The pros: Its magnificent picture quality! SXRD is probably the finest picture you can buy for under $12,000. It has advanced picture fine-tuning feature for prosumers. The 50" model has a dazzling bright display that outshines everything I've seen so far.
The cons: The side speakers are relatively weak with no bass response (as one would expect from their diminutive size). They are not detachable, and add a considerable amount of horizontal width to this TV's footprint. They ought to be made detachable or placed beneath the screen instead at the sides. Also, there are only 2 HDMI ports. It is quite conceivable that a person might have 3-4 HDMI devices (Bluray DVD, Playstation 3, Dish Network, Digital Cable, etc.) but most TVs on the market only have 1-2 HDMI ports so this is not unusual. Daytime viewing is generally very good as long as no direct light hits the TV screen; however, projection TVs still don't seem as bright as the old cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs.
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