Pros Razor sharp detail, eye popping 3D effect, no clouding or flashlighting, superb black levels, great use of 24 fps enhancement. Just as good as the XBR9 but $300.00 cheaper. Internet video is kind of cool.
Cons 240 hz frame rate does not seem to be any kind of improvement over 120 hz displays. (It still looks awesome, though) I wish they made a larger size than 52". Yahoo Widgets should not have been released until Sony had more than three widgets ready.
Summary This display was sent to me by Sony to replace my KDS-R60XBR2. I had to have the optical block replaced three times. The bonus was that I got to keep it as well. This set is replacing a 52V5100 that at first I thought was great but as time went by, I realized I made a mistake. The set arrived this past Friday and when I un-boxed it, I was immediately taken by its no-nonsense sexy look. I consider flat panel TVs to be a work of art, even when they are not running.@policeman51
I placed a Blu Ray copy of Digital Video Essentials in my PS3 and an HD DVD copy in my HD-XA2. I calibrated the TV, which was a breeze since there are so many HD inputs and they can be set completely independent of the other. Also, surprisingly, the set was pretty close out of the box. Something out of the ordinary that I noticed, though. Out of all of the Sony TVs that I have owned, the Warm 2 setting seemed to be closer to 6500 K. On this set, I found neutral to be much closer to the desired color setting. Other than putting it in standard mode (another out of the ordinary setting for me, on other Sony's, custom seemed to be the way to go) and changing a few things, it looked fantastic. The black levels, eye popping 3D effect and the razor sharp detail are awe inspiring.
Make sure you turn off settings such as Clear White. As far as Noise Reduction, that's your personal preference, I turn most 'enhancement' circuits off anyway. On this particular set, I noted that Noise Reduction had very little effect on the picture, anyway. Also, turn off the MPEG Noise Reduction. It seems to actually decrease screen resolution but I could be wrong. On a set that can achieve a 100,000 to 1 contrast ratio, it's easy to get carried away with Advanced Contrast Enhancer, so be careful and set it on low or off. The same goes for the Black Enhancer.
I have no complaints about the 1080p performance of this TV. It is top notch. Even over the air HD looks fantastic. I have actually 'cut the cable' and am only getting OTA content, IPTV such as PlayOn and TVersity Pro, Blu-Ray and HD DVD. Of course, SD looks awful but this is no fault of the TV. Garbage in, garbage out, as it where and the larger the set, the worse it's going to look.
I cannot comment on the audio since I have a 5.1 surround system but I have read other reviews that the sound is acceptable. I would assume that most people who spend over $1000.00 on a display have at least a home theater in a box, anyway.
I would have absolutely no problem recommending this television. I see no reason to spend $300.00 more on the XBR9. When I saw them side by side, I did not notice any difference. I'm sure there is some benefit to the Wide Color Gamut backlighting, it's just not perceptible to the naked eye. We have come so far with display technology, that with what would have cost thousands more for the same quality and feature set just a couple of years ago can be had for a very reasonable price now.
BTW, don't let anyone tell you that the Samsung sets are so much better than Sony's. In my opinion, they do so much video processing that the picture doesn't even look natural. Sure, you can crank it up with the 52Z5100 but you certainly don't have to. The glare with the Samsung screens is unbearable, in my opinion.
All in all...I couldn't be more happy having this display in my home. The quality is absolutely jaw dropping. There are no 'clouding' issues and not a 'flashlight' effect was to be found.
One more thing...I really like the Cinemotion and Motionflow technology. I really don't see much of a difference between this set's 240 hz frame rate and TVs that incorporate 120 hz. I'm sure the same thing will be true about LG's new 480 hz displays.
Updated on Jul 28, 2009
The major reason, believe it or not, is that Sony's website and the box the V came in claim to be able to pass Dolby Digital 5.1. This is incorrect, it only passes PCM 2.0. This is a big issue for me since I watch alot of OTA HD. Even matrixed with DPL 2x, it just didn't sound the way I needed it to. I also discovered some flashlighting in the upper right hand corner. The black levels were not quite as good as the set that it replaced, a 60" XBR2. I think a lot of the BL issues can be attributed to the clouding and flashlighting I mention later in this statement.
There are a ton of owners that I've talked to over at AVS Forums that have the V series that don't have clouding or flashlighting, so I think I just got a bad unit. However, coupled with the dd toslink issue, It was tough to swallow, so I opted to trade in for the Z series. There may have been other issues, I just can't remember them now. So...they must not have been that bad.
"Fantastic!"on by djlaughter
Pros 240 Hz, bluetooth, wireless compatible, awesome picture!
Cons None that I know of.
Summary Got the TV, PS3, blue-ray movie, PS3 game, PS3 remote, and two HDMI cables for $2,000 out the door from best buy. By far the best deal out there. The TV is awesome, with an amazing picture. Couldn't be happier. Merry X-Mas to me!
Pros I did some extensive research before deciding on this set... the most critical drivers for me were the black levels, color representation, input capabilities, menu system (and remote), and non-reflective screen - great on all accounts!
Cons - connections on the side of the set as opposed to the rear (wires stick out)
- internet capabilities are slow and limited
- noticed some grey patching at times
- spotted and grainy blacks at times in HD broadcasts during dark scenes -not sure why
Summary Took me a while to decide on the perfect set for me. While I had some budget concerns, at the end of the day, the combination of quality, performance, and capabilities of this set drove me to selecting it over other sets (including Samsung, Sharp and previous generation Sony sets).
The internet capabilities interested me somewhat, but were not the selling point. In fact, anyone considering this set because of the internet widget/video capabilities will most likely be dissapointed. The features are very limited (especially the widgets), but most notable is the fact that it's just too slow (despite a reliable high speed connection).
What you will appreciate is the quality of the picture. The black levels are amazing, as well as the color representation. No calibration necessary.
The 240Hz capability is not evident to me, at least not for what I typically watch (i.e. DVD & BR movies, HD content - including hockey, and PS3 gaming). It's always good to know that you have the latest greatest, but you'll need to establish the value on paying the extra money for something that is not evident.
As far as SD content is concerned, like most other sets, garbage in - garbage out. Honestly though, it's not as bad as I had expected. I watch most SD through my upconverting 1080P DVR (with HDMI output to my set), and have noticed some improvement over a direct signal via s-video. The set's dynamic controls over full, wide, and partial zoom are pretty good as well.
The anti-reflective qualities of the set are also well appreciated. I had a 36" CRT Sony set prior to this one, and watching TV during the day was unbearable due to reflections from windows and mirrors. I had checked out the Samsung models (all of them) and could not bear the amount of reflection that it presented.
What I really don't like about the TV is the side connections... don;t know what Sony was thinking when the decided to do this for alal their new models. The end result is that some of my connections are sticking out on the side. Only options are to go with angled HDMI connectors, cheaper HDMI (more flexible) wires, or opt for the optional HDMI extender that can be mounted on the rear of the set.
Some concerns that I have about the set that I've not read about from others yet are with regards to the occassional appearance of grainy and spotted backgrounds during dark HD-content scenes. I remember all allstate commercial with the actor from "The Unit", or President Palmer from 24 (sorry, don't remember his name) - anyway, that commercial shows up spotty and HD and looks uniform in SD. Another concern is when I first put on the TV I noticed some patchy blacks of different hues towards the lower right side of screen. This is not evident as I watch TV, even during dark scenes - only appears when I first turn the TV on.
I had also considered the new XBR model, but did not see anything that would convince me to spend the extra money (i.e. supposedl backlighting and color improvements).
Anyway, I'm writing this because the reviews and comments posted by others really helped me to decide on what set was right for me, and hope that I can return the favor. Thanks CNET and Reviewers!
Pros Superb picture quality, non-reflective screen, easy menu system.
Cons None of any consequence. If using more than one HDMI connection there's only one on the back and the rest are on the side so the wires are visible unless using a port saver.
Summary After comparing about a dozen high def televisions the Sony Bravia series stood out. We needed a non-reflective screen, which eliminated all plasma's and most Samsungs. But even compared to the Samsungs, this television was as good or better.
In the stores we couldn't tell any difference between the lower priced Bravia V and the XBR, which has the same "engine" as the Z. Through Amazon, we couldn't pass up a deal on the Z and it exceeds our expectations.
On its own, the sound is passable, but using 5.1 surround it's outstanding, although no credit to the television. Never having owned a flat screen before, we're pleased friends and family who do praise the picture quality.
Navigating the bells and whistles can be a bit confusing but it's pretty user friendly, and the manual is helpful.
Please refer to CNET's review of the XBR for a more technical description of this set (they're essentially the same in many respects) and other user reviews do a better job than me in this area.
Bottom line is that after two months it's still a pleasure, sometimes exciting to watch this set. HDTV pops, especially sports, and movies are sometimes breathtaking in their clarity and color representation.
Pros Everything I wanted:
1080p - 240Hz - 4HDMI ports - Picture Quality - Internet Connectivity - Widgets - at a price I could afford!
I was able to get my 52" Sony Z5100 with free Blue-Ray player for just $100 more than a 46" Samsung B750!
Cons Would have given 5 stars, but I have seen a few grains in the deep blacks and a few blurs in the motion... These are very few and far between, so not an issue!
The remote is a bit clumsy, but easy to manage.
Summary I was VERY happy with the picture quality right out of the box. I have serched the web, indepth, to find proffesional calibration settings. They are hard to find. This is the best I could come up with......so far: (Props to ptvillan & clarancem)
Wide Mode: Full
Auto Wide: On
4:3 Default: Normal
Display Area: Full Pixel
Color Temp: Neutral
Noise Reduction: Off
MPEG Noise Reduction: Off
Black Corrector: Low
Advanced C.E.: Off
Clear White: Off
Color Space: Wide
Live Color: Low