"CNET got a bit hyped about XBR8"3.5 starson by ringu61
Pros: RGB LED
Cons: Bad Matted Panel
Summary: I went to my friend's store which provides both lightened and darkened room for TVs.
As far as Black Performance goes, the A950 outperformed the XBR8 in real world. The Ultra Clear Panel gives you more depth than the matted panel on the XBR8. The reason CNET gave XBR8 a bit better score is most likely because of the RGB LED that gives the XBR8 less time to calibrate because it is quite accurate out of the box. But If both parties A950 and XBR8 were calibrated and have them side by side, the A950 will outperform the XBR8 either in a Lightened room or Darkened room. I have seen users with both TVs and the A950 gives a lot more stable Color Accuracy DeltaE across all colors than the XBR8 after calibration.
And it is funny that CNET had the A950 measured 0.00cd/m^2 and calling XBR8 have a better black which measured at 0.01cd/m^2? And CNET also stated that XBR8's black tends to go bluish which is just like every Japanese TVs. Whereas the Samsung TV with Ultra Clear Panel is towards True Black with 0.00cd/m^2. I think that CNET better reconsider about their hyped comments in their reviews.
The image quality is obvious if you go see it in person side by side. The A950 Ultra Clear Panel gives a better sense of depth and TRUE BLACK.