Pros + RICH, DEEP colors
+ VERY impressive black levels
+ High native refresh rate and realistic-looking motion processing
+ Input lag is one of the best
Cons - User interface is clunky
- TV only comes in 55" in the US
Summary To provide a little background, I had originally ordered the Samsung UN60F7500 and after receiving two TV's with physically noticeable manufacturing defects (both manufactured the same day in the same plant, go figure!), I opted to receive a refund and try an entirely new brand. I was SO glad this happened because I hadn't realized what I was missing until I received the Sony KDL-55W900A. Now before I begin, keep in mind that the Samsung F7500 is essentially a semi-step down from the F8000, which would be the W900A's direct competitor. The only difference between the F7500 and F8000 is 1) a slightly higher artificial motion rate (most videophiles turn off motion processing anyways) and 2) 2x the scanning of number of zones in an image for micro dimming purposes, so essentially dimming at more local of a level than the F7500, as well as precision black dimming capabilities.Edit:
----- PICTURE QUALITY TRUMPS SIZE -----
At first, I was afraid that going from a 60" to a 55" would be a huge letdown; after all, you lose ~20% screen area when downgrading. However, the noticeable improvements in quality control more than make up for the smaller screen. Simply put, the W900A has perfect screen uniformity. Zero clouding, zero DSE, zero banding, and little to absolute zero flashlighting depending on what your backlight and brightness are set at. The picture quality is extremely impressive: rich colors, impressive blacks, and great motion handling, which I will touch on in the Pros section further down.
----- QUALITY CONTROL -----
I had come from a 2009 Samsung LCD as well as briefly owning a 2013 Samsung F7500, and I can attest that both TV's had their own quality control issues. In the case of the more recent F7500, the flashlighting was extremely noticeable regardless of my backlight/brightness level (claimed to have been non-existent at mid-backlight settings by most owners I had spoken with on the web) and a large blob of light was almost always noticeable on the right side of my screen during dark scenes (although I must admit that they had fixed the majority of clouding and banding issues that plagued the 2012 ES models). However, I couldn't help but feel that Samsung was still about playing a panel lottery until you get the right one. Their quality control on TVs has a long ways to go before I consider another Samsung.
As soon as I turned on the W900A and turned off the Eco Sensor to get it nice and bright, I calibrated using Disney's WOW disc and went through a few movie scenes in search for screen issues. I made sure to pop in 300 on Blu Ray to look for any vertical banding that was especially noticeable in 300 on one of my prior sets. Nada. I placed in a few other movies to look for severe flashlighting while having the backlight at 100%. It was there, but barely even there, especially when compared to the F7500. I watched Star Trek and Harry Potter's final movie all the way through and must say that the blacks are "out of this world" good. Very rich--almost (but not quite) plasma quality. Of course, you have to tweak with the settings to get the blacks looking nice and black (I had LED Dynamic Control on Standard, which really helped create those rich blacks).
----- PROS -----
1. RICH, DEEP colors. Sony's Triluminos technology widens the color gamut available for viewing. Although I have read that the source you are viewing must support the wider color gamut, I still feel that it must be doing its job regardless because in my opinion, the TV produces a rich field of colors on the screen that you'll salivate over. Especially when watching animated films. I do not believe this technology can be turned off (I haven't found a setting specifically related to Triluminos), but there is an option for Live Color that has 4 different settings (including OFF) to make colors pop out even more. I found that every setting but LOW was over saturating the colors a bit, which should give you some perspective on how colorful this TV is without using any color enhancements.
2. VERY impressive black levels. Not plasma blacks, but for an LED set, I have never seen blacks this deep. The LED Dynamic control is excellent. I found that I did not need to use the Black Corrector setting as even on LOW, the blacks were being crushed. However, with LED Dynamic Control on Standard and Gamma at -1, the blacks are insanely nice to view.
3. High native refresh rate and realistic-looking motion processing. 240Hz is always a plus and Sony's Motionflow works very well. Unlike my Samsung TV's where I've seen noticeable juddering/stuttering images no matter the preset setting I used, Sony's does a great job of not making video look artificial. Of course, you can manually adjust your Samsung TV's motion processing to decrease judder and stutter, but I really like the fact that Sony's works right out of the box as the average consumer does not have the patience or know-how to adjust these settings.
4. Input lag is one of the best, if not the best, on the market for 2013 LED's (in fact, I think only one other TV beats the W900A and it is also a Sony TV). This was another HUGE plus coming from a Samsung. Sony's W900A has a consistent 15-20ms response time in graphics and game mode whereas my Samsung TVs both struggled to make it into the 40's (mostly averaged 50-52ms in game mode for both sets). Sony timed this TV set perfectly with the PS4 release later this year!
----- CONS -----
1. If you're into Smart TV functions and apps, look elsewhere. If you use a 3rd party streaming device like a PS3, Roku, or Apple TV, then this shouldn't matter anyways. Sony has the typical apps like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu Plus, but they are far behind Samsung in this field. The user interface is clunky compared to Samsung's and the appstore is...well...there isn't one. There are preloaded apps on the TV that you will be unable to delete and that's about that. Although, I can say I am glad Sony no longer relies on the XMB interface as that was even harder to navigate.
2. The TV only comes in 55" in the US. I believe they have 42" and 46" variants overseas, but here we have one option: 55". This is especially disheartening for those TV enthusiasts such as myself who are converting over from 60" and 65" sets. In order to get a 60" Sony, you have to stoop down 3 pricing tiers to the R550A, which means a lot of the video processing that you get with the W900A will be non-existent and the panel, among other parts, may not be as high of quality.
----- SUMMARY -----
If you are on the edge about this edge-lit LED TV, I would recommend you get it and try it out for yourself. If the small size is bothering you, take comfort in knowing that I adjusted to it relatively quickly when realizing how superior the PQ is to other sets I've watched. If you are a gamer, this TV is a MUST. The input lag is great and games look amazingly rich in color and contrast with Sony's Triluminos and X Reality Pro technologies. Even avid movie watchers will have a difficult time not admiring this TV. A+ in my book.
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Hope it helps.
Updated on Dec 21, 2013
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Pros Picture quality, easy to set-up, great apps, and very modern looking.
Cons The stand is a bid wobbly and cheaply made. For the price, should be better.
Summary Have had this TV for two weeks (from Amazon) and in my opinion, it has a much better and brighter picture than the Panasonics, is lighter (easy to move), and does not have gimmicks such as hand motion and hard to use remotes that others. have.
Pros Deep Blacks and Vibrant Colors. Skin tones look natural. I played FIFA 14 on an Xbox One on this new tv and the picture is amazing. I did not notice input lag using this set.
Cons My living room has windows on two sides so there is a little bit of glare. The viewing angle is not as good as on my old Aquos. Cant find any 3D content to stream using the smart TV function.
Summary I got this tv open box from best buy. I am completely satisfied.