Pros Great colors, great grey scale, and great overall picture
Cons Loss of detail
Summary I have stared at this picture set many times in many electronic stores and my biggest complaint are two things that everyone forgets. While the colors are great and the black levels are good, there is SO MUCH DETAIL lost. I talked to sony reps and they tell me the detail in the black levels where the flat panel tv's will show the information and this set wont is because SONY adds in an extra black frame to produce higher black levels. But when you do that, you are missing the actual information. I was watching a DIDO blu-ray demo and saw that on the SXRD the background was all black, and on the lcd next to it there was an actual stage, with curtains etc. I wish that people would notice things like this when doing reviews on certain shows, movies, and or sports. The motion looks amazing for DVD's and almost any source, but the real story is that you're getting less picture.
Pros Excellent blacks, great color, value for the money
Cons Slow warm up, Goes black between channel changes.
Summary I've been watching the improving quality, features and price performance for about 5 years. Based on leveling off of performace - all the technologies (plasma, LCD, LCOS, DLP) are looking good and more alike than different I decided now was the time to purchase.
I got the 60" version for well under $2K and am extremely happy with the picture quality and size. I definitely think the bigger the better if you can afford it and have room for it.
The only HDTV's I've seen that I think provides as good or better picture are the 58-60" Pioneer and Panasonic plasmas but they are 2+ times the price.
It does have a user replaceable bulb (8000 hour life) which will be a future cost but this HDTV uses less electricity and produces less heat than the comparable plasmas eliminating that cost as a factor. Search CNET for some exact measurements of energy use by HDTV's.
Now I need to convince my son to buy one for me to watch when I visit
Pros Exquisite picture; 1080p/24 full HD, 6 full 1080p inputs
Cons To be honest, none so far - I've had the TV for 1.5 days.
Summary This is my 2nd Sony in the last 10+ TV's I've had in the last 2-ish years and all I have to say is, I'M FINALLY HAPPY!
The picture when paired with a native 1080p/24 player, is simply AMAZING. You can truly tell a difference. The picture is sharp, crisp and full of DEEP color.
I've always been a fan of Mitsubishi's before, but I've never felt the satisfied feeling like I have with this one so far, I could always find a thing or two that I didn't like about a TV, but would just deal with it. So far, I can honestly say I haven't had to do that.
I'll update as I get more experience, but so far I'm on my way to being a VERY satisfied customer.
Pros HD is mind blowing! SD is great too!
Cons Takes several seconds to fully illuminate
Summary I didn't need a new HDTV because I have a 4-year old 50" Toshiba RPTV which is great. But the Toshiba only had component connections and I wanted HDMI for my OPPO DVD player and a soon-to-be Blu-Ray player. Needless to say, I was apprehensive that this Sony could be much better. Wow, was I wrong! The picture on this TV is amazing! Deep detailed blacks (the most important aspect of a good image), vibrant colors, depth and clarity beyond belief. And, no motion-blur. No lag. No pixelation during scene changes. I followed the CNET recommended settings for both Motion Enhancer and Motion Naturalizer (together, both affect the 120Hz aspects), and I must have the settings correct because I only see crisp, natural images during motion, both in film-based DVDs and video on HD channels. When I watch my favorite sports (Laker's basketball in HD) I feel like I'm right there and I can touch the players.
I have my TV connected to a Charter HD cable box, and I have it connected via Component cables (Charter does not yet support HDMI or DVI). SD channels look amazingly good. I've seen LCDs and Plasmas display SD channels and they look like crud, but I don't know if they were connected with component. Maybe it's the Sony. To get the best possible SD image, I recommend using at least component connections using an HD cable or satellite box. I think too many people complain that their HDTVs give bad SD pictures, but I suspect they have them connected using just the analog cable, RCA plugs or S-Video. Don't!!!
I was also worried about the audio quality of this Sony after reading some reviews here on CNET because I have my TV in a large room. My old Toshiba had a 6" and 2" speaker for each channel and it sounded great. The Sony has excellent sound. Aside from the general treble and bass adjustments, it also has a variety of processing options to enhance spoken word or to give virtual surround with two speakers.
My "Con" mentioned the several seconds that the set takes to get to full illumination. Not a big thing. This was probably done to slowly energize the lamp and light engine to help life-span. But, my son did complain when he ran into the TV room and wanted to immediately see a football score. He complained because he missed the score. Oh well, too bad for him.
No, you can't hang this TV on the wall, but from what I've seen, this TV surpasses the flat-screen TVs for quality of image. I've seen too many issues with LCD and Plasma screens that I don't like, and I don't see them with this TV. But, the majority of people "want" to buy a flat-screen so they don't buy a RPTV...which is probably why Sony has stopped making this TV. Too bad, because this SXRD TV is a stunner. I bought my set at Circuit City for $1699. Nothing that I saw in a 55" range could come even close to the quality of this TV's image.
Pros Very good black levels and color reproduction. Large number of user menu adjustments that are usually only available in the service menu.
Cons Issues with Nvidia 8600GTS over HDMI, though this is most likely an Nvidia problem. ATI card works fine.
Summary Have owned the KDS-55A3000 for about a week (great Black Friday deal). Excellent PQ out of the box, as long as you switch the picture mode to something other than Vivid. This is the set to get if you if you're going the RPTV route.