"Stunning picture!!"5.0 starson by Dan Filice
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.