Updated June 9, 2010 with new model number--HX900 became HX909--as well as pricing, availability and other information.
Among the numerous permutations of LED backlighting, we've consistently experienced the best results with the variety known as local dimming, which typically uses a full array of LEDs arranged behind the screen, not just along the edge. Those LEDs can dim or illuminate as necessary depending on program content, and as a result can achieve excellent contrast, black levels, and overall picture quality.
The superb Sony KDL-XBR8 series from 2008 was the company's last attempt at the technology. Sony skipped LED entirely in 2009 (with one unimpressive exception), but for CES 2010 it announced no fewer than five series of LCD TVs with LED backlights.
Among those five, only the XBR-HX909 series has local dimming with a full array of LEDs behind the screen, not arranged along the edge, so we expect this set to receive the most interest from videophiles. We'll have to wait for a review sample before we can see how it performs, but we're expecting good things. In the meantime CNET readers voted this LCD their most-wanted HDTV review, although at this price, perhaps not all of them are ready to buy one.
Aside from its backlight technology and something Sony is calling an OptiContrast panel, the HX909 is quite similar in features to the step-down KDL-HX800 in the company's lineup, and it too is compatible with 3D content. Unlike the similarly-priced XBR-LX900 series, the HX909 does not include the glasses ($150 per pair) and emitter ($50 each) required to view 3D. As with other Sony 3D TVs, the HX909 includes bundled 3D content.
Sony XBR-HX909 features:
- Full-array LED backlight with local dimming
- 3D compatible
- OptiContrast panel
- 240Hz refresh rate
- Bravia Video interactive suite with Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube, NPR, Yahoo Widgets and more
- Optional Wi-Fi connection
Sony XBR-HX909 series models: