LAS VEGAS--One of our favorite aspects of Sony's 2010 televisions like the KDL-NX800 series was their Monolithic styling, which to our eye seemed reminiscent of the eponymous black slab from the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey." The company has kept at it in 2011, building the look into a number of its higher-end sets, including the KDL-NX720 series described here.
New for this year the company is using Corning's Gorilla Glass, the same break-resistant material used on numerous smartphone and PC screens, for its Monolithic TV screens. They should be perfect for shrugging off damage from a stray Wii-mote or PlayStation Move controller.
The screens also employ Sony's OptiContrast panel, which is said to improves image quality in well-lit rooms. Other image quality-related extras include Sony's "Dynamic" edge-lit LED backlight with local dimming--less expensive 2011 Sony LED sets have edge-lighting without dimming.
The NX720 gets "MotionFlow XR 240," which, we assume, denotes a 240Hz refresh rate; the MotionFlow dejudder processing is said to reduce artifacts during quick camera movement better than previous versions. There's also another processing perk called "X-Reality Engine" (not to be confused with the PRO version found on step-ups like the KDL-HX820) that's described as follows by Sony's release:
"The single chip X-Reality Engine utilizes Sony's Intelligent Image Enhancer technology to deliver outstanding picture quality. Incoming video is separated into constituent parts (outline, texture, and color/contrast), and the appropriate image enhancement is added to each part. The engine also uses Intelligent MPEG Noise Reduction to automatically detect the incoming sources and noise level to apply the appropriate amount of noise reduction for each scene."
In terms of 3D, Sony says it has beefed up response times to help reduce crosstalk, that ghost double-image around 3D objects, and incorporated 5:5 pull-down that, we assume, delivers correct cadence with 1080p/24 sources. The company has also built the 3D emitters into the TVs (finally).
The NX720's Sony Bravia Video suite will offer the same lineup of content partners and built-in Wi-Fi as 2010, but includes a couple of extras like Skype (also offered by Samsung, Panasonic and others) with the addition of an optional speakerphone and the proprietary Qriocity music and video on demand service. Speaking of music, one cool extra sounds a lot like the Shazam app for TVs:
"The new connected models also make certain users will never have to wonder what that song playing during their favorite movie, TV program, or commercial is again. Sony's new Track ID powered by Gracenote, analyzes any selected song playing back on the TV, identifies it, and provides artist, album, and song information."
Sony will offer an app for iPhones and Android phones that functions as a TV remote and offers a virtual keyboard, search and media playback capabilities. The TVs' XMB interface has also been overhauled again to better integrate streaming services.
Pricing was not announced, and availability was listed as May.
Sony KDL-NX720 series features:
- Edge-lit LED backlight with local dimming
- 3D compatible
- X-Reality video processing
- MotionFlow XR 240 dejudder processing
- Monolithic design
- OptiContrast panel with Gorilla Glass
- Bravia Internet video
- Built-in Wi-Fi connection
Sony KDL-NX720 series models:
- Sony KDL-46NX720: 46-inch
- Sony KDL-55NX720: 55-inch
- Sony KDL-65NX720: 65-inch