Sony LED-based 3D TV exhibits blacks, bloomers

Although its black levels challenge the best ever, some other picture-related aspects of the Sony XBR-HX909 series don't live up to the high price.

The 3D-compatible XBR-HX909 series is Sony's first LED-based TV with full array local dimming since 2008. Sarah Tew/CNET

The last Sony TV we reviewed with superb picture quality was the ultra-expensive KDL-55XBR8 from 2008, which not coincidentally featured the company's last example of a full-array local-dimming LED backlight. That TV's spiritual successor, equipped with a similar backlight, is the ultra-expensive XBR-HX909 series, but all told, its picture quality fares less favorably against the competition. It does deliver deliciously deep black levels, but they come with too many compromises, including issues with blooming and color accuracy, for a TV at this price level.

If you extend your investment to include a pair or more of 3D glasses, an IR emitter, 3D content, and a device to play it, the Sony XBR-HX909 will deliver that third dimension to your brain. Many other 2010 TVs at this level are also 3D-compatible, and compared to the two we've tested, the HX909's 3D image quality falls squarely in the middle. Its other notable attributes, including best-in-class design and oodles of streaming video, will appeal to many of the buyers able to afford it, but those seeking the best-available home theater picture quality will probably want to look elsewhere.

Read the full review of the Sony XBR-HX909 series.

 

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