Sony XBR-HX929 review: Best LED TV yet this year

One of the best-performing LED-based LCDs we've ever tested, the expensive local-dimming Sony XBR-HX929 competes well with the top plasmas.

One of the best-performing LED-based LCDs we've ever tested, the expensive local-dimming Sony XBR-HX929 competes well with the top plasmas. Sarah Tew/CNET

The first so-called LED TVs were local-dimming models, where the LEDs behind the screen could be dimmed or brightened in different areas to correspond to darker or brighter areas of the picture. The result was excellent contrast, on a level no other LCD-based TV could muster. Since 2008 when these TVs debuted, they've remained uncommon and expensive while so-called edge-lit models have populated store shelves and living rooms with abandon.

The XBR-HX929, Sony's most expensive and, we're willing to guess, best-performing TV of 2011, is also the company's only local dimmer. It boasts that excellent contrast by way of inky black levels not found on any TV aside from the oft-cited Pioneer Kuro plasma, and improves upon the color accuracy of its predecessor XBR. In short, it represents the pinnacle of LCD picture quality, so if you're shopping in the extreme upper end of the TV market and were only going to consider plasma, the XBR-HX929 might change your mind.

Read the full review of the Sony XBR-HX929 series.

About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."

 

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