Sony's LED-based LCD claims 'best' crown

The Sony KDL-55XBR8 is officially the best LCD TV CNET has ever tested. It can't overcome the picture quality of the best plasma, however, and it still costs a mint.

The Sony KDL-55XBR8 is officially the best LCD TV CNET has ever tested. It can't overcome the picture quality advantages of the best plasma, however, and it still costs a mint.

The $7,000 Sony KDL-55XBR8 gives great picture. CNET

We described the battle for "best" between hyperexpensive LED-backlit LCD televisions previously, and in our review of the Sony we compared it directly with the Samsung LN46A950, its principal LCD competitor, as well as to the best HDTV we've ever tested, the Pioneer PRO-111FD plasma. The Sony outperformed the Samsung in most important areas, namely black-level performance, but it exhibited the same sort of off-angle issues and minor "blooming," where black areas become slightly brighter near very bright areas of the screen. Still, Sony's "Triluminos" LED technology seems give it the upper hand over the Samsung in these areas, and its picture is still downright stunning. In fact, in rooms with lots of ambient light the Sony will trounce even the Pioneer Kuro.

Read the full review of the Sony KDL-55XBR8.

Below you'll find the settings we found best for viewing the Sony KDL-55XBR8 in a completely dark room via the HDMI input with a 1080p, film-based source. Your settings may vary depending on source, room conditions, and personal preference. Check out the Picture settings and calibration FAQ for more information.

Picture menu:
Picture Mode: Cinema
Backlight: 2
Picture: 85
Brightness: 51
Color: 48
Hue: 0
Color Temperature: Warm2
Sharpness: 50
Noise Reduction: Off
MPEG Noise Reduction: Off
DRC Mode: Off
DRC Palette: [grayed out]

Advanced Settings menu:
Black Corrector: Off
Advanced C.E.: Off
Gamma: Off**
LED Dynamic Control: Standard
Clear White: Off
Color Space: Standard
Live Color: Off
Detail Enhancer: Off
Edge Enhancer: Off

White Balance menu:
R-Gain: 0
G-Gain: -1
B-Gain: -7
R-Bias: -1
G-Bias: 0
B-Bias: 1

Home>Settings>Picture menu:
Motion Enhancer: Off
CineMotion: Auto 1
Game Mode: Off
Video/Photo Optimizer: Video
Video Color Space: Auto
Photo Color Space: sYCC
Color Matrix: ITU601 for 480i
RGB Dynamic Range: Auto

Screen menu:
Wide Mode: Full
Auto Wide: Off
4:3 default: Off
Display Area: Full Pixel

General Setup menu:
Power Saver: Off
Light Sensor: Off

**Originally this setting mistakenly read "Low," but "Off" is correct.
 

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