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First Look: Sony XBR-X900B review: Speaker-first 4K TV pumps powerful pictures, too

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First Look: Sony XBR-X900B review: Speaker-first 4K TV pumps powerful pictures, too

3:13 /

The speakers of Sony's XBR-X900B have come to kick butt and offer no apologies. They provide the sweetest sound we've heard from any TV, and combine with stellar picture quality to deliver the complete package. As long as you like the look of speakers, that is.

[MUSIC] Hello there David Kastzmaier from CNet and next to me is probably one of the widest TV's you'll ever see. This is Sony's 55 inch, XBR 55 X900B. This is Sony's second most expensive television for 2014. Still extremely expensive, it's a 4k model, but really the thing that sets it apart are these gigantic speakers. To either side, you'll see there's three speakers. There's a three way system with a tweeter and a pair of woofers. There's also built in sub in this TV so it takes advantage of this wedge shape seen to the side here to amplify the sound. The real improvement on sound quality though is having the large speakers facing the viewer. I'm not a gigantic fan of this look, but if you really appreciate audio quality, this TV will sound better than pretty much anything else on the market. But the picture is really what I'd like to talk about, I'll get to that in a little bit. Of course, the design on this TV being extremely high end is really great in finish. The speed is actually blend beautifully into the screen here, it's all glossy black, there's nice rounded edges. The sides are actually chrome but you can't actually really see that. The little feet below are chrome as well and you can either mount them as you see here in the middle or you can spread those feet wide for a little more stability if you have the kind of credenza that can handle that, that width. Course the 65" TV is very wide, but there's also a 55" and a 79" member of the series. The X900B comes fully loaded with a built-in camera here on the upper right-hand side that works with Skype and maybe some future apps. Aside from Skype you got all the standard apps on the Smart TV suite on this television. Smart TV is designed to sort of put Sony's services and video front and center. And if you buy Sony's special 4K video player with this television and you connect it, you'll get a special screen for 4K videos. Of course Sony has more 4K content that anybody right now. Their player's proprietary you can connect to this TV it's about 700 bucks. Connectivity on the 20 exes. There's four HDMI as well three USB and a component video input. Two of the HDMI or HDMI two dots 0 compatible, meaning that they can accept a really high rate of 60 frame per second of 4k single. It also has the new Netflix app that allows 4k streaming. Another plus on this TV is the second remote. You get a standard remote of the other remote. There's also a simpler remote with a little touch pad and just a few buttons that enables you to actually use the browser and the web browser both in the TV a lot easier. Of course it is not as easy to use as a web browser found on your tablet or phone so in general I would pretty much recommend skipping it. Sony's picture adjustments are a little less extensive then most of the other TV's out there. You do get a couple of cinema modes in addition to the control over the local dimming on this television. And local dimming really is the reason why it's picture quality is so good. The TV is among the best performing LCDs we've ever tested and to actually achieve that, it's using an edge lit not a full array led backlight. So that's pretty remarkable. In a dark room, the picture quality gets extremely good. The blacks are nice and deep. You also get excellent color out of this TV and of course, being an led TV, it can get extremely bright, so the resulting picture has a lot of pop and contrast. Of course one of the downsides of 4K TV right now is that it has to be really big and you have to sit really close to really appreciate that detail, that said the picture quality here is really not about the 4K resolution, it's about that excellent contrast and this TV really does deliver. Of course, it's extremely expensive. That's a quick look at Sony's XBR-X900B, one of the most expensive and best performing LCD TV's we've tested this year, David Katzmaier. For CNet. [MUSIC]

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