This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

First Look: Sony Bravia XBR-52HX909

About Video Transcript

First Look: Sony Bravia XBR-52HX909

3:28 /

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.

>> Hi, I'm David Katzmaier from CNET, and this is the Sony XBR-52-HX909. It's one of two sizes in Sony's highest-end or second highest-end LCD TV for 2010. The other's a 46-incher. This review will apply to both sizes. Why Sony charges so much money for this TV has partly to do with the LED backlight. We'll get to that in a little bit, but another reason is the styling on this TV. It uses their monolith design, so if you look at it from the side, the screen kind of disappears into the frame of the TV, and even from the front, it's kind of one big black slab. We really like the look. There's a little bit of contrast provided here by the silver stand on the bottom and the silver edge, and in general it's one of the nicest-looking TVs we've seen. The HX909 also has 3D TV compatibility, meaning if you buy a set of glasses, about $150 a piece and a separate IR emitter, which is another $50, you can watch 3D content with compatible sources. This TV also includes an excellent selection of video streaming services, from Netflicks and Amazon Video on Demand to services like blip.tv and Howcast. There's also the ability to search some of the niche services all together with one search, so we really like that feature. On the flip side, this TV lacks the widgets compatability seen on some other TVs, so you can't get weather unless you turn to the Weather Channel on this set. Other features on the Sony include extensive array of picture adjustments, including color temperature adjustments, gamma control and an LED backlight control. There's also a couple of extra motion flow settings for playing around with the smooth dejutter processing on this television. Back panel includes 2 HDMI, 2 component video input, and a PC input. There's also an Ethernet port back there. There is no built-in Wi-Fi on this TV as there are in some other Sony televisions. There's also a side panel with two HDMI inputs and a video input. On the back panel there's also this RS-232 port that kind of hangs out a little bit from the back, spoiling the profile somewhat. But of course, unless you look behind the TV, you're not going to see it. In terms of picture quality, the Sony HX909 was very good, but still relatively disappointing given its very high price. It does have an LED local dimming full array backlight, which should enable excellent blacks and does, but on the flip side the black levels are spoiled a little bit by blooming. When you have a bright area that's adjacent to some dark areas, that brightness can kind of spill into the dark a little bit more than we've seen on other full-array local dimming sets. So that does kind of spoil the impact. It does also have a tendency, this television, to get a little bit blue, especially in dark areas and during the blooming, and even in very bright highlights the blue kind of creeps in. On the other hand, we did appreciate the video processing on the Sony. It does 1080p24 well, although you're not going to get full motion resolution in that mode. But again, we still prefer to keep the 1080p24 as it should look. Sony also has a relatively glossy screen, which does give you some reflections in a bright room, but on the flip side it does preserve black levels relatively well. We talked a little bit about 3D in the beginning, but the 3D on this Sony is pretty much in the middle between the Samsung and the Panasonic. There's not as much crosstalk, which can appear as slight ghosting around objects, as we saw on the Samsung. But again, there's a lot more crosstalk than we saw on the Panasonic. There was also a little bit of flicker and very bright objects that might have been the glasses themselves kind of kicking in on the Sony. We didn't see that kind of flicker on the Panasonic or the Samsung. This TV also has a simulated 3D mode that allows it to turn any 2D images, including streaming video, into 3D. Of course it doesn't work nearly as well as actual 3D content, but it might be cool for some people. That's a quick look at the Sony XPR-HX909 series, and I'm David Katzmaier.

New releases

Uh oh, it's PonoPlayer!
1:55 March 4, 2015
While it has its faults the distinctive and fun PonoPlayer offers a taste of high-end audio
Play video
This pocketwatch smartphone is designed with inner peace in mind
1:24 March 4, 2015
We get our hands on a prototype of Runcible, an oddly-shaped phone designed to be less distracting and intrusive than regular mobi...
Play video
Firefox phones range from high end to super, super affordable
1:19 March 4, 2015
Why would you want a browser-based phone like a FireFox phone? Maybe because costs as little as $23. A look at three phones for Japan,...
Play video
We experienced the future of VR with HTC Vive
2:55 March 4, 2015
What does HTC and Valve's new VR gaming hardware do? We tried it out and were blown away.
Play video
LifeBEAM Smart Hat checks heart rate on your head
0:54 March 4, 2015
It's a hat. It's a heart rate hat. Why? Well, see for yourself. Heads-on in Barcelona.
Play video
High-tech dog collar does bark notification and streaming video
1:34 March 4, 2015
Motorola's Scout 5000 and Scout 2500 get you more data on your dog. Hit play to find out more.
Play video
NAD Viso HP50 headphone: An audiophile-grade headphone that won't break the bank
1:39 March 4, 2015
The well-designed and comfortable NAD Viso HP50 ($300) is all about clean, very accurate sound, making it an audiophile favorite.
Play video
Gorgeous Nokia N1 is iPad Mini's Android twin
2:25 March 4, 2015
This portable tablet impressed us with its matte silver finish and Android OS. Too bad it only sells in China.
Play video