CNET First Look
Sony Bravia XBR-46HX929One of the best-performing LED-based LCDs we've ever tested, the expensive local-dimming Sony XBR-HX929 competes well with the top plasmas.
Hi there, I'm David Katzmier, senior editor at CNET, and I'm sitting next to Sony XBR-55HX929. This is Sony's best TV for 2011. It's extremely expensive. This Sony did pack a lot of technology into that. Chief technology in this TV is local dimming of its LED backlight. So, that means the behind the screen of this LCD, there is a whole bunch of little zones of different LEDs that can be turned on or off or dim according to program content. The end result is you get a nice dark, deep, black level, although you do see some artifacts, you know, as you on other displays. We'll get into that a little bit, but first let's take a look at this TVs exterior. Sony calls is monolithic design, which kind of looks like featureless black slab when turned off. It's really kind of cool look. It's got this black boarder around the edge and the glass extends all the way to the edge. It's very slim silver edge around the very extreme corners of the TV. Sony packed plenty of features into its flagship TV. It does have the full internet suite, which includes Netflix, amazon video on demand, and Hulu. Sony's interface looks a little bit different from the default interfaces for the those services, however. We actually preferred the default services interface in most cases. Sony's thumbnails are a little bit too small and sometimes a little bit more difficult to get around. On the flip side, you get more video services than pretty much any other TV out there. Those 3 as well as a bunch of need services that include stuff like wire.com, epicurious, and a bunch of podcast and blogs. So, at the end of the day, Sony does offer plenty of content that's little more difficult to get around. The TV does include a built in wireless connection, however, so you don't need to plug in a dongle or wire to your TV. Another couple unique features on this TV include a presence sensitive. It turns the TV automatically if you walk away from the room. It also has a little camera that can supposedly detect when children come close to the TV and actually emit a warning signal so the TV doesn't topple on top of the kid, which is again pretty feature to have. On the back panel, the Sony includes 4 HDMI and 2 USB inputs as well as a PC input. There is no analog connection unless you include the special dongle, however. So, at the end of the day, if you have a lot of equipment that needs analog, you first look for another TV. That local dimming display does produce among the deepest black that we see from any TV, which lands contrast and pop pretty much every scene. The TV also has very good color accuracy, although in very dark area, it does tend to get a little bit blue but still overall it's very good. On the flip side, the local dimming does produce some blooming, which appears with some brightness and dark areas on this TV. Off angle is also pretty bad. So, if you move-- even as close as [unk] to either side of the suite spot, you're gonna know that the picture lost fidelity and get a little bit washed out. So again, this is the TV for the big daddy right in the middle of the room. The HX929 does include 3D, although Sony doesn't ship glasses with the TV. We didn't get the chance to test the 3D about the time this video was filmed, but you can check out more on the written review on the website. That's a quick look at the Sony Sony XBR-55HX929. I'm David Katzmier.