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Edge-lit LED by Sony reviewed: Thin, expensive

CNET reviews the Sony KLV-40ZX1M, an LCD TV that uses edge-lit LED technology, and finds its picture disappointing for such a high price.

The edge-lit Sony KLV-40ZX1M measures just 1.1 inch thick. CNET

As if 240Hz, 1080p/24 compatibility and contrast ratios in the millions aren't confusing enough, get ready for more product differentiation in the LCD TV space: two different kinds of LED lighting schemes. On one hand are relatively tried-and-true "local dimming" LED-based LCDs, which generally give great picture. In the other are "edge-lit" LED-based LCDs, which if the new Sony KLV-40ZX1M ($3,999) is any indication, do not.

We're sure the distinction won't stop marketers from trying to equate the two, however, and simply call them all "LED TVs," expecting consumers to assume that all LED-based LCDs give great picture. In fact, one company, Samsung, has already said it wants to create a separate "LED TV" category to differentiate the more-expensive, higher-tech-sounding sets from their lowly fluorescent-backlit cousins.

Also, who knows, maybe Samsung's upcoming edge-lit models, namely the 6000, 7000, and 8000 series HDTVs announced at CES, will perform better than the Sony KLV-40ZX1M we just reviewed. Lighter black levels and imperfect uniformity hampered its picture--as you might expect, the edges of the picture were brighter than the middle (go figure!). It sure looks cool though.

Read the full review of the Sony KLV-40ZX1M.

Below you'll find the settings we found best for viewing the Sony KLV-40ZX1M in a completely dark room via the HDMI input with a 1080p, film-based source. Your settings may very depending on source, room conditions and personal preference. Check out the Picture settings and calibration FAQ for more information.

Picture menu
Motion Enhancer: Off
CineMotion: Auto 1
Game Mode: Off
Video/Photo Optimizer: Video-A

Picture Adjustments menu:
Picture Mode: Cinema
Backlight: 2
Picture: Max
Brightness: 52
Color: 60
Hue: 0
Color Temperature: Warm2
Sharpness: 4
Noise Reduction: Off
MPEG Noise Reduction: Off

Advanced Settings menu:
Black Corrector: Off
Advanced C.E.: Off
Gamma: Off
Clear White: Off
Color Space: Standard
Live Color: Off [grayed out]

White Balance menu:
R-Gain: -7
G-Gain: -2
B-Gain: -7
R-Bias: 2
G-Bias: 1
B-Bias: -5

Screen menu
Wide Mode: Full
Auto Wide: Off
4:3 Default: [grayed out]
Display Area: Full Pixel