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Sony's 240Hz HDTV hurts your wallet

Sony has beat the other big LCD TV players to the punch with the first 240Hz TV, the KDL-52XBR7, but is it worth the price?

The Sony KDL-52XBR7 is the first TV on the market with a 240Hz refresh rate. CNET

With CES fast approaching in January, and with it a look at all the new TV technology of 2009, we've heard inklings of the next big thing in HDTVs: 240Hz. Sony has beat the other big LCD TV players to the punch, however, with the first 240Hz TV, the KDL-52XBR7.

LCD TVs with a 120Hz refresh rate are common enough these days. They refresh the screen twice as quickly as typical HDTVs, allowing TV makers to add dejudder video processing that smoothes out the picture, reduces blurring in motion, and matches the frame rate of 1080p/24 sources like Blu-ray movies. Of course, dejudder can make film look like video and introduce artifacts, and the benefits of reduced blurring and 1080p/24 compatibility are difficult for average viewers to spot.

Judging from our review of the KDL-52XBR7, the benefits of 240Hz are equally difficult to discern. The set did score higher on motion resolution test patterns, but that didn't readily translate into an obvious difference with regular program material.

What's easy to discern is that the KDL-52XBR7 costs a bundle: about $4,100 list, or currently $1,100 more than its already expensive 120Hz counterpart, the KDL-52XBR6. The 240Hz XBR7 is an excellent-performing TV, it's just too expensive compared to the stiff competition.

Read the full review of the Sony KDL-52XBR7.

Below you'll find the settings we found best for viewing the Sony KDL-52XBR7 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
Picture Mode: Cinema
Backlight: 2
Picture: 87
Brightness: 54
Color: 56
Hue: R3
Color Temperature: Warm2
Sharpness: 5
Noise Reduction: Off
MPEG Noise Reduction: Off

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

White Balance menu:
R-Gain: -1
G-Gain: -4
B-Gain: -1
R-Bias: -3
G-Bias: 0
B-Bias: 0

Motion Enhancer: Off
CineMotion: Auto 1
Game Mode: Off
Video/Photo Optimizer: Video

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