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Sony's SXRD Grand Wegas: Qualia comes to the middle class?

Sony's SXRD Grand Wegas: Qualia comes to the middle class?

Live from CEDIA
Sony earned high marks for its Qualia 006 when the 70-inch rear-projection HDTV bowed earlier this year. The 006 utilizes SXRD--Silicon X-tal (pronounced crystal) Reflective Display--projection technology, a Sony variant of LCoS. Unfortunately, the $13,000 price tag put the Qualia as far from most people's living rooms as a Ferrari is from their driveways. What a difference a few months makes: Sony is highlighting its new "budget" SXRD models at CEDIA. Announced last month, the 50-inch KDS-R50XBR1 ($4,000) and 60-inch KDS-R60XBR1 ($5,000) utilizes the same basic technology as its Qualia predecessor but is much more competitively priced vs. similarly sized plasma, DLP, and LCoS rear-projection models. Yes, you can get a better price on a 1080p DLP, such as the Samsung HL-R5078W or the Mitsubishi WD-52627, but the spread is much closer; if the Qualia 006 is any indication, these Sonys should perform very well. Both are loaded to the gills with features: 1080p resolution, HDMI inputs, CableCard, and built-in ATSC tuners. It remains to be seen whether these middle-class Qualias will energize Sony's slouching TV sales, but delivering cutting-edge technology at a more reasonable price is certainly a step in the right direction.