Last year, we were mightily impressed by Sony's high-end televisions, with models such as the HX929 and the NX720 still some of our favorite LCD TVs. At CES in early 2012, Sony shocked quite a few pundits by only introducing a total of 10 models and in an almost offhand way -- a single slide in a presentation filled with celebrities and Olympic heroes. As the second from the top -- the queen, if you will, of Sony's new 2012 TV line -- the HX750 performs less like the next in line for the throne and more like a lowly serf.
Its picture quality behaves more like the EX720, which was halfway down last year's roster -- when for the price we would have expected it to perform like the Editors' Choice-winning NX720. While the HX750's colors are good, black levels are lacking for a TV in this price range. The Panasonic ST50, for example, is available for $500 less and has a picture that's significantly better. The Sony does offer a few features that the Panasonic lacks, such as Wi-Fi Direct and Track ID, but these are really window dressing. Thinking about this TV causes my shoulders to involuntarily shrug and wonder whether the step-up HX850 can go some way to restore the level of quality the company achieved last year.
Just as with the EX720 before it, the HX750 has very accurate colors in mid- to bright areas and it was able to keep pace with our color reference, the 2011 Samsung D7000 plasma. Shadow detail was very good with little crushing, and contrast was also more natural compared with the Vizio M3D, which showed flattening of the white areas and too much punch. The HX750's good points were overshadowed, however, by lighter black levels than our comparison models, causing its picture to look somewhat washed out.