The Good Excellent overall color fidelity with superb color decoding and grayscale linearity, as well as best-in-class primary color accuracy; deep black levels with solid shadow detail; de-judder processing smooths out pans and camera movement; numerous picture controls; ample connectivity.
The Bad De-judder processing can seem unnatural; improper de-interlacing of 1080i film-based material; labyrinthine menu design.
The Bottom Line The SXRD-based Sony KDS-55A3000 exhibited excellent color accuracy and stellar performance in general, making it the year's best performer in the rear-projection HDTV category.
Editors' note July 21, 2008: Due to the publication of the Samsung HL61A750 review, this review had been modified to remove the Editors' Choice award, lowering the performance subrating from 9 to 8 and hence the overall rating from 8.5 to 7.7.
Sony has a real winner with the new KDS-A3000 series, represented here by the 55-inch KDS-55A3000, the middle of three sizes. We liked Sony's LCoS-based SXRD technology when it was first introduced a couple of years ago, and the company has followed up by significantly improving performance. While not perfect, the KDS-55A3000 is the most color-accurate RPTV money can buy today. Its weakest point is in its video processing, which has been the case with Sony for years, but in this TV's instance, that's hardly a deal breaker. As far as overall picture quality is concerned, the 1080p resolution A3000 series tops our list among rear-projection HDTVs, and its excellent value proposition seals the deal.
The external appearance of the KDS-A3000 series is rather basic, and not nearly as striking as the company's flat-panel LCD models, such as the KDL-XBR4 series. This big rear-projector is finished in silver, with black speaker grilles below the screen where the stereo speakers are housed and a strip of see-through paneling below that. It boasts a table-top design with commendably narrow side and top bezels for a look that's mostly screen; its cabinet is relatively narrow in depth. Overall, the 55-inch model measures 49.6 inches wide by 36.3 inches tall by 15.6 inches deep and weighs 81 pounds.
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