The Good Black-level performance on a par with DLP TVs'; slim, light, and stylish design; excellent feature package.
The Bad Black-level performance is still not quite as good as that of CRT-based RPTVs; lacks independent memory per input; expensive.
The Bottom Line A huge leap forward in performance for LCD rear-projection TVs, the newest Grand WEGA line gives DLP a run for its money.
Note: Sony Electronics has received reports of intermittent lapses in or no lamp operation for some Grand WEGA LCD rear-projection TV models built before January 1, 2004; the set appears to be powered on but does not produce a picture. Sony has authorized its service centers to replace the lamp and/or lamp block in affected units at no cost to the consumer. Though we didn't experience this problem with our test unit, consumers who encounter this symptom should contact Sony at 800/222-7669.
Sony's new line of LCD-based rear-projection HDTVs, dubbed Grand WEGA, represents a distinct improvement in picture performance over previous models. The line includes both XBR and standard models between 42 and 70 inches in size. The model reviewed here is the 60-inch KF-60WE610, a non-XBR set that doesn't offer certain (and arguably minor) picture-enhancement features. XBR or not, its black-level performance--namely, its ability to accurately render black and very dark areas of the picture--is a huge step up from that of previous models. In fact, the output of Sony's WE610-series LCD sets is now on a par with that of competing DLP RPTVs from Samsung and others. Listed at $3,999 but available for less online, this 60-incher costs more than its CRT-based cousins, but its slimmer, sexier design and its brighter picture make for a good alternative to much pricier plasma sets of equivalent size.
Editor's note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Click here to find out more.
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