Smooth motion has been a major problem for flat-screen TVs for some time. Every year, manufacturers tell us this is the year they've invented a technology to help pictures flow like honey. With the release of the Bravia Z5500 though, Sony claims it really has cured judder, properly this time, honest guv, no word of a lie.
In this case, Motionflow 200Hz picture processing aims to turn 50 frames per second into 200. It's natural for us to respond to such claims by helping ourselves to a generous serving of sceptical cake. In the same way standard-definition video can't be transmogrified into real 1080p, no matter how many incantations you chant, it's very hard to conjure extra frames out of the air too -- even if your name's Sabrina or Harry. We can only hope it turns its team of wizards and witches to the problem of swine flu. Still, our judgement remains reserved until we've actually reviewed one.
Because, like the aporkalypse, widgets are all the rage at the moment, Sony is including its own Web-connected system with the Bravia Z5500. Known as AppliCast, it means you can access RSS feeds and see useful weather, stock and news updates without the need to fire up your computer. Sony, it seems, has missed the concept of Internet-enabled phones, which can do all that without you needing to turn on a computer or your TV.
There's also a generous dose of networking provided, which enables you to get music, photos and even 'downloaded video' on to your TV, without any extra hardware. We're sure Sony means legally downloaded video, not that dodgy shaky-cam version of a blockbuster film you got off some torrent site.
Sony's also very keen to sell its environmental credentials, and this TV promises to use between 25 and 35 per cent less power than last year's models, through such amazing developments as an off button. You don't have to love the planet to love lower energy bills, so whatever your outlook, better efficiency is a good thing -- even if you are firing up a massive LCD to check the weather widget, instead of just looking out of the window.
The Bravia Z5500 will be available from June, and will start at around £1,800. There are three sizes to choose from -- 40, 46 and 52 inches. We'll be reviewing one as soon as we can persuade Sony to part with it for a sec, so keep an eye on our reviews channel.