Sony integrates 3D, Wi-Fi in flagship LED-based LCD

The Sony XBR-LX900 series offers the company's best assortment of features and comes with 3D glasses as well as built-in Wi-Fi for its interactive features.

David Katzmaier
David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
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The Sony XBR-LX900 series is one of the only 3D-compatible TVs to include the necessary glasses. Sony

LAS VEGAS--Sony announced a trio of 3D-capable HDTVs at CES 2010, but only the most expensive model, the XBR-LX900, actually includes a pair of the glasses you'll need to enjoy 3D content. Of course, other family members will have to get their own pairs, sold separately (pricing TBD). Along with the Panasonic TC-PVT25 series, it's the only 3D-capable TV announced so far to include glasses. Like other makers, Sony's glasses use an active LC shutter system. The right and left lenses in the glasses alternately darken and lighten, too quickly to perceive, while the TV synchronously displays the corresponding right- and left-eye-specific images. The result: when you're watching 3D content, is a stereoscopic 3D effect.

The LX900 also distinguishes itself with a built-in Wi-Fi connection, allowing wireless access to your home network and the Internet. Of course, this flagship Sony includes all of the interactive goodies found on other Sony TVs, such as Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, and more (see the KDL-W5100 review for details; Sony didn't announce any additional goodies at the show), and it can also stream videos, photos and music via your home network thanks to its DLNA compatibility. Wi-Fi is an option on numerous other interactive TV models, but we really appreciate having it built-in; most people don't have an Ethernet cable near their living room entertainment center, and the optional dongles can be expensive.

We also liked the presence sensor included on the KDL-VE5 series, which turned off the TV automatically when you leave the room (technically, the range of its sensor). The improved version on the LX900 has face detection as well as a couple of other extras. According to Sony: "The sensor detects if you've stepped away from the TV or are not watching the screen and automatically dims the backlight. After an extended period, the TV will turn off if no one has re-entered the viewing area. Additionally, the Intelligent Presence Sensor's newly added Position Control feature detects a user's viewing position to deliver optimized video/sound balance, while the Distance Alert feature helps to keep small children at an eye-friendly distance."

Unlike the step-down XBR-HX900, the other Sony set to earn the company's high-end "XBR" prefix, the LX900 lacks the full-array local-dimming LED backlight, instead making due with edge-lit LED technology sans dimming. The result is a thin panel but, if past experience is any indication, the LX900 won't equal the level of performance we've seen on LED sets with true local dimming. Of course, we'll have to wait to review one before we can see for sure.

Sony XBR-LX900 features:

  • 3D compatible
  • 3D glasses included
  • Edge-lit LED backlight
  • 240Hz refresh rate
  • Intelligent presence sensor
  • Built-in Wi-Fi connection
  • Bravia Video interactive suite with Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube, NPR, Yahoo Widgets, and more

Sony XBR-LX900 series models:

  • Sony Bravia XBR-60LX900: 60-inch, available summer 2010, price TBD
  • Sony Bravia XBR-52LX900: 52-inch, available summer 2010, price TBD
  • Sony Bravia XBR-46LX900: 46-inch, available summer 2010, price TBD
  • Sony Bravia XBR-40LX900: 40-inch, available summer 2010, price TBD