Sony Bravia KDL-52XBR9 LCD HDTV Review
The Bravia KDL-52XBR9 is the top of the line in the range of XBR Sony, the 52-inch LCD HDTV had the best performance we’ve seen in many of our tests, including the deepest blacks and brightest white. It also has support for Yahoo Widgets, and can stream video from a variety of sources (including YouTube and Amazon video). But while it has excellent performance, the price is less than excellent, at about $ 3000, it is at the upper end of the price range for that size.
We measure the black level of 0.05 cd m2 KDL52XBR9, which means that the blacks on the screen are extremely deep and dark means. This is also the lowest black level that we’ve ever seen, this display would produce the deepest, darkest black of HDTV we’ve tested.
We measured the maximum brightness, the KDL52XBR9 could manage an eye drainage 440.47 cd m2, which is extremely bright. In fact, it is the brightest we’ve seen from any TV, since we started testing, against the previous record holder (Samsung LN46B750) by a considerable margin. This is important because the brighter the picture, hold the better in direct sunlight or a bright office. This HDTV should have no problems, a visible image in pretty much any set of conditions.
These deep blacks and bright whites, it is no wonder that this display has a very good contrast ratio, we measured at this 8809:1. Again, this is the greatest contrast ratio that we have seen, the closest competitor was the 5225:1 on the Samsung LN40B650, and only a handful of others have managed to 4000:1.
One thing to note here is that Sony’s own figures give a 100,000:1 contrast, but this is a dynamic contrast ratio that is dependent on the displays ability to dim the backlight when it knows only minimal on-screen. Since this does not reflect a realistic scenario, we do not have to try to use this feature, our contrast ratio is determined by the difference between the black and white with the backlight set to maximum.
After bright whites and deep blacks is useless if it with each other, which we test here are not affected. In our test contrat tunnel, we consider the brightness of an area of black in the middle of the screen as it is surrounded by more and more white. Suppose you’re watching a documentary on polar bears, this test examines how well their black eyes would be duplicated. On some TVs, the black turns to gray as light bounce around the TV. We have seen some increase in the black with KDL-52XBR9 in this test, but the blacks were prety deep, and we would not expect that this is a big problem with most arctic adventure.
The downside to this is to keep the whites as well, they will change brighter or darker than the amount of white on the screen itself? We found that this is not a big problem with this display, the brightness of the white men remained relatively constant from a small area of white on the screen to the entire screen is white. We have (got the white a bit brighter than the increased amount of white on the screen), some variation, but this was only a small amount.
We were very pleased with the uniformity of the KL-52XBR9 impressed, and we saw very little evidence of problems either black or white screens. Some TVs, we see dark areas on a white screen and light patches on a black screen, but this ad had only very minor problems with the edges of the white screens look slightly darker than the center. But this was a very minor issue, and the transition from light to dark was very smooth, so it would not have noticed most users.
Gamma describes how television does fall the shades of gray between black and white when the gamma is too high, the display goes from black to white too fast. We found that the KDR-53XBR9 was a little high here, the gamma of 3.11 is well above the range of 2.2 to 2.4, we look for. The fine-tuning of the gamam do not have much difference, we found that the gamma setting at maximum flow of gamma (gamma you tweak with the options of minutes, -2, -1, 0 +1, +2 and max allowed) fell only to 2.74.
The Sony Bravia KDL-52XBR9, the remote is identical to that we saw on the Sony KDL-46Z5100. The remote control is long and has some weight. The back is grooved, with an indentation where your finger sits, rather than when at neutral. The keys are made of soft plastic, with the exception of the directional pad. They are easy to press, with good key travel, but could use more tactile feedback. Venue is the neutral good, but it feels a bit bottom heavy, if you do not your hand above the remote control as you need to move when you press the power button. There is a backlight, with a pleasant blue light that illuminates the keyboard in dark situations.
The Bravia KDL-52XBR9 has two large speakers located below the screen down, and we found that it produces both large volume and good sound quality, in our test sequences, we heard loud, booming bass and many fine details in the high frequencies. The S-Force pseudo-surround sound was also surprisingly effective, though it was not as good as a real surround-sound speaker system, it definitely has more prescence and the sound and extended range pereceived the sound considerably.
Like most recent Sony devices use the Bravia KDL-52XBR9 your Xross Media Bar menu, which presents the major options (eg inputs, TV, music, etc) on a scroll from left to right menu and the sub-options to a up and down scrolling menu. It generally works well and makes it easy to offer things like the various widgets and Internet functions, it found, but some options are a bit buried deep in order to get the setting of the backlight, for example, you need to key Scroll to go menu, under Settings, scroll to image & display, press OK, then select Image Settings, hit OK, and then scroll down to the backlight. So if the menu is easy to use, it is to bury some important settings several layers deep.
The Sony Bravia KDL-52XBR9 is a seriously good HDTV. We found that most of our tests ACED, produces the best results that we need for black level, peak white, and have seen the contrast ratio imbetween. In addition, scored in our color samples and produces smooth, attractive movement, without many of the fine details that make a moving picture more attractive. And the Internet and networking capabilities of this display are the cherry on the cake, you can straming supports video from YouTube and many other places, or stream audio and video from a PC, the DLNA standard Clock.
But it is an expensive cake. At $ 3000 for a 52-inch KDL-52XBR9 HDTV is an expensive television in a market that looks for the value rather than features. This makes it a tough sell, especially if you can pick up a larger HDTV (like Vizio’s 55-inch models) for several hundred dollars less. But you get what you pay, the KDL-52XBR9 is a top performer for a top price.
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