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Sony BRAVIA XBR55HX929 55-Inch 1080p 3D Local-Dimming LED HDTV with Built-In Wi-Fi (Black)
Get ready to enjoy Sony's best picture…even in 3D featuring innovative technologies than ensure the smoothest high-speed viewing possible. Simple Internet connectivity, smart energy-saving features and a beautifully elegant design make this a must-have for every home. Packaging (Approx.) : 56 3/8 x 35 3/4 x 7 1/8" (1429 x 908 x 179mm).Power Requirements 120 VAC, 60 Hz.
Brilliant Full HD (1080p) picture quality for 2D & 3D
55-inch display with full HD (1080p) 2D/3D picture and sleek "monolithic" OptiContrast panel with Corning Gorilla Glass
Intelligent Peak LED backlighting with full-array local dimming for Sony's most precise contrast
Experience smooth and precise motion detail during fast-action video with Motionflow XR 960 technology
Wireless BRAVIA Internet TV and Widgets for a wide variety of streaming media and other Internet content
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Average Customer Review:
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290 of 304 found the following review helpful:
Excellet TV overall, Oustanding when viewed from front and centerSep 25, 2011
As of this writing (Sept. 25, 2011), I've had the Sony XBR-55HX929 for just over two months, so I thought it was about time I shared my impressions of it. Nothing I have to say differs significantly from what other (positive) reviews have said, but I thought I'd contribute to the collective wisdom.
Let me start off with a bit of context: I have had, at least briefly, five HDTVs since March 2011: a 62" Mitsubishi WD-62525 (a rear projection TV with 720p native resolution), a Panasonic TC-P55ST30 (plasma), a Samsung PN59D6500 (also a plasma), a Samsung UN55D6900 (an LED edge-lit LCD), and the Sony XBR-55HX929 (LED backlit LCD with local dimming). The Mitsubishi died in late March and I have been searching for a replacement. As you can see, I've tried out just about the full array of TV technologies. My search has ended with the Sony XBR-55HX929, and I am very happy with it. I will compare the Sony with some of the other sets I've had below.
There are a number of concerns that owners or prospective owners of the Sony have had, so let me address those. First, the build date. I ordered my set from Amazon.com on July 9, it shipped on the 13th and was delivered the 20th. It was assembled in Mexico in March 2011.
The dreaded "crease": Yes, mine has the crease (a slightly darker "line" that appears along the sides of the image on many of these Sonys, usually on the left and right, but sometimes along the top and bottom edges, about an inch in from the bezel). I have fairly faint creasing on both the left and right sides. It seems a bit darker towards the bottom of the screen.
However: I agree with many owners and contributors to discussion forums that under normal viewing circumstances--when you are watching "real content" rather putting up a uniform (or nearly uniform) field of color for inspection purposes--I never notice it. My wife has never noticed it, nor has anyone who has come over to see the set. I can see it on the PS3's home screen, but that hardly bothers me. It surprises me a bit that I say this, since I am quite picky and minor imperfections often irritate me to no end (this is one reason I've gone through all the sets mentioned above!). If I could see it when I viewed typical content, I'd return the set. But I don't. As it is now, I wouldn't dream of returning the set.
So, my view is that the "crease" issue should not deter you from getting the Sony XBR-HX929. If you don't need a new set right away, by all means wait a couple of months and perhaps there will be a reliable stream of crease-free sets (though a recent comment from Sony UK has me somewhat doubtful). If you must buy now, I don't think the crease should scare you away from this set. (Well... I'm a bit torn about this actually: Despite what Sony UK has recently said, the crease is probably a manufacturing defect, and a top-of-the-line item shouldn't have manufacturing defects. So, I can sympathize with those who do not want to give Sony money for releasing a very expensive product with such a defect.)
Like some others, I am planning to put a call it to Sony to report the crease. The more they hear about it, the more likely they are to do something. Also, if there is a recall, or an offer to replace sets with the crease, etc., I would certainly be interested in taking Sony up on that.
Picture quality: I'm using David Katzmaier's (from CNET) recommended settings. Viewed from straight on, front and center, at eye level, the picture is outstanding (4.5 or 5 out of 5 stars). The blacks are truly black--deep, inky, and virtually indistinguishable from the bezel, especially when you view from a high-quality source like a Blu-ray. It is the only TV of those I've owned with blacks as deep as the Panasonic plasma's. These deep blacks make for excellent contrast, which (along with strong shadow detail and good gamma) gives the image natural depth and that "pop" that impresses viewers so much.
Colors are both rich and realistic. Shadow detail is excellent. Blu-ray movies I've watched on this set so far include Toy Story 3, Baraka, Master and Commander, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Rango. All looked absolutely fantastic (though I give the overall nod to Toy Story 3). Best in-home theater experiences I've ever had. I am consistently "wow-ed" by the picture on this set.
Comparison with the Samsung UN55D6900 LCD. The colors on the Samsung were excellent (once I got the user-adjustable settings right--which is relatively easy on the Samsung thanks to its RGB-only mode: one of the things I like better about Samsung than the Sony). Still, the Sony's are at least as good (I didn't do a side-by-side, simultaneous comparison, so it is difficult to say for sure which was better). However, there is one area in which the Sony clearly and, in my view, crucially bests the Samsung. The Samsung is an edge-lit LED-LCD (as are all of the upper end Samsung LCDs), which means that the LEDs that provide the light for the TV's picture shine in from the edges of the set--parallel to the surface of the screen/LCD. Like many owners of Samsung's LCDs (see user forums), I was really bothered by the flashlighting (when light from the LEDs bleeds into a corner of the image), clouding (areas of the screen that appear lighter than they should) and generally uneven dark-scene performance exhibited by this set. The Sony's full-array LED backlighting (in which the light producing LEDs are arranged behind the screen, shining light perpendicular to the surface of, or out through, the LCD screen) with local dimming is superior in this regard, hands down. Even my wife agrees. (Though she didn't think the improvement was worth the heftier price tag. Obviously I disagreed!) Using the PLUGE pattern on the DVE calibration disc, I could never get the 2%-above-black bars on either side of the central gray-scale bar to be equally visible on the Samsung--when the one to the left of the center gray scale was just visible, the one on the right wouldn't be. To improve this, I had to crank up the brightness, which improved shadow detail, but (obviously) hurt black levels. No such problem on the Sony. Both +2% bars are equally visible while the blacks stay black and shadow detail is preserved.
Viewing angles: A weakness, and one of the reasons I don't give the set a 5-star rating. The Sony cannot compete with the Panasonic or Samsung plasmas on this aspect of picture quality. Still, the viewing angles are not as bad as I feared from reading reviews and some other user comments. The picture washes out worst as you move away from front-and-center when the material is dark, but from my usual viewing distance of about 10 feet, I can sit on either side of my couch (a three-cushion, 6.5ft couch) and notice very little change in the picture. I would say that viewing angles are comparable to the Samsung LCD (though I didn't do extensive tests on this--I was primarily concerned with screen uniformity when comparing these). For something like sports on ESPN, and most cable/ local broadcasts, I can walk from one side of the room to the other without any bothersome loss of picture quality.
Blooming (a "halo" of light that shouldn't be there surrounding a bright object on a dark background): It happens, but again, not as bad as I feared. (It is worth noting that some blooming is virtually unavoidable on LED backlit LCD televisions.) With actual viewing material (blu-rays, dvd movies), viewed from front center, I observe infrequent blooming. Blooming is really only apparent on end credits, and images like PS3 pause and quit screens, but that hardly matters to me.
Now, off-angle blooming is a different story. Not only does the screen wash out if you view from too far off-center, blooming becomes significant. Bad enough that it is another reason I don't give the set 5 stars. The moral: watch from front and center when you want that ultimate home theater experience!
The edge-lit Samsung LCD didn't exhibit blooming to the same degree, even off angle--but I'll take the off angle and credit-screen blooming over flashlighting and clouding problems. (They are related problems, actually: all result when light from the LEDs shows up where it shouldn't.)
Plasmas don't (or shouldn't) exhibit blooming, so again, the clear advantage goes to the Samsung and Panasonic plasmas on this aspect of picture quality.
Dirty Screen Effect (uneven picture uniformity during pans that makes it look like there is something on the screen--sort of like a thin film of dirt): Yes, I notice it occasionally, but mainly on standard definition and pseudo-HD sources like Netflix streaming. I didn't notice it on any of the blu-ray movies I watched (see above).
Video games/response time: My test material is Zen Pinball on the PS3. Good response times are important for this game (though not as much as for fighting games), since you want the "paddles" to move the instant you hit the shoulder buttons. Response time is good. Significantly better than on the Samsung LCD. I would say it is comparable or perhaps just slightly worse than the Panasonic plasma, though this is a memory-based judgment of which I am not terribly confident, so take it for what it is worth. Also: none of these sets were on Game Mode. I have local dimming set to Standard on the Sony. Response times are improved with local dimming set to Off and when the set is put in Game Mode. Nevertheless, I'm perfectly happy with the response times, even with local dimming On (the picture is better this way).
Appearance: I think this is an awesome-looking set. The monolithic design, with the single sheet of glass from edge to edge is really cool. It is better looking than either plasma (the Panasonic has the most boring design), no question. It's a tough call between the Sony and the Samsung LCD. I thought the Samsung was also very good looking. It's a toss up, and I could see someone going either way. The Samsung is a bit flashier, a bit sexier, with the super-thin bezel and clear strip of plastic around the edge, but the Sony has a more refined, sophisticated look to it. I do wish you could turn off the green "on" light though... I don't need to be told that the set is on when there is an image on the screen!
Reflectiveness: This was a pleasant surprise. CNET's review had me concerned that it would be very reflective, but it isn't. It is significantly less reflective than the Samsung LCD. It is similar to the Panasonic plasma. Can you see reflections? Yes, absolutely. But they are dull, muted and rather faint, despite the fact that I have two fairly large windows on the south-facing side of my 12'x10' living room (perpendicular to the direction the TV faces).
Table-top stand: Yes, the TV wobbles when it is on the stand and you swivel the TV. I think any "single-stalk" swivel stand, as is also used by Samsung, will allow the TV to wobble. But unlike some others, I have no significant "tilting" or "listing" of the TV on the stand. Use a level when you put the stand together, check it when you put the TV on the stand, and only tighten the screws when you have it level (it can help to have another person hold the TV in the level position. You should be able to get it very level this way. The stand is much better than the Samsung's stand (I did have issues with the Samsungs, both the LCD and the plasma, being level) and it is made of tougher material. The Panasonic plasma was the sturdiest of the bunch, by far (but the Panasonic's stand was not a swivel stand, so...).
Remote: I think the Sony remote is good. A little bulky, but the buttons are nicely arranged and on the whole it is very functional. The concave top really does guide your thumb naturally to the all-important central "enter" button. I like the dedicated Netflix button too--there's no easier way to watch Netflix: just two button pushes ("TV On" then "Netflix")!
3D: I haven't used 3D on this TV yet, so I cannot comment. Reviews such as CNET's suggest that 3D is not this set's strong suit, and user forums don't do much to refute this. I do think it is ridiculous that Sony doesn't include a pair of 3D glasses, especially given the price of this TV. Which brings me to...
Price: Prices have come down lately, and with the LG LW9800 and the Sharp Elite hitting the streets, it is no longer the most expensive consumer television in its category. But none of this changes the fact that this is a really expensive television. It is the most expensive I've had, and I never intended to spend this much. The Panasonic and Samsung plasmas offer much better value, in my opinion, while the uniformity issues with the Samsung LCD keep it from being a good value.
Other: Some folks have complained about the organization/ ease of use of the menu systems, but I actually find the menus pretty sensible (of course, I'm used to the basic set up since I have a PS3, so...). Internet content is solid. Unlike some others, I have been able to use the browser--but it is quite slow and I prefer to do my browsing on a computer or an iPad anyway. It would be nice if Sony added the vTuner internet radio, as Samsung did, but this is a very minor complaint. Samsung offers the best suite of Internet options, in my opinion. But more importantly (for me), the Sony handles streaming video (e.g., Netflix) better than the Samsung LCD did. Streaming video often had significant "stutter" on the Samsung. To get rid of it I had to use motion smoothing, which resulted in the dreaded "soap opera effect", which I hate. True, I was able to tweak the settings to get it to look right, but the constant tweaking I was doing on the Samsung LCD was itself a problem. The Sony handles Internet content well in my preferred settings (and sometimes automatically shifts to a different setting, which also works well, then automatically returns to my custom setting when, for instance, I pop in a blu-ray).
I have been very happy with how well the Sony works with my AV receiver--a Pioneer VSX-1021-K. The HDMI ARC works flawlessly (it was hit-or-miss with the Samsung LCD), and the Sony automatically turns the AVR on when I turn it on (doesn't automatically turn it off though), which is convenient. I never had to do anything to get it to do that (other than connect the two devices via their ARC-capable HDMI ports).
I think that about covers it. Overall, the Sony XBR-55HX929 is an excellent TV. I initially wanted a plasma, but unfortunately I see "phosphor trails" when I watch plasmas (yellow after images/ flashes when I move my eyes or when a light object moves across a dark background) and I'm sensitive to the 60Hz refresh rate that Panasonic plasmas use, so no plasma for me. I'm happy to have found an LCD with a comparable, and in some ways better, picture--as long as you watch from front and center!
Is this TV for you? It depends. First, you need to decide whether you want to get an LCD or a plasma. Many plasmas provide comparable or better overall picture quality for much less money. The Panasonic TC-P55ST30, for instance, is nearly as good as this Sony on black levels and color, while being clearly superior with respect to blooming and viewing angles, yet costs about half the price. But if you have a very bright room, or don't want to take reasonable precautions to avoid plasma burn in, or insist on the most energy efficient devices, then an LCD is probably the way to go. In that case, if you've got the money, insist on top-notch picture quality, and you (and maybe one other person) can typically watch TV from front and center, then you will be very happy with the Sony XBR-55HX929.
188 of 204 found the following review helpful:
Screen defectsNov 11, 2011
In sum, expect the beautiful display to be embarrassingly scarred after an inexcusably short amount of time, and then having to wait weeks for Sony to fix it. Picture looks great until screen fails - and it will. I haven't had the TV longer than 90 days, and a blue vertical stripe has developed running the entire height of the screen. I did some online research and this is a common problem. For the price I paid, and it being the "flagship" of Sony's TVs, this is not acceptable. Worse, the warranty repair won't even be scheduled for at least a week, and then who knows how long it will take before they can actually arrive and fix it (and the Sony phone rep disclosed that it will be another week if they have to order parts). In the past, I had similar problems with a Sony XBR projection TV, when the optical blocks had issues and the screen had yellow blotches just within a year or two of use. I should have learned my lesson then. Sony's poor track record of quality on their high-end TV's will burn them in loss of customer loyalty. Avoid this TV - not worth the price, shoddy quality, and hassle. **UPDATE: SONY decided to send me a replacement TV rather than sending a repair person. Per their manufacture's warranty agreement, SONY has the right to replace the TV with a referbished model, and that's exactly what the did. There's a sticker on the back declaring it refirbished along with several minor scratches on the back of the unit. Worse, the lower frame of the TV bulges down on the left side - looks like it wasn't glued or set properly (flush) with the screen glass. The TV also leans to the left on the stand by about a half inch, and there is noting I can do to fix it. In sum, it took SONY weeks to replace the TV, and they did it with a scatch n' dent model. This is nowhere near acceptable for a TV of this price, bought new, and less than 90 days old.
98 of 105 found the following review helpful:
Outstanding TVJun 20, 2011
I waited 4 months for the TV just to make sure I wasnt going to miss something in my search for a new TV. I'm glad I waited. As a disclaimer I will say that the 3D aspect of the features were insignificant to me and my wife. I just wanted the best 2D picture I could find and right now I dont even own any 3d glasses, so it was a minor issue. I had looked at all the models and it was between the Samsung 8000 and LG W6500 and perhaps the Sony if it measured up (as it was late in releasing). Alot of things to like on all three models and I had looked at the LG and Samsung 20 times. Head on the Samsung has an outstanding picture. Even with slight angles the color saturation dropped as did the blacks etc. The LG kept them much better and with the Passive 3d and lower price I was pretty sure thats what I would be buying but opted to wait for Sony just so I wouldnt kick myself later.
I would have. Seen side by side, all three of them, there was simply no comaprison and even my wife who is very uninterested commented on how much nicer the over all picture was (all sets in the store were set on vivid with no other adjustments). With even steep angle viewing the Sony lost far less than the Samsung and even the LG. The full array makes a huge difference and from 30 ft away the Sony leapt out in clarity, depth with virtually no judder (shudder, blurring) or whatever they call it. Picture is phenominal. It is as clean and pretty shut off as a TV can be. The Gorilla glass is ver nice, you can just use a nice clean rag and glass cleaner and it comes out beautiful Also while opening a cd case two fell out of my hand and hit the front. Probably wouldnt have hurt anything else but not a mark.
CONS: Why I gave it 4 stars and not five. The directions stink and I just generally figured stuff out and the "internet" side of it is very slow (but thats why I have a Mac). The stand which is well designed and suitably robust still has a potential flaw and mine sags ever so slightly to the right but apparently Sony is sending someone out to see it which is impressive as I dont think they have alot out there. Lastly, it's expensive and it was hard to justify almost a thousand more in comparison to the LG but to me the picture warranted the difference. To others possibly not. Overall I am glad I waited. Compare them if possible side by side, close your eyes and sign the check it's probably worth it!
42 of 44 found the following review helpful:
More Than I ExpectedJul 11, 2011
It's hard to still be amazed after spending almost $3000 on a TV, but this television still has me just as impressed with it as much the first time I fired it up. I had been on the verge of buying a new 3D since Dec. 2010, almost snagging a Samsung UN46C7000 from Amazon for a sweet price the day before Chirstmas... Fortunately, I waited. I did as much research I could do through forums and local electronic stores, but it is impossible to get a true sense of a TV's capabilities without running your own content on them, so I really took a chance on Sony's flagship to deliver more than the competition and enough to justify the price tag. My first experience with the TV, after the general start-up settings of course, was throwing on the Legend of the Guardians 3D blu-ray. This is not only the best 3D experience I have had so far, but the single greatest movie experience I have ever had. Although the film itself has it's flaws, the level of detail and the fluidity of the 3D motion was breathtaking! It is the movie I show my buddies to show off what my TV and 3D itself is truly capable of. I have seen first generation Samsung 3D TV's in relative's houses and noticed a good deal of ghosting, something that I did not see the current generation fixing either, but this is virtually nonexistent on the Hx929. Blooming is an issue many have been having with Sony LED's for some time now, but I have not personally experienced this even though I watch it from off angles frequently. Another concern that has been put to rest was the response delay when playing video games. Gran Turismo 5, Crisis 2, and Killzone 3 all looked absolutely stunning, and no noticable delay or blurring even outside of "Game Mode." I spent a couple hours fidling with with display settings that other owners and CNET have posted, but have found that I enjoy the preset settings "Standard" and "Vivid" the most. As far as pure picture quality goes, this is leaps and bounds better than my 2 year old Samsung plasma it replaced, and still offers more clarity and deeper blacks than the rest of the 2011 LED lineup. I have not used any of the internet browser or "widgets," but my PS3 can run most, if not all, that the TV can offer with an easier to navigate XMB. I can't vouch for the TV's built-in sound either, but I assume that they are underwhelming like most TV speakers these days. Anyone investing this much money into their home theater should pick up a decent sound bar at least. I have a Pioneer VSX-1020-K receiver with Sony front, side, and rear speakers (These are an incredible value!), and the whole package makes me miss my room whenever I am at the movie theater. Overall, if you are looking for the absolute best in HD/3D picture quality and are less concerned about the price at checkout, this is the best manufacturers have to offer. If you are looking for a good picture at a bargain price, the Samsung UND7000 or 8000 are probably more suitable. For myself, I was already going to spend about $2000 on a new TV, spending a few hundred more for the best available made more sense and I am happy that I did.
22 of 22 found the following review helpful:
Amazing setNov 09, 2011
By LA Bill
This is truly one of the top two sets currently available. Bright, great black levels. Excellent color, very adjustable. Earlier HX929 sets had issues with "creases" in the picture edges which do not appear here. I do not see any blooming either. Off axis quality drops as with all LCD direct view sets, but a little sooner than most. Not a problem for most reasonable viewing positions. Stand is solid unlike the 55. Highly recommended!
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