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Sony Bravia KDL-52XBR5 LCD HDTV Print E-mail
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
ImageThe Basics:
Sony’s XBR4 and XBR5 lines represent the company’s top-of-the-line 2007 LCDs; the two lines are distinguished by aesthetic differences but offer similar features and performance. The XBR5 Series is the more expensive of the two, sporting a high-gloss piano-black frame surrounded by a clear acrylic border. The KDL-52XBR5 is a 52-inch, 1080p model.

The TV’s generous input panel includes three HDMI inputs that accept 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 and two component video inputs that accept 1080p. The XBR5 also adds an RS-232 control port to the back panel, in order to integrate the TV into an advanced control system. The KDL-52XBR5 has a lot of aspect ratio options, including a zero-overscan mode.

The KDL-52XBR5’s marquee feature is its Motionflow 120Hz technology, which doubles the TV’s frame rate from 60 to 120 Hz to minimize the appearance of judder and render smoother motion. Other worthwhile features include the use of a 10-bit processor and 10-bit display, TheaterSync for more intuitive control of HDMI-connected components, and an adjustable backlight and light sensor to tailor brightness and black level to your viewing environment. It also offers two color-space options: one produces highly saturated colors, the other produces more accurate colors.

The Upside:
This TV is capable of great light output and, thanks to the adjustable backlight, also renders good blacks for a standard LCD, leading to a nice overall contrast ratio. The TV produces nice color and good detail with both high- and standard-definition sources. Motionflow effectively reduces judder and can produce extremely smooth motion.

The Downside:
While the KDL-52XBR5 produces solid blacks for an LCD, its black level is not as deep as you’ll find in the best plasma and LED-based LCDs, although those models are slightly more expensive than this TV. Motionflow isn’t as effective with fast-moving scenes, and it can make film sources look unnaturally smooth, an effect that some people find distracting.

As Sony’s highest-end offering, the XBR5 line offers the performance, features and aesthetics you would expect, but be prepared to pay for it. The XBR5 models fall at the high end of the price spectrum in the flat-panel market.

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