LCD TV REVIEWS

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 02, 2010 1 comments
Price: $3,600 At A Glance: LED backlighting with local dimming • Excellent color, resolution, and contrast • 2D-to-3D conversion • Compromised off-axis performance

3D for You and LED Too

HDTV makers are launching new 3D sets as fast at they can design and build them, and Sony’s 3D plans are as ambitious as any. The company has four new lines of LED 3DTVs. The BRAVIA XBR52HX909, at 52 inches wide, and a 46-inch sister model are its top offerings in these sizes. These are the only Sony 3D sets with LED dynamic backlighting—or LED local dimming. Local dimming is the best technology yet developed to produce dark, rich blacks from an LCD set.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 18, 2010 0 comments
Price: $4,300 At A Glance: Dark blacks with good shadow detail • Crisp resolution and accurate color • Best-in-class off-axis performance • No 2D-to-3d conversion

Life’s Good in 3D

We were mighty impressed by LG’s 47LE8500 HDTV in a recent review. That set had effective local-dimming LED technology and went farther than any set we’d seen in mitigating LCD’s remaining Achilles heel—the 47LE8500 had the strongest off-axis performance we’ve seen from that technology. The new LG LX9500 series is a twin of the 8500 series in many ways, with largely similar features and comparable 2D performance. But the addition of 3D puts these new sets—the 47-inch model reviewed here and the larger, 55-inch 55LX9500—into an entirely different category.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 07, 2010 1 comments
Price: $2,900 At A Glance: 10-step calibration option • Strikingly deep blacks • Crisp resolution and accurate color • Local-dimming LED technology

Black Is the Color

Although 3D is about to make a loud buzz in the HDTV world, most current sets aren’t ready for the 3D gravy train yet. The top-of-the-line LG Infinia LX9500 series will be 3D capable. At one step down in LG’s lineup is the solidly 2D Infinia 47LE8500 LCD HDTV, reviewed here. It’s surprisingly thin, and with local-dimming LED technology, it comes well equipped to compete for honors as the best overall LCD we’ve yet seen from any manufacturer.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jun 01, 2010 0 comments
Price: $2,800 At A Glance: Edge LED backlighting • Excellent color and resolution • Non-uniform black level

Light My LEDs

Not too long ago, LED backlighting was a feature in only a few premium flat-panel LCD sets. Now you can find it everywhere, including six series in Sony’s 2010 lineup of BRAVIA LCD HDTVs. The top three—the LX900, HX900, and HX800 series—are either 3D capable out of the box (the XBR-LX900) or 3D ready.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 17, 2010 0 comments
Price: $1,399 At A Glance: Impressive absolute black level • Sharp, crisp image • Below average video processing

Keeping It Affordable

It’s been an eternity in video-years since I last reviewed a Hitachi HDTV. In fact, the last one I reviewed was in November 2002 for Stereophile Guide to Home Theater. The subject then was the 51-inch Hitachi 51SWX20B HD-ready CRT RPTV. It was the smallest sibling in what was arguably the best line of CRT RPTVs Hitachi—and perhaps anyone else—ever produced.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 07, 2010 1 comments
Price: $2,800 At A Glance: 3D ready • Effective 2D-to-3D conversion mode • Fine contrast with solid blacks • Outstanding setup adjustments

The LEDing Edge

Samsung appears to be producing so many LED-backlit LCD sets these days that it risks a “been there, done that” reaction from the flat-panel peanut gallery. But with the coming of 3D, plus some twisty new technology that produces an outstanding picture, the company is challenging other set makers to a game of catch-up.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 05, 2010 0 comments
3D Leaps Out

It’s been a long road from 1952’s Bwana Devil to 2009’s Avatar, but 3D in your local cineplex is now a big-time, going concern. But as we discussed in "3D: The Next Big Thing?", HDTV manufacturers are determined to bring the experience home. 3D was the star of the show at January’s CES, and 3D-capable sets are beginning to show up at your local big-box retailer. By year’s end, you’ll see 3D HDTVs from virtually all major manufacturers.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 22, 2010 1 comments
Price: $5,999 At A Glance: Good black level • Excellent detail • Vibrant color • Uneven screen illumination

LEDs on the Edge

You might not be familiar with the NuVision brand. You won’t find it at Best Buy. Costco has never heard of it. And a Wal-Mart associate would likely scratch his or her head and send you to the on-site optometrist.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Feb 22, 2010 0 comments
Price: $3,000 At A Glance: Great color and detail • Excellent video processing • Mild-mannered frame interpolation • Mediocre blacks and shadow detail

A Worthy Contender

Many companies have gotten into the LCD HDTV game over the last few years, hoping to capitalize on the high demand for flat panels. But most are newcomers compared with Sharp, which was one of the first companies to offer LCD TVs in Japan back in 1988. Since then, Sharp has remained ahead of the curve in terms of manufacturing and environmental concerns. It has invested billions of dollars in new plants and processes.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jan 19, 2010 0 comments
Price: $2,200 At A Glance: Superb video processing • Improved menu operation and calibration controls • So-so black level and shadow detail on real-world material

LED for the Masses

At the 2009 CES, Vizio took the wraps off of its first LCD HDTV with LED backlighting and local dimming, which consumers have been eagerly waiting for ever since. At $2,200, the VF551XVT is the least expensive 55-inch local-dimming LCD available, which makes it mighty attractive to cash-strapped TV shoppers. How well does it fulfill the promise of LED backlighting? Read on to find out...

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Nov 30, 2009 0 comments
Price: $4,500 At A Glance: Deep blacks • Excellent resolution • Full range of color adjustments • Local-dimming LED technology

Back to the LED Future

Samsung, it appears, is going LED in a big way. Thirteen of its LCD sets in the 6, 7, and 8 Series use LEDs for back-lighting instead of CCFLs (cold cathode fluorescent lights), which until recently have been nearly universal in flat-panel LCD HDTVs.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 12, 2009 0 comments
Price: $2,400 at A Glance: Excellent color, detail, blacks, and frame interpolation • Mediocre shadow detail • THX mode not as close to correct as it should be

Black Is Back

As you no doubt know by now, LCD HDTVs command the lion’s share of the flat-panel market, outpacing plasma by a wide margin. This is due, at least in part, to the fact that LCDs are generally brighter than plasmas, which draws more attention on the showroom floor. They also consume less power, which makes them the greener choice.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 12, 2009 0 comments
Price: $2,300 At A Glance: Outstanding black level and shadow detail • 240-hertz-like operation • Full range of calibration controls

An LED Touchdown

LCD HDTVs have long been compromised in their ability to reproduce the deepest blacks together with good shadow detail. But that’s changing. We’ve seen some notable improvements in a few recent conventional sets. However, the change has been most pronounced in sets that use a revolutionary new development: LED backlighting with local dimming.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 14, 2009 0 comments
Price: $3,400 At A Glance: Great detail and color • Lower black level than most conventional LCDs • Integrated Internet TV • Menu system not my fave • Some off-axis discoloration

The Right Stuff

I’m old enough to remember when Sony introduced its first XBR models, which were top-of-the-line CRT TVs. Since then, the company has continued to use XBR in the model designation of its flagship flat panels, adding a number to indicate each new generation.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 11, 2009 1 comments
This review is part of a five-way Face Off. Read the introduction and conclusions of the Face Off here.

Price: $1,500 At A Glance: Plasma-like blacks and shadow detail • Good color and resolution • At its best with 1080p sources

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