Sony KDL-52W4100 LCD TV Real-World Performance

Real-World Performance
My favorite real-world tests for frame-interpolation artifacts include a moment from Cars on Blu-ray. During the opening race, the three leaders are profiled, and Lightning McQueen appears in front of an array of bright blue lights, which can exhibit wavy distortion with some sets' frame interpolation.

On the 52W4100, setting Motion Enhancer to Standard caused mild artifacts in this shot, while setting it to High made them much worse. ME certainly sharpened motion detail, such as pans across the audience of cars—each car was much more distinct with ME on.

Another favorite is the opening sequence from Star Wars VI as Darth Vader's shuttle approaches the Death Star. The closely spaced vertical lines on the side of the landing bay can exhibit artifacts with frame interpolation on, but they didn't in this case, no matter what ME was set to. However, I did notice that the movie's title and back-story text did have a lot more jaggies and shimmering than I've seen before, as did the Death Star as viewed through the shuttle's window. These artifacts did not seem to depend on the Motion Enhancer setting at all.

The black of space was nice and deep, but the shadow detail in the shuttle and Jabba the Hutt's dim lair was not the best I've seen, nor was the differentiation in the blacks of Darth Vader's outfit. On the plus side, color was excellent, from skin tones to C-3P0's golden carapace. Detail was surprisingly good, offering more of a 3D effect than I normally see from DVD—this was definitely better than the standard-def detail on the 52XBR4.

Returning to Blu-ray, the "Jungles" episode of Planet Earth looked fantastic. The colors were superb, with many natural shades of green, crystal-blue sky, and multicolored wildlife. Detail in the leaf litter on the jungle floor, feathers on birds, and veins in leaves was likewise exquisite—again, looking almost 3D. There was no false contouring in the sunlight that peeks out from behind the limb of the planet in the opening title.

The story was much the same on Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds Live at Radio City on Blu-ray. Detail was superb and colors were rich but natural. Shadow detail in the darkened audience shots was only okay, but the differentiation in different blacks (e.g., T-shirts and guitar straps) was better than I expected.