Test Bench: Sony Bravia KDL-52XBR5 52-inch LCD HDTV

Color temperature (Custom/Warm 2 Color Temperature before/after calibration): 20 IRE: NA / NA 30 IRE: 6,613 / 6,780 K 40 IRE: 6,562 / 6,535 K 50 IRE: 6,565 / 6,478 K 60 IRE: 6,571 / 6,579 K 70 IRE: 6,472 / 6,562 K 80 IRE: 6,751 / 6,594 K 90 IRE: 6,523 / 6,757 K 100 IRE: 6,481 / 6,556 K Brightness (100-IRE window): 38.1 / 35.0 ftL

After picture adjustments in the Sony's Custom mode with the Warm 2 color-temperature preset selected, its grayscale tracked within +251 degrees kelvin of the 6,500-K standard from 30 to 100 IRE - average performance. Although adjustments made to the White Balance controls in the set's advanced menu didn't significantly alter its grayscale tracking, they helped to compensate for an overall green deficiency. Color-decoder tests revealed a relatively severe -20% green error on the HDMI inputs, and -10% red on the component-video inputs. Compared with the SMPTE HD specification, red, green, and blue color points showed fair to moderate levels of oversaturation with Standard Color Space selected, and slightly higher levels in Wide mode.

Overscan - the amount of picture area cut off at the edges of the TV's screen - measured 0% for high-definition signals when the Full Pixel mode was selected, although picture centering was off slightly for the HDMI inputs. The set displayed 1080i/p and 720p test patterns with full resolution on both the HDMI and component-video connections. Screen uniformity was excellent when the set was viewed from off-center seats up to 30°. I also noticed some screen clouding - lighter gray patches on a black background - on very dark scenes from movies and TV programs, although this didn't prove to be a problem for much of the material I watched.

Like several other TVs we've tested recently, the Sony failed the film-detail test on a Silicon Optix HQV Blu-ray test disc, but it didn't show any artifacts when I watched high-def movies. Its upconversion of standard DVDs turned out to be more problematic: The set failed several of the standard HQV DVD tests, "jaggy" artifacts showed up on several DVD movie scenes, and motion shots looked noticeably soft. The TV's Standard noise-reduction settings helped to clean up grainy images without eliminating detail, but all three of the MPEG NR settings caused significant picture blurring.

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