Test Bench: Sony KDS-60A2000 60-inch SXRD HDTV

Except where otherwise noted, all tests were performed via the HDMI input with test signals from a Sencore VP403 signal generator.

Brightness (100-IRE window before/after calibration): 99.2/35.4 ftL Color temperature (Custom mode, Warm2 color temperature) before/after calibration:

IRE Before After
20 6,995 6,418
30 6,874 6,490
40 6,881 6,498
50 6,830 6,516
60 6,758 6,477
70 6,724 6,468
80 6,680 6,443
90 6,617 6,418
100 6,595 6,400

Setting the Sony's picture mode to Custom and its color temperature to Warm 2 resulted in a slightly bluish color temperature at low brightness levels, with accuracy improving as brightness increased. After calibration with the White Balance user menu controls, grayscale tracking was within ±100 degrees kelvin of the industry-standard 6,500K from 20 to 100 IRE - very good performance. (Calibration needs to be performed by a qualified technician, so discuss it with your dealer before purchase or go to www.imagingscience.com to check for a technician in your area.)

Color decoding was excellent, with no error for green and blue and +3% for red. Viewing of program material after calibration revealed slightly oversaturated reds and a barely perceptible rosy hue on some bright scenes that did not show up in color-temperature measurements. Backing off the color saturation and red gain controls slightly resulted in a better balanced picture.

Early in our testing, we identified an anomaly in the set's ability to fully resolve the most detailed section of a 1080i multiburst test pattern. It turned out Sony had mis-set one of the TV's factory defaults. The company gave us a service-menu adjustment to correct this, after which the KDS-60A2000 fully resolved every line of 1080i and 720p test signals. Sony has said that some early samples may have left the factory with the original default setting, but we could not detect any difference in detail on regular program material before and after the fix. 480p test signals looked at little soft, and the set did not resolve the most detailed section of the pattern; the 480i pattern was a bit sharper overall. The set resolved 1080i signals perfectly via its component-video inputs, but the picture was a little softer and slightly noisy in the most detailed portion of the 720p pattern.

Picture uniformity was generally excellent. Full-field color and gray test patterns showed remarkably good coverage from edge to edge, with virtually no detectable hot-spotting and no unusual characteristics. Ramp and step patterns showed very even gradation from dark to light. Notably, the banding-check pattern from the Avia Pro test disc (played in 1080i format from our upscaling Denon DVD player) revealed essentially no noticeable false contouring on the red or green sections, only very fine contouring on blue, and slightly more on gray. This is excellent performance, exceeding that of Sony's older SXRD models.

The KDS-60A2000 exhibited no geometry issues on linearity test patterns (which measure its ability to display a perfect circle), and grid test patterns were essentially perfect save a very slight outward bending of vertical lines in the lower right corner of the screen. This would be essentially invisible in program material, and we're used to seeing much worse on rear projectors because of the vagaries in the manufacture of mechanical and optical elements.

The Sony passed or performed well in all the jaggies tests on the Silicon Optix HQV test disc played back at 480p through a Samsung Blu-ray Disc player. These test the TV's ability to display diagonal lines in images with a minimum of stair-stepping artifacts. After I optimized the KDS-60A2000's DRC processing for standard-def signals, it also performed very well on the HQV disc's demanding noise tests (with the Noise Reduction option set to High). The HQV's detail test, which shows a white stone bridge alongside a highway, was a bit soft at 480p, with some glossing-over of the bridge's finest mortar lines. The same scene, upconverted by the Samsung to 1080i, actually revealed more of the detail inherent in the disc.

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