Thursday, March 29, 2007


It was only going to be a matter of time, but the best LCD, and
one of the best flat panels out on the market just got an upgrade. According to a Japanese press release from Sony, the current XBR or "X" series as it's known in Europe and Japan will be receiving some nice addons. The first two big ones are "2" HDMI 1.3 ports, and x.v.Color spacing. Don't know what that is? Read this first. The PS3 was the first and still is one of the few HD devices to feature HDMI 1.3. By pairing it with this new tv, you'll have the best combo possible for picture quality. The use of Billions of colors as opposed to 17Million with regular HDMI will help eliminate picture performance issues such as color-banding, and overall allow for a much more realistic picture. Ever watched an HD source where the peoples faces look like clay? Part of this is due to not having a big enough color-pallette to reproduce a realistic picture. The x.v.Color portion is the standard that allows for the larger color spacing and bigger color range. HDMI version 1.3 is the newer connector/cable that will deliver and support the x.v color spacing standard.

Before I go any further, I have to say that I can't read japanese, however I do have an uncanny talent of being able to interpret pictures. So based on what I can see from the impressions on the Japanese manual, the set will also have the "Sony Motion Flow" feature that addresses a faster response time (for some reason now being marketed on other newer LCD's as a "120 hz Refresh Rate" even when LCD's don't have refresh rates) which will allow for a smoother picture when the camera is panning around.

Sony's proprietary"Internet Video Link HD" connector will also be available which they plan to use for sending upscaled HD internet content from your home network, directly to the TV. The goal is to not need a computer to view popular internet content. Sony have a partnership with AOL, Yahoo, and Grouper Networks, formed specifically for this and possibly also future "Playstation Home" content.

The “X2500 series” as it's called, will be available as follows and starts shipping in Japan from April 25th: 40" “KDL-40X2550”will retail for 420,000 Yen, the 46" “KDL-46X2550” approximately 490,000 Yen, and the 52" "KDL-52X2550” for approximately 720,000 Yen. How this will translate into European and US prices remains to be seen. If I can speculate for a minute, the trend with Sony has been to replace the current models with upgraded technology for the same and sometimes even slightly cheaper prices. I'll give you an update when this monster hits our shores.

I personally saw the 70" version of this model at CES 2007 and can honestly say that I haven't seen a better picture to date on any display type. The 70" version carried all these features and also features Sony's "Advanced Contrast Enhancer" technology to make the best of its 7000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. I would expect that these newer XBR models are basically the smaller iterations of the 70" bohemoth.

But If you can't wait, now would be a great time to take advantage of the current model which has seen an $1,800 price reduction on Amazon since it came out in September 2006:

Sony KDL-40XBR2 40" Bravia XBR 1080p LCD HDTV

Sony KDL-46XBR2 46" Bravia XBR 1080p LCD HDTV

Sony KDL-52XBR2 52" Bravia XBR 1080p LCD HDTV