Sony KDL-52NX800 LED LCD HDTV Reviewed

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Sony-KDL52NX800-reviewed.gifThe new NX800 Series is one of Sony's higher-end 2010 lines, offering almost all of the company's most advanced imaging technologies and features. The main thing that's missing from the NX800 models is 3D capability, which will arrive this summer in the LX900, HX900 and HX800 lines. The NX800 Series includes screen sizes of 60, 52 and 46 inches. We have not performed a hands-on review of the KDL-52NX800, but here is an overview of the TV's features.

Additional Resources
• Read more LED HDTV reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Learn more about Sony and its products.
• Find the NX800 series on Sony's website.

This 52-inch, 1080p LCD uses Sony's BRAVIA Engine 3 processor and edge LED backlighting. Rather than employ a full array of LED backlights behind the screen, this TV's LEDs are located around the edges. Two of the main benefits of this approach are improved energy efficiency and the ability to offer a slimmer cabinet design; the KDL-52NX800 has EnergyStar 4.0 certification and a cabinet depth of 2.63 inches at its deepest part. This model also features Motionflow 240Hz technology to reduce motion blur and film judder; unlike some companies' "240Hz" implementations that combine a 120Hz frame rate with a flashing backlight, Sony offers a true 240Hz frame rate. You can add the KDL-52NX800 to your home network via wired Ethernet or the integrated WiFi system. This TV supports DLNA media streaming from a networked server, and it features Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video platform, with access to Netflix and Amazon VOD, YouTube, Slacker Radio, and many more.

The connection panel includes four HDMI inputs but only one component video input. You also get a PC input and an RF input to access the internal ATSC and Clear-QAM tuners. The HDMI inputs accept both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals, and two are located on the side panel for easy access. The side panel also includes a USB port that supports video, photo and music playback. The Ethernet port is located on the rear panel; as I mentioned, this model also has integrated 802.11n for a wireless network connection. The KDL-52NX800 lacks an RS-232 or IR port for integration into an advanced control system.

The setup menu includes a thorough assortment of A/V adjustments, beginning with eight Scene Select modes that automatically tailor video and audio settings for a certain type of content (like cinema, sports or music). In the video-only realm, you can choose from a whopping 12 picture modes (several of them are for games, graphics and photos). You get four color-temperature presets, as well as RGB gain and bias controls for precise white-balance adjustment; general and MPEG noise reduction; gamma adjustment; and an auto light limiter that can reduce light output in really bright scenes to cut down on eye strain. The TV lacks an advanced color-management system to precisely tweak the six color points. The Motionflow 240Hz menu has three options (Off, Standard and High), and this model includes Sony's Auto 1 and Auto 2 Cinemotion settings, which also affect the quality of motion in film sources. The KDL-52NX800 offers the TV Guide on Screen program guide for tuned channels, and it has five aspect-ratio options, with the ability to display 1080i/1080p sources with no overscan.

The audio setup menu includes four sound modes: Standard, Dynamic, Clear Voice and Custom. In each mode, you can adjust treble, bass and balance, and the Custom mode allows you to fine-tune the output using a seven-band equalizer. You can choose from seven surround modes, and there's also sound enhancer, steady sound and volume offset options; however, this TV does not offer audio-leveling technology from a company like Dolby or SRS.

The KDL-52NX800's Eco menu includes a power-saving mode to lower the backlight level, as well as a Light Sensor that automatically adjusts the picture to suit the room's ambient lighting. You can set up the TV to turn itself off when it has been idle or has had no signal for a designated time. The TV also has an energy-saving switch to cut standby power consumption without having to physically unplug it from the wall.

This TV sports Sony's new Monolithic design (an apt description), with invisible speakers, a high-gloss-black finish, and a seamless front panel with no raised bezel. The TV comes with a traditional tabletop stand, or you can go with the optional SU-52NX1 ($279.99)--a stylish metallic base that lays flat, with the TV resting in it. The base allows for six degrees of tilt and 20 degrees of swivel.

Read about the high points and the low points of the KDL-52NX800 on Page 2.

HTR Product Rating for Sony KDL-52NX800 LED LCD HDTV

Criteria Rating

Performance

4.5

Value

3.5

Overall

4

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


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Sony-KDL52NX800-reviewed.gifHigh Points
• This TV has a 1080p resolution and will accept 24p sources via its HDMI inputs.
• The edge-lit LED design allows for a slim cabinet.
• Motionflow 240Hz technology effectively reduces motion blur and offers multiple settings to tailor the smoothing effect to your liking.
• LCDs can be very bright, which makes them a good choice for a brightly lit viewing environment.
• The TV has plenty of connection options and picture adjustments.
• The KDL-52NX800 can connect to a network via a wired or wireless connection, receive streamed content from a DLNA server, and access Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video platform.

Low Points
• Edge-lit LED-based LCD TVs can suffer from brightness-uniformity issues, and their black levels are generally not as deep as you'll find with the better full-array LED-based TVs with local dimming.
• LCD viewing angles are not as good you'll find with a plasma TV.
• The KDL-52NX800 lacks 3D capability.
• It also lacks an IR or RS-232 port.
• The metallic base costs extra.

Conclusion
The KDL-52NX800 offers an excellent assortment of higher-end technologies and features. Its MSRP of $2,799.99 puts it at the higher end of the price spectrum compared with other similarly equipped models.

The TV's edge-lit LED design and slim profile give it a higher price premium than a traditional LCD TV; so, if you don't care about the TV's cabinet depth and want to save some money, you might consider a traditional LCD with a CCFL backlight. Sony is one of the few companies that still offers a 52-inch screen size in some lines (many companies now jump from 46 or 47 inches up to 55 inches); so, if you're in the market for a higher-end LED-based LCD specifically at the 52-inch size, you'll definitely want to take a look at the KDL-52NX800.

Additional Resources
• Read more LED HDTV reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Learn more about Sony and its products.
• Find the NX800 series on Sony's website.


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