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.
• 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.
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.