Published On: September 22, 2009

Sony KDL-65W5100 LCD HDTV Reviewed

Published On: September 22, 2009

Sony KDL-65W5100 LCD HDTV Reviewed

The W Series may land in the middle of Sony's LCD lineup in terms of its features, but it's one of the few series to offer a 65-inch screen size. The KDL-65W5100 uses a CCFL backlight, and it includes Motionflow 120Hz and BRAVIA Internet Video.

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This 65-inch, 1080p LCD is part of Sony's W Series, a mid-level line that offers a number of Sony's advanced features. The line also includes screen sizes of 40, 46, and 52 inches. We have not performed a hands-on review of the KDL-65W5100, but here is an overview of the TV's features. This LCD uses Sony's BRAVIA Engine 3 processor and a traditional CCFL backlight, as opposed to the LED backlighting found in some of Sony's higher-end lines. It also features Motionflow 120Hz technology to reduce motion blur and minimize the appearance of judder in film sources. The KDL-65W5100 supports Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video platform to access Web-based content, and it has EnergyStar 3.0 certification.

Additional Resources
• Read more LED HDTV reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Find a Blu-ray player to get the most out of the KDL-65W5100's picture.

In terms of connectivity, the KDL-65W5100 is fully loaded. The generous connection panel includes four HDMI, two component video, one PC, and one RF input to access the internal ATSC and Clear-QAM tuners. The HDMI inputs accept both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals, and three of the four HDMI inputs are located on the side panel for easy access, as is the PC input. The Networked TV Guide Interactive program guide is available. Sony has enhanced its suite of digital-media options. Some previous Sony TVs had an Ethernet port to add the TV to a home network, but you were only able to stream photos from a PC or DLNA-compliant server. Now, you can stream photos, music, and video from DLNA sources, and you can access Web-based content through the BRAVIA Internet Video platform, which includes access to Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube, Sports Illustrated, Sony Pictures, Sony Music, Slacker, and more. (Older Sony TVs require the addition of a separate BRAVIA Internet Video Link module that attached to the TV; this TV still has the DMeX port needed to add other BRAVIA Link modules, like the Wireless Link or DVD Link.) BRAVIA Internet Widgets provides access to news, sports, stock information, and more. Meanwhile, the side-panel USB port now supports video playback, as well as JPEG/MP3 files. The KDL-65W5100 lacks an RS-232 or IR port for integration into an advanced control system.

The setup menu includes a nice assortment of A/V adjustments, beginning with a new feature called Scene Select, in which you can choose from eight A/V modes that tailor video and audio parameters to the appropriate type of content (cinema, sports, photo, music, etc). The video setup menu includes four picture modes for video content (vivid, standard, cinema, and custom) and six modes specifically for photo viewing. You get four color-temperature options (cool, neutral, warm 1, and warm 2), noise reduction, an adjustable backlight, and an Auto Light Limiter that can lower the backlight when displaying overly bright scenes. The menu also includes white balance and gamma controls, as well as two color spaces. The Motionflow 120Hz menu has three options: off, standard, and high. The off mode creates 120Hz by duplicating frames, while the standard and high modes offer varying degrees of motion interpolation to produce smoother movement with film sources. The KDL-65W5100 offers four aspect ratios for SD content and four for HD content, and you can set up the TV to display 1080i/1080p sources with no overscan.

Read more about the KDL-65W5100 on Page 2.

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The audio setup menu has four sound modes (standard, dynamic, clear voice, and custom), equalizer settings, S-FORCE surround processing, and treble, bass, and balance controls. Other features include Voice Zoom to adjust vocal clarity, Sound Enhancer to adjust high frequencies with compressed content, Sound Booster to improve bass and treble response, and Steady Sound and Volume Offset to reduce volume discrepancies between sources and inputs.

The KDL-65W5100's Preferences menu includes an Eco setup page, with a Power Saving feature that limits backlight brightness and a Light Sensor that automatically adjusts the backlight based on the room's ambient light.

High Points
• Motionflow 120Hz technology effectively reduces motion blur and offers multiple settings to tailor the smoothing effect to your liking.
• This TV has a 1080p resolution and will accept 24p sources via its HDMI inputs.
• The KDL-65W5100's screen is not reflective, and the TV is capable of a lot of light output, which makes it a good fit for a well-lit room. 
• The TV has ample connection options and picture adjustments.
• The Ethernet port allows for media streaming and access to news, weather, and stock information. BRAVIA Internet Video includes Amazon VOD and YouTube.

Low Points
• This TV does not use the LED backlighting or 240Hz technology found in higher-end Sony lines.
• The 120Hz function doesn't offer separate modes for blur reduction and film judder, so you have to accept Motionflow's smoothing effect if you want to eliminate motion blur.
• LCD viewing angles are only average.
• There's no RS-232 or IR port.

Conclusion
LCD is still a pricier proposition than plasma at the 65-inch screen size, but it's more reasonable than it used to be. The KDL-65W5100 ($5000) is currently the only 65-inch model in Sony's lineup and offers a nice complement of imaging technologies, connections, and digital-media features.

Additional Resources
• Read more LED HDTV reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Find a Blu-ray player to get the most out of the KDL-65W5100's picture.

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