The Sony Bravia XBR-55HX929 delivers a fantastic 3D HDTV viewing experience thanks to its full backlighting, superior video performance and promises of future enhancements. A 55-inch class full back-lit LED-LCD 3D HDTV, the XBR-55HX929 provides active 3D video and sound for any video source at full 1080p HD resolution. With its Intelligent Peak, Full LED Backlight system the Bravia XBR-55HX929 delivers a crisp, vivid picture regardless of room placement and ambient lighting.
When used with the Sony’s active shutter glasses, the XBR-55HX929 delivers stunning 3D renderings of both normal 2D content and made for 3D video. Like all of Sony’s 3D HDTVs, you need to separately buy Sony’s 3D Active Glasses (TDG-BR50 or BR250) to experience the 3D entertainment world. The 55-inch screen runs Sony’s Motionflow XR 960 blur reduction (240Hz refresh rate combined with full backlight scanning) to provide fluid, flicker free viewing during any fast action sequences at a virtual 960Hz refresh rate. It provides user selectable settings for 4 settings – Smooth, Standard, Clear, or Clear Plus, depending on the action you are watching. The built-in X-Reality Pro Engine intelligently processes every frame to produce a dramatic, clear picture at full 1080p High Definition for optimal picture presentation of online content as well as digital 2D and 3D sources. Sony’s Intelligent Peak LED Backlight system uses the full LED array to provide local dimming for deeper blacks, while also boosting brightness in lighter scenes creating incredible on-screen contrast.
Sony provides a virtual surround sound experience via this Bravia HDTV’s three rearward facing 10-watt speakers featuring left and right channels and a central woofer. It is programmed with preset sound profiles depending on whether the set is wall or stand mounted for optimum surround sound quality. For custom audio presentation, you can customize the treble, bass and balance or select one of three preset sound modes. Dynamic mode enhances both treble and bass to make sounds clear. Standard mode delivers natural sound while Clear Voice mode lowers the background sound to make voices clearer. The set also features an audio equalizer capability for custom sound profiles.
The XBR-55HX929 comes preconfigured with Sony’s video and music internet streaming content as well as social application widgets for Facebook, Twitter, etc. This HDTV can also run Skype in full with Sony’s compatible camera/microphone (sold separately). Wireless or wired connection to your home network is required to use these apps and streaming content, but more importantly, it is how the firmware on the Bravia gets updated from Sony to provide future promised capability.
The XBR-55HX929 has just a 1 5/8 inch thickness when wall mounted. The panel display is seamless, with Corning Gorilla Glass strengthened at the molecular level to provide a strong yet light structure. Weighing in at 57.5 pounds without its stand and having a 50 3/8 inch wide cabinet, you will need help positioning or mounting this set with 300mm VESA patterned mounting hardware (not provided). The included stand provides both 20 degree left/right and six degree up swivel capability and, if used, will require a table surface a little over 12 inches deep to hold it.
Setup is quick and easy with the on-screen menu and their standard remote control. Setup also covers speaker optimization, setting up a wired or wireless connection to your network and the automatic download of Sony’s firmware updates. While the XBR-55HX929 is ready for high quality HDTV viewing in minutes, you must purchase the Sony active 3D glasses separately to enjoy the 3D experience. The remote also provides access to Scene Mode allowing you to customize the video and audio quality presentation for up to nine different viewing scenarios from sports or cinema to music, gaming or graphics modes. Some people may find the remote a bit unwieldy. It is nearly 10 inches making it larger than most remotes. There are over 50 buttons on the remote with dedicated Netflix, Widget, and 3D mode buttons, but the buttons really need a bit of space in between to make it easier to press buttons without mashing two or three at a time. The question, should the design go wider or longer? On a positive note, this is one of the few remotes with illuminated buttons. The blue backlighting makes the buttons easy to see in the dark, but you still may press more than one at a time as they are so tightly fit into the case.
You will find the connections behind the left side of the screen facing both left edge and downward. On the edge are two USB connections, two HDMI connections, a computer connection, headphone jack, optical audio-out, and an audio-in. The downward facing connections offer two more HDMI ports, a component connection, the cable or antenna connection, and the Ethernet port.
The set is Energy Star rated. Power consumption was good but not superior. The XBR-55HX929 consumes 125 watts of power while viewing a Blu-ray movie in Standard mode. Other comparable models like used 89-148 watts. Still, you shouldn’t feel pangs of guilt as you enjoy movies and other modes of entertainment on this set. Use the money you save on the electric bill to pay for a pair of Sony’s 3D glasses.
The Sony XBR-55HX929 is recommended for top of the line 3D content viewing and superior 2D performance. The black monolithic design comes to life when powered on with its full backlighting LED array. Entertainment value is promised for everyone regardless of your focus, be it gaming, films or sports. Future automatic software and firmware upgrades hold the promise for future functionality in applications and widgets. Buy a pair of Sony’s 3D glasses (sold separately) and tune in to the world of 3D entertainment with the Sony Bravia XBR-55HX929 LED HDTV.
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