On the SonyStyle website, they’re presently offering the set with a 3D bundle, which is two pairs of 3D specs, the sync transmitter, two 3D Blu-ray movies and vouchers for four PS3 stereoscopic games and demos. Sony also recently announced that the PS3 will be 3D capable via a planned upgrade sometime in October. That will be an auspicious day for 3D fans, as Sony provided a 3D demo Blu-ray with our review sample that was packed full of very tasty 3D snippets, including some knockout PS3 game demos, along with some stunning looking 3D sporting event excerpts. Sadly, this demo disc isn’t available to consumers, but if you have a Sony store in your town or your local electronics emporium has Sony’s 3D demo setup, by all means go and have a look. Given the installed base of PS3s and the fervor that gamers feel for the latest technology, it has to be assumed that at least some owners will step up to a 3D HDTV.
Where some vendors are trimming back on analog video legacy inputs, it’s nice to see that Sony still supports SD and HD analog video inputs, including two component, one composite and an RGB PC input, which join the four HDMI inputs. A USB port allows connection to a wireless Wi-Fi adapter, or to a multi-media component for photo or video viewing and the like. There are audio outputs including an optical digital audio port. Two of the HDMI inputs and the USB port are on the set’s left side convenience connection panel.
On Screen Display
Sony’s excellent Xross Media Bar interface is a model of clarity and ergonomic design. Using the exact same design as on their Playstation3 product, the XMB features clear text, colorful graphics and logical groupings.
Of special note here is the provision of an on-screen owner’s manual (they call it i-Manual). While there is a printed owner’s manual supplied with the set, it’s only there for basic installation and setup. For advice on the set’s many features and adjustments, the on-screen i-Manual is a treat to use. It features clear dark text on a large white background, with sufficient graphics when appropriate.
I especially appreciate the fact that most menu selections stay on-screen until the user decides when to switch out of the menu, although the input selector function is the exception as that only stays on-screen for just a few seconds.
I’ve griped about earlier Sony remotes and while this one is backlit, always a good idea, many of the buttons and their labeling are downright teensy. The remote is programmable though, allowing control of a disc player, external audio system and a cable or satellite set top box. There are no discrete input buttons, but the set will let you program out any unused inputs, saving toggle-through time. Curiously, there are two power buttons, one at the top right of the remote, and another on the otherwise bare underside. Depending on how one clutches the remote, it’s possible to accidently nudge that lower-mounted button and turn the set off (happened twice during my time with the set).
• Color: 45
• Hue: 0
• Sharpness: 50
• Picture Mode: Cinema (Sony calls their picture mode Scene)
• Backlight: 5 (or higher if the 3D image is too dim)
• Color Temp: Warm2
• Gamma: -1 (measures 2.18)
• HD size (pixel-to-pixel): Full Pixel
• Noise Reduction: Off
• MPEG Noise Reduction: Off
• MotionFlow: Standard
• CineMotion: Auto 1
• Black Correction: Off
• Advanced Contrast Enhancement: Off
• LED Dynamic Contrast: Off
• Auto Light Limiter: Off
• Live Color: Off
• Detail Enhancement: Off
• Edge Enhancement: Off
While the out-of-the-box Standard picture mode has many of the above functions active, switching over to the Cinema scene/mode disables most of them. That’s the place to start, and then over time users can see whether or not some modes do any good (or harm, which is usually the case with so-called picture enhancements).
3D Blu-ray Evaluation: Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs