Even though Sony's big push is LCD, the flagship of the show was actually not a flat panel at all, but the 70" rear-projection SXRD model KDS-Z70XBR5. It's a freakin' amazing 40% slimmer than last year's, and though it weighs 200 lbs, you can imaging hanging it on, or very close to, your wall. Best of all, it costs $6,000, far less than flat panels that come close to its size.
In addition to its sleekness, its floaty (or as Sony calls it "floating glass") style deserves props, the signature look featuring a glass bezel at the bottom with embedded green LEDs, first seen long ago on Sony's original plasma sets. The base, estimated to be priced around $600, contributes to the suggestion of flat-panelness with a base running up through the center.
Like the old model, the stereo speakers are still on the side, but you are forgiven if you can't see them. I couldn't even take a picture of the tiny pores on the right and left sides of the bezel that allow the sound through.
While the TV itself features many enhancements, the three most worthy of discussion are:
1. Motionflow 120Hz - By taking a source video of 60 frames per second, and interpolating frames between each one, the motion looks smoother and less dizzying during lots of motion or hardcore camera pans. (They did a side-by-side demo which was quite awesome.)
2. Photo Mode - Video is all about sharpness, but when a still image is displayed super sharp, it looks kinda weird. Photo Mode takes photos and smooths them out without losing the detail. It is also a feature found on many of the other models.
3. Live Color - Since most of the SXRD and LCD models can handle broader color gamuts than their source video, the video processors themselves enhance the color of source material. In a perfect world, source color would be as good as the capability of the TV, but until then, this is what works.
In case you were wondering, Sony is introducing a 60" version, the KDS-Z60XBR5, for $5,000, but seriously, why bother? 70 inches = big pimpin'.
Press Release [Sony Electronics]