The Best of Sony's New TVs Is the XBR-HX929

Sony's TV lineup runs deep—as usual. Twenty seven new sets! But the star is the XBR-HX929, a 3d-capable LCD with local dimming backlights, and many internet streaming services. It can even name tunes in movies using gracenote.

The set's localized dimming—their top of the line set with the feature—uses an array of individually controlled LEDs to give a movie scene with sun and shadows both brightness and inky blacks by turning up and turning down certain areas of the screen in real time. Most ultra thin sets can't do this as it depends on back, not side lighting, to do this at its best.

The TV has wireless N built in, and these streaming services:

"Sony's Video On Demand and Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™, as well as Netflix™, Pandora®, HuluPlus™, Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube™, Slacker® Internet Radio, Crackle, Blip.tv.
Video On Demand powered by Qriocity is a premium video streaming service with instant access to Hollywood blockbusters, and Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity is a cloud-based, streaming music service which gives music lovers access at anytime to a constantly expanding catalog of over six million global music tracks from major labels."

Everything's available through a menu like that on the Playstation (the Xross media bar), but the set can be controlled through Apple's iPad, iPhone and Android Media Remote app). The TV can also use Gracenote to ID songs playing in TV shows and movies.

On the wonkier side, Sony's claiming a few more technical advantages: this Bravia uses a backlight synced specifically to the frequency of the LCD panel to better control lighting and refresh. And it has a video processor that adjusts the picture by comparing it to logic gathered by analyzing movies and TV scenes and comparing them to whatever made those scenes look better before. Who knows what this amounts to, without a demo or test.

The set also is skype compatible, and can make video calls but also voice calls when picture content is playing. The set is 3D ready, using active shutter tech. But both the Skype and 3D glasses will cost extra. Available in April in 65, 55 and 46 inch sizes.

Info for the lesser sets are below:

SONY REDEFINES TELEVISION WITH NEW BRAVIA LCD HDTV LINE
New Models Drive Innovation With Unprecedented Access
To Internet Content, Skype, 3D, and Striking Industrial Design

LAS VEGAS (CES BOOTH #14200), Jan. 5, 2011 –Sony's new BRAVIA® HDTV lineup is redefining the television category again. Building on its broad line of innovative 3D and Internet connected TVs, Sony's 2011 BRAVIA LCD HDTV line include 16 new 3D capable models and 22 Internet connected models. In all, the line features 27 new models ranging in screen size from 22 inches to 65 inches (measured diagonally).
"Sony's BRAVIA televisions deliver a complete entertainment experience – from instant access to online video content to the immersiveness of 3D theatrical features, sports, and video games, we're redefining the form and function of television," said Chris Fawcett, vice president for Sony's television business. "While innovative features are important, rest assured that Sony's hallmark picture quality and unmatched industrial design remains intact, making BRAVIA the perfect centerpiece for any home décor."
Lean Back and Surf
Delivering the entertainment you want, when you want it, the 2011 BRAVIA line offers 22 models that deliver instant access to online entertainment. Whether connecting to a home broadband network via Wi-Fi (802.11n) or Ethernet connection, compatible models offer access to over 40 free and premium movies, video, and music services through the BRAVIA Internet Video platform including Sony's Video On Demand and Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity™, as well as Netflix™, Pandora®, HuluPlus™, Amazon Video on Demand, YouTube™, Slacker® Internet Radio, Crackle, Blip.tv.
Video On Demand powered by Qriocity is a premium video streaming service with instant access to Hollywood blockbusters, and Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity is a cloud-based, streaming music service which gives music lovers access at anytime to a constantly expanding catalog of over six million global music tracks from major labels.
A number of the new BRAVIA models will also have Skype™ embedded. After connecting the Sony camera and microphone (CMU-BR100, sold separately) users can enjoy free widescreen Skype-to-Skype video calls with friends and family from the comfort of their living rooms. Users can also make voice calls while simultaneously watching TV.
The new connected models also make certain users will never have to wonder what that song playing during their favorite movie, TV program, or commercial is again. Sony's new Track ID powered by Gracenote, analyzes any selected song playing back on the TV, identifies it, and provides artist, album, and song information.
Expanding 3D
The 2011 BRAVIA line includes 16 new 3D models that deliver outstanding performance with Sony's active shutter technology. Building on last year, the new line offers affordable 3D entry models all the way up to Sony's top-of-the-line flagship models that pack best-in-class picture quality with every feature for the complete entertainment experience.
Improvements to this year's 3D models include panel drive enhancements that deliver quicker response time helping to reduce crosstalk, 5:5 pull down for a more realistic cinematic movie experience, built-in 3D emitters on all 3D models.
Expanding the 3D content users can view, the new BRAVIA 3D capable models can display 3D images taken with Sony's new Cyber-shot cameras like the DSC-WX9 via USB input.

Driving Picture Quality
From full HD 1080p Blu-ray Disc, to broadcast HD, to user-generated Internet Video content, processing of incoming content is essential for an excellent picture. To this end, Sony has upgraded the BRAVIA processing power with the new X-Reality PRO and X-Reality Engine digital video processors.
The X-Reality PRO Engine is a two-chip digital video processor that optimizes high definition content, compressed HD signals, standard definition, and other sources including low resolution Internet content. Utilizing a vast database of "ideal" signal patterns developed by analyzing and indexing and enormous library of film and video, the X-Reality PRO Engine compares incoming signals pixel-by-pixel with ideal scenes to display vivid and detailed images.
Additionally, the engine's multi-frame analysis helps create missing resolution and Sony's Super Bit Mapping technology incorporates 14 bit up-scaling, processing and pixel mapping to smooth gradation and improve the quality of low-tone pictures.
Found in select models, the single chip X-Reality Engine utilizes Sony's Intelligent Image Enhancer technology to deliver outstanding picture quality. Incoming video is separated into constituent parts (outline, texture, and color/contrast), and the appropriate image enhancement is added to each part. The engine also uses Intelligent MPEG Noise Reduction to automatically detect the incoming sources and noise level to apply the appropriate amount of noise reduction for each scene.
Also new for select models is Sony's Intelligent Peak LED Backlight which uses full array local dimming for deeper blacks, while also boosting brightness in lighter scenes creating incredible on-screen contrast, while Sony's OptiContrast panel elevates the picture to the front surface of the TV and creates a dark background for rich, vibrant, high contrast picture even in well-lit rooms.
Sony's MotionFlow™ XR builds on previous versions of the company's motion compensation technology and helps to reduce blur caused by quick camera movements, enhancing sharpness and creating a clearer picture.

Simplifying User Interface and Functionality
Select new BRAVIA models feature Sony's improved user interface that delivers uninterrupted viewing and intuitive navigation. Retaining the intuitive operation of the award-winning Xross Media Bar (XMB™), the new UI provides uninterrupted viewing by disseminating the video and placing key menu functions and favorite along the bottom and side of the picture frame.
Additionally, the models feature an improved remote control and offer control via the Media Remote application on iPhone, iPod Touch or Android mobile device. The app, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace, functions as a full remote with keyboard, allows online content search, and playback.

BRAVIA XBR-HX929 Series 3D Capable HDTV
Available in April, Sony's new 3D capable (with the addition of Sony active shutter glasses, sold separately), XBR-HX929 series features brilliant full HD (1080p) picture quality with Sony's Intelligent Peak LED backlight for outstanding contrast.
The model also features Sony's MotionFlow XR 960 featuring a precise backlight control that is synchronized with the liquid crystal movement from frame to frame creating clearer, sharper moving images.
The beautifully designed model features Sony's improved Monolithic Design Concept that draws viewers into the picture when the TV is turned on, and blends into the room décor when turned off. The 2011 Monolithic Design BRAVIA models incorporate Corning®'s Gorilla® Glass allowing for thinner, lighter, and stronger screen material.
With integrated with Wi-Fi (802.11n), the XBR-HX929 models offer instant access to thousands of Internet movies, videos and music from BRAVIA Internet Video and Qriocity. Sony's Media Remote app provides simple operation and search for internet content.
The XBR-HX929 models are also custom installation friendly with key features such as rear IR-input and a two-way RS232c connection for easier integration with third-party control systems.
Other XBR-HX929 Series features include:
Brilliant Full HD (1080p) picture quality with full-array local dimming LED backlight
Sleek Monolithic Design with OptiContrast Panel Technology
Integrated Wi-Fi (802.11n)
Skype™ ready in 720p high definition
BRAVIA Internet Video and Qriocity
X-Reality™ PRO Engine
MotionFlow™ XR 960
Rear two-way IR inputs and two-way RS232C control
Screen sizes include 65-inch (XBR-65HX292, which is available in August 2011), 55-inch (XBR-55HX929), and 46-inch (XBR-46HX929)

Other new BRAVIA models include:

BRAVIA® HX820-Series LED LCD 3D Capable HDTV
Available in May
Brilliant Full HD (1080p) picture quality with Dynamic Edge LED backlight
Sleek Monolithic Design with OptiContrast Panel Technology
Integrated Wi-Fi™ (802.11n)
Skype™ ready in 720p high definition
BRAVIA Internet Video and Qriocity™
X-Reality™ PRO Engine
MotionFlow™ XR 480
Screen sizes include 55-inch (KDL-55HX820), and 46-inch (KDL-46HX820)

BRAVIA® NX720-Series LED LCD 3D Capable HDTV
Available in May
Brilliant Full HD (1080p) picture quality with Dynamic Edge LED backlight
Sleek Monolithic Design with OptiContrast Panel Technology
Integrated Wi-Fi™ (802.11n)
Skype™ ready in 720p high definition
BRAVIA Internet Video and Qriocity™
MotionFlow™ XR 240
X-Reality™ Engine
Screen sizes include 60-inch (KDL-60NX720), 55-inch (KDL-55NX720), and 46-inch (KDL-46NX720)

BRAVIA® HX729-Series LED LCD 3D Capable HDTV
Available in May
Brilliant Full HD (1080p) picture quality with Dynamic Edge LED backlight
X-Reality™ PRO Engine
MotionFlow™ XR 480
Integrated Wi-Fi™ (802.11n)
Skype™ ready in 720p high definition
BRAVIA Internet Video and Qriocity™
Rear two-way IR inputs and two-way RS232C control
Screen sizes include 65-inch (KDL-65HX729), 55-inch (KDL-55HX729), and 46-inch (KDL-46HX729)

BRAVIA® EX720-Series LED LCD 3D Capable HDTV
Available in February
Brilliant Full HD (1080p) picture quality with Edge LED backlight
X-Reality™ Engine
MotionFlow™ XR 240
Wi-Fi™ ready (USB wireless LAN adapter sold separately)
Skype™ ready in 720p high definition
BRAVIA Internet Video and Qriocity™
Screen sizes include 60-inch (KDL-60EX720, which is available in April), 55-inch (KDL-55EX720), 46-inch (KDL-46EX720), 40-Inch (KDL-40EX720), and 32-inch (KDL-32EX720)

BRAVIA® EX620-Series LED LCD HDTV
Available in February
Brilliant Full High Definition (1080p) picture quality with Edge LED backlight
X-Reality™ Engine
MotionFlow™ 120
Wi-Fi™ ready (USB wireless LAN adapter sold separately)
Skype™ ready in 720p high definition
BRAVIA Internet Video and Qriocity™
Screen sizes include 55-inch (KDL-55EX620), 46-inch (KDL-46EX620), and 40-Inch (KDL-40EX620)

BRAVIA® EX520-Series LED LCD HDTV
Available in February
Brilliant Full HD (1080p) picture quality with Edge LED backlight
X-Reality™ Engine
Wi-Fi™ ready (USB wireless LAN adapter sold separately)
Skype™ ready in 720p high definition
BRAVIA Internet Video and Qriocity™
Energy saving Presence Sensor minimize power consumption
Screen sizes include 46-inch (KDL-46EX520), 40-inch (KDL-40EX520), 32-inch (KDL-32EX520)

BRAVIA® BX420-Series HDTV
Available in February
Brilliant Full HD (1080p) picture quality with CCFL backlight
Five HD Inputs to connect multiple HD devices
USB input for photo, music and video playback
Scene select customized picture and sound settings
Ambient Light Sensor
Screen sizes include 46-inch (KDL-46BX420), 40-inch (KDL-40BX420), and 32-inch (KDL-32BX420)

BRAVIA® BX320-Series HDTV
Available in February
Amazing High Definition (720p) picture quality with CCFL backlight
Five HD Inputs to connect multiple HD devices
USB input for photo, music and video playback
Scene select customized picture and sound settings
Ambient Light Sensor
Screen sizes include 32-inch (KDL-32BX320), and 22-inch (KDL-22BX320)