Sony's New 70" SXRD Rear Projection: It's Thin, It's Floaty, It's Smooth

Illustration for article titled Sony's New 70" SXRD Rear Projection: It's Thin, It's Floaty, It's Smooth



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.

Illustration for article titled Sony's New 70" SXRD Rear Projection: It's Thin, It's Floaty, It's Smooth

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.

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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.

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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]

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DISCUSSION

Love their rear projection TVs - great bang for the buck - wish they made and 80". Not sure why anyone wouldn't want bigger - I live in a normal size apartment and I could go bigger than 80" if there were a good one available.

Only problem with the new 70" is the absurd stand for it. Can't use your existing $1000-$2,000 cabinet because if you put it on top it will be too high. The stand/cabinet doesn't have nearly the space for a prepro/amp or receiver, power conditioner, optical player, game console etc. Who the hell buys a 70" TV and doesn't use it in a HT?

Great idea in making it slimmer if you can keep up the picture quality. But that kickstand you are foisting it with SUCKS BIG MOOSE! Yeah very artsy - functional NOT IN THE LEAST. TV might be a 10 but the stand is a ONE. Total score 5 out of 10.

Pity...