So I went to Magnolia to shop for TV's for my gym--which ranges from significant, though not glaring or direct, ambient light to quite dark (when the kids use it at night as their own TV). I pretty quickly settled on the Sonys, since the Sammys seemed to be a bit noisier, sharper and "colorful" than I like. More pop, but more tiring as well.
I went back and forth between the 55 inch HX800 and the 52 inch HX 909. Now, I understand the difference between edge lighting and local dimming, and I further understand what effects that difference is supposed to have on the picture. The sets were right next to each other, in relatively low light (because it was near closing and I insisted the shop lower the damn lights.) Same feed.
As background, I have a professional calibrated CRT front projector with 8 inch tubes hanging from the ceiling of my totally light controlled av room, with a screen that drops down in front of my professionally calibrated 82 inch Mits DLP ( we don't see RBE in this house) for "regular" viewing. I know and love black level.
I know what I expected to see. Heck, I wanted
to see it. The delta of 800 bucks or so was not a big deal to me. But I could not see it. I could not see an appreciable difference in black level, color fidelity, "flashlighting", "clouding" or anything else, frankly. If anything, at the same settings I thought the HX 800 gave a slightly more pleasing picture to my eye. The sales guy was all hot to pump the 909, but by the end of the process he didn't have much to say about the picture quality issue itself, although he did tout the Bravia 4 processing in the 909.
I'll put on my flame retardant suit now and wait until the HX 800 gets delivered next week.