Greetings all....long read in-coming!
Just wanted to pop in and say hello as a new owner of this set. I previously had the Sony XBR-929 55" as my main living room T.V. but my fiancée wanted something bigger, so we decided to go with the 70" Sony KDL700A. While it looked impressive and of course the sheer size of the unit was massive, we were taken back a bit at the overall quality, especially when looking at txt (we have a gaming PC connected to it). While we never used the 3d Functions of the 929, we were impressed with the Passive 3d of the 700A, but something was still not sitting well for us. We also use it for gaming on the PS3/Xbox 360 and while it did look good, it was just not as crisp as the 929. The 929 when it came out was and still is a top of the line T.V. and the 700a, with it's massive size, just could not keep up with the Image quality of the 929...we kind of knew this going it, but really could not know until we got it home.
We contemplated getting the 65" XBR 4K set, but just could not commit to it because of the lack of 4k at 60fps and uncertain of what Sony's plans are for the early adopter and upgrading to HDMI 2.0. So we were kind of in a pickle on what to do. We looked high and low for a XBR-65" 850, which was the 2012 version of the 929, but could not find at any local store and was not too comfortable ordering from some of the on-line places that we never heard of. Crutchfield did have it, but they wanted 5k for it while the other places had it for $3800.00..
We know we wanted to keep the 929 upstairs in our other viewing room, so we started to look into the 55" 900. While it would be the same size as the 929, I have heard nothing but good things about it. While our goal was to go bigger (in size), we also wanted excellent image quality. As we went back and forth on what to do, we knew taking the 700a back to Costco was first on the list. Our options were to move the 929 back to the living room and just wait it out, keep looking for a good price on a 65" 850 (which would not happen since it was discontinued) or go for the 900 and let that hold us over until newer 4k unit's show up.
In the end, we decided to go with the 55" 900. We got lucky and a Best Buy 30 min away had one in-stock. These sets are usually not stocked in the Stores, but when I called they first said "NO, we don't have those in the Store". I told the clerk that it says "Available" on-line, then he shot back with a "hmmm, let me go look". He came back in a few min. and said he did have it. Since it was odd that they had one, I did make sure to have him check if it was a return and previously opened. He said it was brand new and likely someone ordered it and it was shipped to them and the person cancelled. Since all the BB in my area are non-Magnolia, they did not have a display, so all I had was user impressions from here and a few reviews.
We took the drive down and had them pull it out so I could inspect the box to ensure it was not opened and it looked new other than evidence a packing slip was attached to it at one time. We purchased it and took it home. The entire drive home, I was having a little buyers remorse. We had taken the 70" back to Costco and looked at what other sets they had. Although we only had the 70" for about 4 days, we got use to the size and Costco had a Samsung 55" next to a 60" on the left and 70" on the right and it looked just TINY. I was worried that now that I had a 70" in the house, would a 55" be too small now? Our 929 we had for over 2 years or so and it seemed like the perfect size. We sit about 7' away from the TV and when we had the 70" we put it as close to the wall which gave us a good 8' viewing distance and it seemed massive, but impressive still. But image quality was always the most important to both of us.
We get home and me and the fiancée move the TV stand about 4" away from the wall since we had moved it back against the wall for the 70" to create some more room between the seating and the front of the 70". We open the box and start the unpacking. I put the stand together quickly and the first thing we both said "damn it is tiny". Again, referring to the massive 70" we just had. First thing I notice and so does the fiancée is that it's overall dimensions is smaller than the 929 due to the 900 being more like a computer monitor and having a small profile around the actual screen. Of course, we both say it again "it is tiny". We connect the stand and place it on the TV stand. Of course being anal retentive, I use a tape measure to ensure that the screen is 100% straight in that it is an equal distance on each side of the tv stand and that it is the same distance on the left and right side from the wall. Then I have to check that it is 100% dead center and lined up with my center speaker that I have on a shelf above it. Once the anal retentiveness is over with the gleaming look the fiancée is giving me because I am making sure it is perfect, we connect the power, HDMI and wired internet.
We have a Harmony controller and lucky enough, Sony uses the same access codes for the receiver in almost every unit, so no reprogramming of the Harmony is needed. Upon power up, it detects the new firmware and we update. Once that is done, we go through all the initial set up and I notice a lot of options I did not know this set had and still need to read up on them. Once we get it all configured it is time to mess with settings. After tinkering for a while, we both are impressed with the image quality of our Comcast HD feed, but of course Blu Ray is the better test and in particular we are curious about 3D since this set came with 4 sets of glasses. I try to explain to my fiancée that these are a little heavier since they are adaptive 3d, not passive like the 70". We both really liked the 70" passive 3d, but both, especially me were able to detect the lines within some images due to how passive handles 3d. We decide to use Avatar since we had just watched it a few days earlier in 3d on the 70".
WOW is what we both said. I know passive is cheaper and glasses are light in weight, but adaptive looks so much better that passive. No lines, just pure 3d image and impressive. When some txt is on the screen from sub-titles there is a little ghosting of the image, but it was so much cleaner than the 70". We skip around different scenes and then pop in Avengers. Again, we both are impressed. It is dinner time, so decide to watch Disc 1 of the Hobbit and just falling in love with the image quality and the 3d effect.
Gaming on PS3, 360 and PC was up next and yeah, I am blown away. I always thought my 929 was the best IQ I had seen for gaming, blu ray etc, but this was just blowing me away. Input lag is really low and I can tell. In some of my racing games, I was able to get my best lap times in 5 out of 6 different tracks after one try. This is a game that I have played for over a year and in the 1 hour I played I was getting my best lap times. The 929 also has low input lag, but I guess it is no match for the 900. With the PC it is even better since our gaming rig has 2 GTX Titan's, so power is in surplus and we use every option on max to get the best image quality out of the games and on the 900 it really shines. Games like Witcher 2 never looked so good. Grid 2, Skyrim, Sonic Generations (very colorful) all just pop on the screen. I am just really impressed with how good gaming looks on this set.
I am still doing some tweaking of the settings, but in the short time I have had it, I am shocked at how nice this set is. My only wish is that they made a 65" version. That would be the icing on the cake for us. But even though we had to stick with the same size as our previous set, our biggest goal was to have great image quality and the 900 delivers that in spades.