Originally Posted by Nowucmenowudont
Near Pioneer blacks? Nope. Think again.
Hmmm.... haven't seen any reviews? Say what you want about the price (much cheaper now though) but performance? I don't see how you can say the blacks aren't near pioneer....
The short story is that the Sony KDL-55XBR8 is the best-performing flat-panel LCD we've ever tested, earning the category's first-ever "9" we've awarded for performance. It delivers picture quality that's nearly as good as the Pioneer PDP-111FD, the best flat-panel performer period.
"Black level: It quickly became apparent that the Sony was a serious challenger to the Pioneer as black-level champion. In dark areas of dimly lit scenes, such as the cave sequence in Chapter 3, it was almost impossible to tell which one came closer to the ideal of absolute black.
The Sony displayed an inky depth in dark areas that lent superb punch and realism to the image, and easily outclassed the rest of the non-Pioneer sets in this regard, including the updated Samsung LN46A950.Compared with the Pioneer, in very dark scenes the letterbox bars--those black areas above and below the image on 2.35:1 films like Iron Man--of the Sony appeared a hair darker, but in lighter scenes the Pioneer's bars were darker. That's because bright areas adjacent to the Sony's bars, such as day lit skies, bright desert ground or the white walls of Stark's house, caused the bars themselves to lighten a bit."
Sound and Vision Mag
"Before I jump into describing the Sony’s performance, let me say that it’s capable of displaying a deep black. And I don’t just mean that its blacks are good for an LCD; they’re as deep as I’ve seen on any TV, period
Home Theatre Magazine
"If your budget allows, there are only three lines of flat-panel sets you need to consider today: the Pioneer KUROs, the Samsung 950s, and the Sony XBR8s"
"Watching this TV on-axis, it bests the Samsung A950 in contrast, in color accuracy, in motion processing. It it is a serious rival to the high end plasmas being produced by Pioneer. That's a startling thing to say, I know. The feature package is there—all the bells and whistles."
European Reviews of X4500 (euro xbr8)
"Even during the very darkest of scenes, such as the opening murders in a night-time lay-by at the start of David Fincher's Zodiac (via Sky HD), my eyes detected not a trace of the grey misting over dark areas that characterises almost all flat TVs to some extent. Black looks black, and that's that. Pioneer's KURO plasmas are no longer the only TVs that can achieve this key picture quality feat.
What's even more gobsmacking about the 55X4500's black levels is the fact that they're achieved so effortlessly. In other words, achieving deep blacks doesn't demand anything like the same accompanying reduction in brightness that you have to tolerate with normal LCD TVs when they try to do black, which means that shadow details are free to emerge with total clarity; they don't get lost in any grey or forced black murkiness. As a result, dark scenes are presented with a greater sense of solidity and immersive three-dimensionality than I've seen anywhere aside from - perhaps - Pioneer's latest KURO plasmas. Remarkable stuff.
The 55X4500's ability to combine deep blacks and unfettered bright elements within the same frame means it pretty much achieves the holy grail of flat TV picture performance in this reviewer's humble opinion.
"For many, the justification for shelling out a not inconsiderable amount of money on the 46X4500 rests on the screen's ability to produce Plasma rivaling black levels. Those of you who are contemplating buying this screen will be pleased to know that on the whole Sony have produced an LCD TV which can be considered a match for any flat panel technology in terms of black level competence
. Along with deep rich blacks comes a subtlety of shadow detailing that places the 46X4500 apart from the vast majority of LCD TV's."
"The amazing colour range is blended with a finesse we'd previously only seen on Pioneer's soon to be defunct Kuro plasma TVs; shadow details abound to give dark scenes a sense of depth, and the sharpness and clarity on show with HD sources is jaw-dropping."
"We fired up our Blade 2 DVD next and were greeted with deep blacks and revealing shadow details comparable with our reference Pioneer LX508G plasma"