New to forums here and I was looking for a review on the HX729, but with low financing 0% over 48 months on a Sony Card, I ended up biting the bullet.
I went with the following package at a Sony Style store
1) HX729-55 inch
2) 3D glasses (buy 2 adult get 2 free child size glasses)
3) Bought the extended 5 year warranty (with the combo of the TV I paid $50) for it.
Total Damage after Tax, etc.. $2450 which with all the stuff I got is way better than the retail of the TV itself ($2799).
I recently implemented an Onkyo TX-NR809 receiver because my Pioneer Unit started clipping and eventual the volume would not go above a certain point without the unit shutting down.
I have a mix and match of the JBL E series Speakers (2 Towers, 1 Sub, 1 Center Channel, 2 Side Bookshelves and 2 rear Book shelves), and I decided to go with a new TV because the Darks on my Toshiba DLP were just not cutting it anymore, I was seeing blotches during dark scenes and given the TV is 6+ years old I decided to go with the TV.
Setting up was easy. I was able to lift the TV by myself and get it on a Traditional TV stand. Putting the stand on was straighforward, a couple of screws, and it was ready. I want to mount it but the way my living room is set up it doesnt have many walls that look correct for mounting. Setup was a breeze, One HDMI out to the Onkyo and that is hooked up to all my different AV components.
I have the following:
2) Verizon FIOS
3) Viewsonic VMP70
Also I have implemented a Wifi Bridge with my AV setup because my internet connection runs into upstairs where I use an EnGenius ECB3500 as my AP with a full 25Mbs down/up connection to via FIOS business. The TV is wireless and setup was easy (like a PS3 setup) but I needed a bridge because I do get heavy signal loss from where my first AP so I decided to make a Wifi Bridge using a second ECB3500 and a small Cisco 5 port Gigabit switch. I hooked the TV, PS3 and the Onkyo up to the switch and viola I get no signal loss/video chop when running Netflix, Hulu+ or stream media from my media server in the upstairs room.
Logitech 650 Controller
Setting up my Logitech was nice, but I quickly ran out of devices that I can control with it. I might look into buying a better one, but for now I will deal with it. The logitech can control up to 5 devices, I have it controlling my TV, Receiver (primary room, secondary room), VMP70, PS/3 (only controlling audio).
1) TV Menus - Menus are pretty easy to go through and choose what you want. Netflix and Hulu+ are both decent and if you have a good internet connection really do not clip at all. The menu system has a lot of stuff in it and although it is broken out pretty intuitively I wish it was like the PS3 menu.
2) Edge Bleeding - I do not get much edge bleeding at all on this unit. I was thinking it would be more but when I have all the lights off there is very little. I was actually happy about this.
3) Darks - Now when I asked about the Darks on this TV I was able to compare this to the HX820 right next door. I could see a little bit of reflection from the Gorilla Glass, but in true retrospect I can tell very little difference between the darks of both TVs. In my house when completely darkened I get a nice rich blend of darks. I always use Oceans 13 BR because there is a night scene where reds/blues all come together. On my old DLP there was so many darks and they sort of mismashed together. I had a hard time discerning any detail in the picture. With the sony there was no blotchy picture, no graininess and I could easily see the contrast in the reds and blues against a purple sky.
4) Motion Engine - This is the main reason I bought this TV. I saw Inception at the Sony store and particularly the scene where the crowd is rushing the building where they are doing a job (train scene at the beginning) is awesome, I mean the camera movement is so much more sensitive. It feels like you are in the room and the detail on the motion/human/explosion is pretty unique. My girlfriend was even amazed at it (personally she doesnt like it because she hates seeing some much detail) I tried to compare this side by side to the HX820 and I could see very little difference. The salesperson said if you like watching movies the Engine on the HX729 is a little bit better because it works on a pixel by pixel basis versus the 820 which works on a frame by frame basis (not sure about this) but in comparing I had a very hard time. I watched the intro scene to Inception on both TVs 5 times in a row trying to see where the differences occurred, and really it was that hard. In the end the Gorilla Glass didnt make much difference and I like a matte finish on my laptops because it cuts down glare naturally.
5) PS3 gaming - Playing Call of DUty in simulated 3d is nuts. Playing Grand Turismo 5 in full 3D is INSANE. I love both of these games and they look beautiful. Call of Duty has mostly bright maps, but there are some fight maps that have dark colors with a bunch of red/black along with explosions from players that just make the TV even more worth it. I also play LA NOIRE and this game has so many dark scenes that on my 32 LCD it looks really bad, but with this TV the dark scenes are actually visible.
6) 3D - I bought the package that has the glasses and it included Narnia 3D. The movie looked pretty good and the PS3 autodetects 3D and prompts for 3D or 2D. Simulated 3D even looks good I tried it during several movies, 300 looks awesome, the characters really have some dimension and the fight scenes are great. 3D TV, like ESPN 3D is ok and there are some issues when watching it, the TV menu says normal and ESPN 3D is doing Over Under, swapping the TV Menu to Over Under fixes the issue. Regular football, soccer, and basketball games only really look good when they are close in action shots, otherwise only the sports logo (espn3) and the scoreboard are 3D in far away shots (like half court views or field views of a football/soccer field).
7) Additional Features - You can sign up for more services, but the only thing that gets me is the price, Having Netflix/Hulu+ is already $20 per month, pair that with FIOS TV and I am burning close to $200 on subscription costs. I also prefer physical copies of movies (I do buy my share of BRs but some of them I like to borrow from friends once in a while) and having them on my VMP70 is nice. 1080p movies look great. I am waiting to see Avatar in 3d, but I think I'll wait for the non Panasonic Version. Also I have not done much with the Picture settings because it seems like the TV was built for my living room. The colors come out great and the darks are visible. I do have curtains that cut down background glare, so I believe that helps too.
8) Controllers - This part kinda irks me because I have 3 controllers for this, the PS3 controller (because it is bluetooth), the TV controller for stuff that I can't access via the Logitech (like 3D settings, and some menu settings), and the Logitech. With my other TV I had one controller and I only pulled the backup out if I had battery issues or something really quirky. I hate going through and programming a Logitech and this seems like the only solution (I am still pondering getting a better logitech for the amount of devices it can control). I really feel that Sony should have stuck with one type of format RF or Bluetooth. I also get the PS3 contoller and the TV controller mixed up because they look somewhat identical and even have the same color buttons.
Either way I really recommend the TV. I am really happy with my purchase and I have yet to throw a TV party/PS3 Party at my house. From friends who have seen it they are amazed at the picture quality along with the simulated 3d.