Originally Posted by trenken
I'm eyeing the Sony BRAVIA KDL55NX720 and the Samsung UN55D8000.
The Sony is more than $400 cheaper, and it's my understanding that the Samsung is a better TV. My question is, is the Samsung really THAT much better to justify spending more than $400 extra on it?
I'm currently using a 6 year old Sharp Aquos with horrible banding issues, so anything is a huge step up for me, but I do want something with stellar picture quality. If the Sony provides that and is much cheaper, then I'll pull the trigger on it.
BTW, 3D is not very important to me, and I have no way of seeing these 2 sets in person either.
Check out these reviews from CR.org:
"Reviews & Recommended - Samsung UN55D8000
This 55-inch 3D-capable 1080p LCD TV from Samsung, in its flagship D8000 series, offers very good overall picture quality, though it did have a few shortcomings that marred its 2D performance, as noted. We found it delivered better 3D performance than first-generation LCD TVs from Samsung, most notably in reduced ghosting. The TV, which has "960Hz" technology, an edge LED backlight and built-in Wi-Fi, is a Smart TV with a full Web browser and a lot of features. That includes access to online content, including streaming movies and/or TV shows from Blockbuster, CinemaNow, Hulu Plus, and Netflix. Other features include the ability to view incoming calls, text messages, and schedules from a mobile phone, and Smart Hub, which allows you to search for content stored on other connected devices. The TV has a dual-sided remote control -- one side a conventional IR remote, the other a Bluetooth-enabled full QWERTY keyboard with touch-sensitive navigation. The TV, which comes with two sets of active 3D shutter glasses that sync to the TV via Bluetooth, is DLNA- compliant, so it can access photos, movies, and music stored on a PC, phone, or other compatible device via a network connection.
• "960Hz" technology effectively reduced motion blur
• 3D performance was better than on most LCDs, with less ghosting
• Innovative remote with QWERTY keyboard
• Internet services and Wi-Fi
• Super-slim profile of 1.25 inches with exceptionally thin bezel around screen
• Uneven brightness and fair black levels
• Loss of image texture
• Viewing angle was narrow
Detailed test results
Overall, picture quality was very good for both high-definition and standard-definition content. In 3D mode, images showed effective depth with minimal ghosting on our 3D test patterns and on a wide variety of 3D program content, a new benchmark for LCDs that use active glasses. 3D images were also on the brighter side, which is a plus. It uses Samsung's Auto Motion Plus technology that combines a 240Hz refresh rate with a scanning (flashing) backlight to create a 960Hz-like effect -- we found it minimized motion blur to the point that it was barely noticeable, even in our more demanding tests.
This TV was very good at displaying fine details in high-definition content. Color accuracy was very good, so colors generally looked natural and lifelike. Contrast -- the difference between the blackest blacks and whitest whites -- was good, so images had depth and dimension. In this respect, the TV was similar to most of the models we've tested. Brightness level was good, suitable for most rooms.
In scenes with subtly shaded light-to-dark areas, such as a sky during sunset, the TV did a very good job producing a smooth transition without any coarseness or visible banding. Movies that were originally shot on film and converted to video appeared free of any jagged edges -- "jaggies" -- in scenes with motion, due to the effective film-mode operation (3:2 pulldown). Video clips with motion detail appeared free of any visible "jaggies" due to the effective de-interlacing operation.
Sound was good, adequate for typical TV programming, but won't reproduce the full range of movie soundtracks and music. The innovative remote provides traditional TV controls on one side, and a QWERTY keyboard on the flip side. The TV console's side-facing control buttons, when touched, displays labels on the TV screen for easy navigation. The TV's unusually thin bezel saves space and might allow you to fit a larger screen into a given area.
This TV did have issues, however. Though picture quality was judged very good, it was not without flaws. Notable non-uniformity of brightness from the LCD created large illuminated areas of the screen from the backlight that were most visible on dark scenes, but noticeable in some brighter scenes as well. Activating the local dimming feature helped but did not eliminate its visibility. As a result, black levels were only fair.
A noise reduction feature was continuously active and could not be turned off. While effective, this also reduced subtle image texture, and eliminated natural film grain from film content, reducing image fidelity.
Turning on the Auto Motion Plus feature effectively reduced motion blur, but it also created a brightness flickering effect that was visible on some dark scenes. We saw it mostly on the black bars of letterboxed movie. We turned the feature off.
The set has a narrow viewing angle -- we saw significant deterioration in color, contrast or brightness when viewing the screen off-angle. The remote was a bit heavier than most, and while its wedge shape makes using the QWERTY keyboard easy, it might feel awkward for some when used for regular TV control.
Reviews & Recommended - Sony Bravia KDL-60NX720
This 60-inch 3D-capable 1080p LCD TV from Sony--among the largest 3D sets we've tested--delivers excellent overall picture quality, though like many other Sony models its viewing angle is narrow. The TV's 3D performance was only fair, primarily due to noticeable ghosting. The TV, which uses Sony's "Monolithic" edge-to-edge glass design, has a lot of features, including an edge LED backlight with local dimming, "240Hz" technology, built-in Wi-Fi, and access to a lot of online content, including streaming movies and/or TV shows from Amazon, Hulu Plus, and Netflix, plus Sony's own Qriocity video service. This model can also make Skype video calls when used with an optional webcam. Like most 3D TVs now, it has a 2D-to-3D conversion feature for adding 3D effects to regular 2D content, but the set doesn't come with any active-shutter 3D glasses.
• Excellent HD image detail
• Excellent color accuracy
• Effective local dimming feature enhances black level
• Full 1080p resolution to each eye in 3D mode
• Lots of features
• Very good sound, better than most tested sets
• Narrow viewing angle
• 3D performance marred by noticeable ghosting and some flicker
• 3D image brightness is on the dim side
Detailed test results
PICTURE QUALITY. This model had excellent high-definition and standard-definition picture quality, and fair overall 3D performance. The TV did a top-notch job displaying the finest detail. Color accuracy was excellent, so colors looked very natural and life-like. Contrast--the difference between the darkest blacks and brightest whites--was good, so images showed some depth and dimension. In this respect, the TV was similar to most of the models we test. The brightness level was good, making it a suitable choice for most rooms. In scenes with subtly shaded light-to-dark areas, such as a sky during sunset, the TV did a very good job producing a smooth transition without distinct, coarse bands. Slightly uneven brightness effect created cloudy areas in very dark scenes. Slight cloudy areas due to blacklight leakage are visible on dark scenes. The deinterlacing and film mode operations were excellent on both HD and SD content; there was little or no evidence of jaggies on the edges of objects for video and film-based content.
SCREEN REFLECTIVITY. The glossy screen surface on this LCD TV is susceptible to reflections from a nearby lamp or window. Its dark screen is less susceptible to glare and helps maintain good contrast even in a bright room.
VIEWING ANGLE. The Sony Bravia KDL-60NX720 has a narrow viewing angle overall, among the worst-performing LCD sets on this attribute. Only those seated directly in front of the screen will see the best picture quality. If your family is seated in chairs off to the sides of the TV, they will see increasing degradation of image quality the farther they sit from center.
When we moved off to the sides the picture lost color, so flesh tones looked washed out, while black levels brightened, significantly reducing contrast. Even when viewed from right in front of the screen, dark scenes were brighter at the edges due to the very tight horizontal sweet spot. Saturated colors like bright red or green, such as you might see in an animated film, degraded less as we moved to the sides than more subtle "real world" tones, which lost significant color. While horizontal viewing angle was fair, vertical was good. When we moved from a standing position to a floor-seated position, the picture showed minimal change in color, contrast, and black level. Note that plasma TVs are currently the only flat-panel technology on the market that provides unlimited viewing angle, with no change in image quality regardless of where the viewer sits.
MOTION BLUR. This model from Sony includes Motionflow technology, which combines a 120Hz refresh rate with a scanning (flashing) backlight to create a 240Hz-like effect -- a feature intended to reduce motion blur, a shortcoming of most LCD TVs. With the feature turned on we found it reduced motion blur to the point where it's really not a problem with typical program content. With the Motionflow feature turned off, this TV showed significant blurring and loss of detail with our test patterns. On typical video content the blurring effect is often fleeting and may not bother most people, but keen-eyed viewers may detect the loss of texture and detail on scenes with movement, especially in high-quality video such as a Blu-ray movie.
3D PERFORMANCE. The overall 3D effect was only fair, below that of most tested sets. 3D images generally showed effective depth but with a noticeable level of ghosting (left eye/right eye crosstalk) on our 3D test patterns, and on a wide variety of 3D program content. In order to maintain 3D performance the viewer's head had to be kept completely vertical to the screen or very strong levels of ghosting would occur, essentially eliminating the 3D effect. In 3D mode, the display presented full 1080p resolution to each eye, showing all the detail from the best 3D content on Blu-ray. Image brightness was on the dim side, less than we expect for normal 2D viewing. There was also some notable image flicker as we watched 3D programs, which added to viewing fatigue.
SOUND QUALITY. Very good sound, better than most models we've tested. We found the sound well balanced, with good bass though the upper audible range could be smoother. It has a good volume range, though at higher volume levels the sound slightly distorts but does not break up.
CONTROLS AND CONNECTIVITY. Overall, we found the set easy to use; the remote is satisfactory, and on-screen menu is easy to navigate. The remote's major function buttons were sufficiently large and have high-contrast labeling, making them easier to see and navigate. The set displays the program's signal type when you push an info button on the remote. Has a dedicated button on remote to access Internet features. Remote has second power button located on the back.
Analog video and audio connections are made via a special breakout cable adapter strip (Included) that attaches to the TV as a single plug. That means you plug your component, composite, or stereo cables into a dangling adapter rather than the back of the TV itself. This is actually a more convenient way to make the connections on slim profile models, but if you lose the adapter you'll have no way to connect your cables directly to the TV. The cable connections on the rear panel are recessed with side or bottom facing ports, so wires don't stick out from the TVs rear panel. Aesthetically, this preserves the clean line of the display's slim profile when viewed from the sides, though making connections to the rear panel can be a bit awkward."The Sony appears to have better 2D picture quality and better sound from the built-in speakers.