Some thoughts on Sony 2013 and the W850
Sony seems to be muddling its way through marketing of their TVs in 2013, all the while making it difficult for consumers to make informed choices. Lets' start with Sony's original 2013 4K offerings of 55" and 65". One wonders just how stoned Sony's industrial designers were when they grafted unremovable. naked speaker cones onto the sides of those sets creating ugly expensive monstrosities.
Sony, ceding to public demand, has now added two equivalent 4K new models of the same size w/out the speakers and dropped the prices drastically.
In all respects (other than 4k) the W900A has all the features of the 55" inch equivalent Sony 4K XBR. You can compare the specs on Sony's site. Essentially, the dividing line separating XBR from the W- series is now 4K resolution vs. the traditional indicia, "superior quality" ie. Triluminous, Motionflow XR 960, and local dimming.
As most reviewers have pointed out, 4K is useless w/out 4K content and adds nothing for viewers at 8-10'. http://carltonbale.com/does-4k-resolution-matter/
. One might say 4K is the new 3D.
So, in reality, the W900A is a Sony XBR (NOT) in name only. 4K is invisible, for all practical purposes, today except for house pets and toddlers who can gawk at the paucity of 4K content 4-5' away from the screen (the minimum distance it can be perceived on 55-65" TVs). If you put a W900A next to its 55" XBR 4k running the same content at HD and 4K resolution respectively, turned the lights out and put 10 people in a room to watch from 8 ft., its unlikely any (with 20/20 vision) could tell the difference.
This creates a problem for Sony. The W900A effectivelly delivers the same value (except for 3D and two people watching two different programs simultaneously) as a TV that costs $1,500 more, the 4k 55 incher. Plus the W900A sports a 240mz panel unlike the 55" 4K. Adding a 65" version of the W900A would simply compound this problem, creating another XBR (NOT) in name only. Thus Sony created the W850, a hybrid of the downscale W802A and the upscale W900A. The W850 lacks the deep black panel, as does the 802A, W850 is only 120hz and has only Motionflow XR 480 again like the 802A. But it has Trilumnous, although it has been reported here, "Official Sony KDL-55W900A Owners Thread" that the W850 has a lesser version of Triluminous.
When you fragment high-end products in this way, it puts more power in the hands of Best Buy salesman who more easily regale consumers with their superior knowledge until the consumer's eyes water. Ultimately, they go for the the top of the line 65" 4K TV for 5K (that's thousands, not a new resolution).
Against this backdrop, Sony misses a huge opportunity to mate Triluminous (a breakthrough even the LED naysayers at CNET had to acknowledge) with full array dimming. Instead, Sony opts for edge-lit w/local dimming, clearly a lesser technology for producing deep blacks.
That said, the W900A is an amazing TV, especially when viewed from 7-8', the sweet spot for1080P. I paid $1700 for mine. It has a tiny imperfection in the lower corner of the bezel. Like 4K resolution, it will only be apparent to the house pets and toddlers getting up close and personal w/the TV.Edited by rnbarg - 9/27/13 at 5:41pm