Originally Posted by YOTR
Long story short, I am trying to decide between these two sets. I know the W850A is not coming out for a month so I could wait. I was thinking about the W900A originally before I saw that Sony was basically coming out with a bigger version (size was the only thing holding me back from getting the W900A). At the same time I found a closeout brand new 65" XBR 950. I am coming from an Elite LCD so I thought it would be worth considering since the black levels would be close and it's full array like the Elite. The banding issues reported in the owners thread worry me a bit but it looks like they are minor for the most part. Any suggestions? I know the W850A is not full array so the black levels won't compare but the W900A in the store looked great even black level wise. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Edit: I forgot to mention that the XBR would be about $800 more than the W850A if that makes a difference.
For what it's worth, I put in some comparison time between an open box 65" HX950 and a W900 at my local Magnolia shop over the weekend. I put both in cinema mode and turned off any of the extraneous features/interpolation, but did do some playing with settings like contrast enhancers and what I believed to be the "Triluminos" intensity setting on the W900. (live color, was it?) There were two HD football games on at the time, so I was tuned to them for the majority of my comparison. (Best Buy's own demo loop was left completely out of the equation)
To be blunt, I instantly loved the natural
picture of the HX950. Color looked excellently on-hue and saturation/luminance was just right. The only negative that I picked up on was a bit of blooming during a few commercials where white letters were displayed on a black background. This wasn't noticeable during the actual content, but I would predict this cropping up from time to time during some dark movie scenes -- but most likely predominantly while watching in a completely darkened room which I never actually do.
The W900, on the other hand, wasn't exactly love at first sight for me. While superficial, the bezel design isn't nearly as elegant as the HX950's. then again, I've loved the "one sheet of glass" design since the Panasonic 800U and I really do think that Sony has been able to pull it off better than anyone else with their "monolothic" aesthetic. Sense of depth didn't seem as good on the W900 leading to a less natural looking picture. Both were excellently detailed and sharpness was handled correctly without exaggeration. Depth of black seemed to be comparable on both, but I seen no blooming on the W900 so advantage to the new set there. Concerning the color enhancement provided by (what I believed to be) the Triluminos setting... I really didn't like it and found the picture best with it in the off position. It added some welcome punch here and there, but the affect was noted as a negative far more often in the way of overdriven reds. (i.e. faces)
Both the W900 and HX950 were comparable in effective viewing angle -- which is to say pretty terrible. Both seemed to wash out colors heavily at very acute angles from comfortable distance, but I only noticed a blue shift in the blacks on the W900. Motion processing, however, was superb on both and I noted no discernible difference and there was very little, if any, noticeable blurring. As a longtime plasma guy, I really appreciated Sony's finessed approach to LCD motion processing. It's this performance attribute that had caused me to instantaneously rule out other major manufacturers like Samsung and LG. (Panasonic is the only other manufacturer that really seems to understand how to offset this inherent technological shortcoming)
I was there for around 2 hours (!) and was approached by thee different sales people. I happily announced that I was interested in their open box/old stock HX950 but wouldn't commit to making an offer without them making the first move. (they had it tagged at $2800) I also openly discussed my past history with the Kuro line (of which they were all, thankfully, familiar with) to send the signal that I was, in fact, a serious potential buyer and wasn't just window shopping outside of my budget. Alas, just before the most personable of them came to me announcing that they were able to secure me their "best price," (would've counter-offered no matter what and walked away if they refused to move any more -- only to return a few days later and continue the bargaining strategy) I changed the HX950 to a boating program on NBC. Three vertical lines (one subtle on the left, two right of center that were much less so) of DSE were nearly ever-present in the solidly-toned water. No exaggeration: it was the absolute worst example of DSE I had ever seen on any flat panel
. I changed the W900 to the same program and noted no such issue. For me, this was a deal breaker and I walked away without even hearing the salesperson's offer. Apart from the viewing angles, the HX950 seemed to be the ideal television to segue me from plasma to LCD, but I've owned flat panels with subtle DSE and found it to be an annoyance, but still acceptable. What was on that HX950 was unacceptable. And yes, I do realize that this was an open box item that could have not been representative of the average sample and I did kill the power to investigate the screen for any physical defects/smudging. (used my white t-shirt to attempt to "scrub" it a bit to no avail) However, I came home and Googled it to find that many have had a similar experience with this particular model.
To be clear: both are excellent televisions. Personally, I just couldn't live with the DSE that I observed on the HX950. If Sony made any effort to reduce/eliminate this effect on the W850, that would be my choice despite my preference of the HX950 to the W900.
Best of luck with whatever you choose!
EDIT: Or maybe it wasn't DSE, but rather "banding?" My apologies, but in comparison to my plasma knowledge I'm an LCD neophyte. Edited by curly21029 - 9/10/13 at 10:02am