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Sony Bravia KDL-52XBR6

Last Updated
January 8, 2009
 
Product Rating
3 Out of 5
 
Pros
  • Very sleek, attractive TV
  • Good sound quality
  • Very deep, rich black levels
 
Cons
  • No memory card slots
  • Bluish tint in some dark scenes, such as shadows
 
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Review

Sony's Bravia KDL-52XBR6 is one of their best performing TV's right now and it is definitely packed with a very large feature set and lots of functionality. The prices of LCD TV's has been falling dramatically and this model from Sony is no exception. The HDTV 52-inch KDL-52XBR6 is a great LCD TV for the money and has many advantages over other similar TV's, including stellar performance due to its high 120Hz refresh rate and powerful video processing abilities.

The TV itself is very heavy, weighing just under 80 pounds and is just under 5 inches thick, which is pretty thick compared to other TV's, but not bad at all. With the stand, it measures 50 x 34.5 inches and 13.5 inches deep and without the stand, it measures about 50 x 32.5 inches. It is also a very sleek looking TV as well, the black-glossy rectangular bezel around the screen itself is very stylish and looks very attractive. Along the bottom of the TV, but still attached via a thin clear plastic, is a speaker that can be customized with different color grille covers that come in gold, red, brown, or black and cost $99 each. Along the left side of the TV, there's a few inputs (A/V, USB, HDMI) to accommodate camcorders, game consoles, etc. On the right side are a few buttons to control basic features of the TV, including power, channel/volume control, and an input selection. On the rear is a very nice array of inputs, including three HDMI (four total), two component inputs, digital audio out, VGA PC-in, and an Ethernet port. There is also a Digital Media Port for portable media players and a DMex connection for the optional Sony Bravia Internet Link.

The remote that comes with the Sony Bravia KDL-52XBR6 is pretty standard, but it does have a few nice features. One of which is that it's backlit and is very well designed for ease of use. It can also be programmed to control up to three additional devices. This TV does include an on-screen programming guide, but for users of cable/satellite, you'll want to use the guide that comes with your set-top box instead. The KDL-52XBR6 features something called the XrossMediaBar (XMB), which is a menu which gives you access to the TV's settings, listening to music/watching TV/viewing photos via the USB port from a thumbdrive, and access external inputs.

The Sony Bravia KDL-52XBR6 also has many picture adjustment settings that you can adjust yourself to get the best picture possible for your TV's viewing environment. The TV comes with vivid mode enabled by default, and we suggest that you turn that off, especially for DVD viewing. Other than that, feel free to tune and adjust the settings to your desire. Remember, there is no uniform "perfect" setting, it's all about what looks best to your eye in your viewing environment.

The color accuracy of the KDL-52XBR6 is pretty good as it delivers accurate grayscale depth and also looks vibrant with both HD and SD video sources. The blacks displayed on this TV look very deep and rich, which looks really nice. However, in very dark settings in video, such as shadows, there is a slight bluish tint to the picture. The quality of fast-moving images are very clear and crisp thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate of this Sony model. When viewing HD sources, there's no doubt that most, if not everyone, will agree that this TV's picture quality is at least above-average and looks excellent to the naked eye. When viewing SD video sources however, picture quality is not as excellent as with HD sources. There is noticeable noise and jagged edges at times, but not horrible or distracting from the picture itself.

The audio quality of the built-in speakers along the bottom of the TV itself are decent enough for a small room, but if you want something more "realistic" when watching movies or for a bigger room, you'll want to hookup a 5.1 digital surround sound system to it to get the full experience.