PROS / Sony Bravia's Motionflow technology simulates a 960Hz refresh rate for an incredibly sharp, clear picture.
CONS / The 1.9-inch panel thickness is slightly greater than the average LED-backlit LCD TV.
VERDICT / With impressive display features and a plethora of connections, the Sony Bravia XBR-55HX950 is the best LED TV on the market.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it is no longer available. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
If you're in the market for an LED-backlit LCD TV, you won’t need to look beyond this review. The Sony Bravia XBR-55HX950 is the best LED-LCD combo television on the market today. With its screen size, local dimming and 3D capabilities, it is a flat-panel LED TV that out-performs the competition. The 55-inch Sony Bravia brings an incredible feature set to the table with enough output and input connections to make an amateur filmmaker salivate.
Sony is well known for its proficiency in the electronics industry, but this LED-backlit TV goes well beyond the standards. Currently, media is only published to support a 120Hz refresh rate and the Sony XBR55HX950 joins its 240 Hz refresh rate with Sony's Motionflow XR 960 technology, which is designed to quadruple the motion effect and create clarity on a whole other level by simulating a 960 Hz effect. This TV produces brilliant whites and deep blacks. Add to a healthy selection of connectors – four HDMI, two composite video inputs, two PC inputs, two USB ports and an Ethernet port – to this TV's already stunning list of features, and you can see why this TV ranks at the top. If you want the best LED-backlit LCD TV, the Sony Bravia XBR-55HX929 will bring you everything you're looking for and more.
The Sony Bravia line of LED TVs uses LED-backlighting technology combined with an LCD panel that forms the visible portion of the TV. By placing an array of LEDs behind the LCD screen, the TV can combine the colored backlighting from the light-emitting diodes and the LCD screen to narrow the frequency bands of the colors significantly so that it can pinpoint individual colors with extreme accuracy. Sony has perfected this technology, scaling the contrast ratio to near-infinite levels.
By arranging the LEDs in a flat array behind the LCD screen, LED-backlit LCD TVs can be surprisingly thin; the Sony Bravia comes in at a slim 1.9 inches, which is roughly the thickness of a picture frame. With an optional wall mount, you can even set the TV into the wall. The range of options and the amazing features of the Sony Bravia line of LED TVs truly astounded us.
The Sony Bravia model that we reviewed has an impressive screen size of 55 inches, though other televisions available in the Bravia line range from 32- to 65-inch displays. The 55-inch screen is the perfect combination of value and viewing size, and the impressive list of other features that this Sony Bravia TV offers make it a fantastic addition to any home theater setup.
The Sony Bravia XBR-55HX929 boasts a slim demure 1.9-inch thick display while maintaining exceptional image quality and additional features. The base is 12.25 inches thick, if you choose to rest the TV on a stand rather than hang it on your wall with a TV wall mount.
The local dimming capabilities that the Bravia line offers means you will receive deep blacks and brilliant whites due to the TV's ability to dim or brighten individual pixels on the LCD screen by changing the brightness of the underlying LED panel. This functionality allows individual pixels to be brightened or dimmed, the contrast between adjacent pixels can be massive. Add the TV's Motionflow technology, which simulates an amazing 960Hz refresh rate to the contrast ratio, and you end up with an incredible television with more features and a higher-quality picture than any other set on the market.
The other features that the Sony Bravia XBR-55HX950 offers aren't quite as impressive, though they are competitive with the other LED-backlit LCD TVs on the market. Two built-in speakers that produce 10 watts of sound each are present if you don't have a larger sound system in place; while these are convenient, they are not as impressive as some of the other built-in speaker sets that other LED TVs offer.
This Energy Star-rated flat-panel TV will consume almost no power when it's in standby mode, and only 178 watts while in operation, which is just below the average for a TV with a 55-inch screen. If you're concerned about power consumption, the Sony Bravia will deliver maximum picture quality without draining the power from your entire house.
The aspect ratio is 16:9, the standard for widescreen viewing, meaning the resolution is also the standard 1920x1080, or 1080p. This is the ideal size for widescreen viewing, which is quickly becoming the dominant format for modern movies and television. Also, due to the screen's large size, the viewing angle is slightly wider than that of smaller televisions, at 178 degrees – which is almost a completely straight line! Almost anywhere you sit while watching this Sony Bravia TV will offer you clear, unblemished viewing. The stand and overall design are very appealing and will aesthetically enhance any entertainment center.
The Sony Bravia XBR-55HX950 boasts an impressive array of connectivity options, including four separate HDMI inputs, two composite inputs, two PC inputs, two USB connectors, an Ethernet port and a component input port. With this many connectivity options, it's not likely you'll find a need for an HDMI splitter.
Help & Support
A warranty of 18 months is offered with the Sony Bravia XBR-55HX950 that includes parts and labor. This is the best warranty of any of the LED-backlit TVs that we reviewed. Combined with the TV's amazing specifications, it's clear that this is the safest, most-complete home-theater investment you can make.
If you have questions about setting up or using your TV, you can consult Sony's online FAQs section and user manual. If you aren't able to find an answer to your questions through these avenues, you can contact the company's customer support via phone or email. If you prefer chatting from the comfort of your desk chair, you can also use the online chat feature on Sony's website to contact a customer-service representative. Sony provides very prompt and helpful service.
If you're looking for the absolute best LED-backlit LCD TV, the Sony Bravia XBR-55HX950 is, without question, the most complete LED TV on the market today. With deep blacks, brilliant whites and extremely high functioning refresh rates and local dimming capabilities, you can't go wrong with the Sony Bravia LED TV.