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Sony plasma TV an engineering wonders in the electronics world.

A Plasma TV, or any TV for that matter, with a feat of engineering and imagination such as the Sony plasma TV 50XBR deserves to be prefaced: 

Sony TV, meet the Ferrari of plasma TVs.

This piece of visual art is beautiful and robust, containing not only incredible outline looks but a host of effective operating tools as well. It is off the chart of what has been introduced in the past in the mainstream plasma TV market. And, it's going to look great hanging on your living room wall. Its an advantage for the interior designs at your home.

This is the first XBR plasma display introduced by Sony TV and they have really put forth a fair effort to obtain a premier spot in the plasma TV market. Sony is the market leader in the TV industry to bring innovative electronics products.

LG plasma TV uses an entirely different plasma display element (crystal glass panel) than that of the KE 42TS2 plasma panel. The engineering is also vastly different as the media receiver box does most of the processing, the built-in speakers produce excellent volume and the special features of the XBR version are over the top. 

Strengths and weaknesses of the Sony plasma TV.

As the market competition with some of the most recent plasma TVs to hit the electronics market, black levels and gray scaling are improving significantly. The Sony plasma KE50XBR950 is no exception and exceeds many picture elements of other plasma displays. Colour rendition and picture quality is true, rich and exciting - even luscious. Definition and sharpness are super - with very little fragmenting around image outlines. I could not detect any ghosting in action sequences. Light throughout (amount of light entering and exiting through the pixel) is excellent, allowing for a naturally bright and exuberant picture image. Colour saturation is one of the best features of the unit - exceeding any I have seen.

While watching a movie in a DVD. I have noted only a few slight problems with gray scaling. According to my reference Panasonic plasma met its match on most all picture notes and was outperformed by the Sony on colour saturation, brightness, and clarity, but still remains strongest in contrast and picture detail in the dark levels. Regarding picture quality one of my only complaints with the Sony was a loss of detail in darker images and scenes tested on the screen. It was also evident that there was slight "mapping" in the gray scales.

Each image quality setting on the XBR Sony plasma TV displays has their positive and negative attributes. These picture models are integral to the use of this display and are controlled by the "picture" button on the remote control. They are: vivid, standard, pro.

These advanced colour calibrated picture settings are great for bypassing all the menu options necessary to create varying visual effects. Why altering on the TV looks? Different input signals will often need calibrating by using completely diverse methods in order to optimize picture quality visual performance for the individual user under current lighting and room interior conditions. In other words, your satellite feed may need a different picture setting than an incoming DVD signal. And while I have seen this feature on other plasma TVs, I have never seen it so well calibrated and effective.

The Mild setting was used on the previous plasma model - KE-50XBR900 to produce a softer image but is not included in this new offering. The Vivid function increases colour saturation and contrast while losing much detail in darker images. It will also give the user "pop" while sacrificing image quality by creating false edges caused by the image enhancement. 

Standard is a combination of all settings and coincides almost perfectly with CIE chromaticity coordinates for the NTSC standard. And lastly, the Pro setting will be used when the TV viewer wants little to no enhancements from the media receiver box.

With this TV settings the sharpness feature has been reduced to cut down on false edges. It is my best preferred setting. This setting might be used in a controlled lighting environment like a home theatre and may help to extend the vibrancy and life of the plasma. 

Sony plasma has a classic look and feel and will view the best over time. Sony's latest terminology for line doubling or up-conversion is Digital Reality Creation. This technology upconverts NTSC signals significantly. However, we found that our Samsung HDTV decoder actually did a slightly better job with most signals. 

Sony plasma TV is ideal for the PlayStation users. High density will be the preferred mode here for most video programming. Cine-motion enhances film-based content with 3:2 pulldown processing. The advanced feature is designed to eliminate motion artifacts created when converting frame rates. The Sony XBR plasma did a superb output of decoding and displaying DVD content. 

Lastly, regular NTSC cable looked very clear and the media receiver did a nice job of upconverting with the Zoom mode of the plasma being used to scale to full screen size from the original 4:3 source. Some of the picture quality still depends upon the bandwidth presented per channel but the media receiver definitely improved the process and cleaned up picture images.

Sony plasma TV features.

1365 X 768 Native pixel resolution plasma TV display

50" Diagonal viewing area

Included: MBT XBR950 Media receiver/tuner, 3 Meter DVI interface cable connection, VGA cable connection, well shielded and constructed power cords.

Closest competition: Pioneer PDP 5040HD, panasonic TH-50PX20UP, pioneer elite pro 1100HD

15 Watt speaker amplifiers X 2, speakers built In.

Image courtesy News Plus Usa