Sony KDL-55W900A Review
55" Edge-lit LED LCD Smart TV, $3299
Dick De Jong
Last week, Sony rolled out their new top of the line HDTV, the 55-inch KDL-55W900A, which features the appetizingly named TRILUMINOS display technology.
In the Performance section, I'll go into a bit more detail about this quantum dot system. For now, let me simply state that this TRILUMINOS system creates a lumi-liciously rich colorful picture.
In addition, as befits the king of the Sony HDTV hill, the KDL-55W900A is replete with integrated Wi-Fi and a barrelful of Internet apps from streaming content providers like Netflix, Vimeo, and Pandora.
Of course, if all you want from your TV are apps, you can save a bundle of cash by purchasing any of the wide array of well-performing, less expensive Smart TVs in the marketplace.
Sony is attempting to separate the 55W900A from the Smart TV competition with its TRILUMINOS display. And mmmm, the picture is yummy.
The only other Sony models that offer this technology are the just released 4K Ultra HD TVs, the 65-inch XBR-65X900A ($6999) and the 55-inch XBR-55X900A ($4999).
Perhaps surprisingly for a top drawer TV, the 55W900A does not include any voice recognition or motion control functions, which - considering their still rudimentary implementation on other TVs - I believe is a good omission that makes the TV easier to use.
Sony has bundled a winning combination of features and performance into the KDL-55W900A and even though I wish that its price was a little more budget friendly, we still are bestowing our HDTV Solutions Highly Recommended award on this TV.
(Editor's Note: Currently Sony makes only one size of the W900A series, this 55-inch KDL-55W900A. The models in the W802A series, [the 55-inch KDL-55W802A and the 47-inch KDL-47W802A], furnish many of the same Internet features, but do not include the TRILUMINOS display technology, which is a significant difference. With that caveat, this review of the 55W900A can apply to the W802A series.)
Our Star Ratings
The Sony KDL-55W900A's TRILUMINOS display elevates it to the head of the class of LED TVs. Its edge-lit local dimming may begrudgingly cede to the best plasma TVs the ability to produce the inkiest blacks, but its flair for rendering a full color palette is enviable. The audio quality produced by the integrated speakers is way above average but don't expect to fill a big room with sound from the undersized 10W pair.
3D capable, NFC, ARC and MHL support, built-in Wi-Fi, the Sony Entertainment Network with over 100 streaming content partners, about the only feature missing is an integrated camera for Skyping.
Ease of Use: 4.5
I would appreciate a more informative manual that discusses the multitude of Picture Adjustments. Luckily, you can be up and running quickly and enjoying a great picture without digging deep into the Picture menu. Though if you plan to take advantage of all the Sony KDL-55W900A's features set aside some time to explore.
To begin, the $3299 price listed in the heading of this review is MSRP. Even Sony on its site has this TV reduced $700 and I'm finding it with a few online retailers slightly lower than that. As much as I like the TRILUMINOS picture quality, I will not presume to tell you if the KDL-55W900A is worth the $1000 premium over the similarly featured but non-TRILUMINOS Sony KDL-55W802A. And definitely, the marketplace is rife with 55-inch Smart TVs at about half the cost. But if you are a true videophile, you should find value in the lovely 55W900A. If you can afford the 55W900A, we highly recommend it.
Star Ratings Description
Ratings are relative to when the review was written. The obvious example is Value, what you could purchase for $2000 two years ago or even two months ago would seem like a bad value for that price now. We give very few 5 Star ratings, which we reserve for truly outstanding accomplishment.
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