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Sony BRAVIA XBR-46HX929 Review
46" Direct-lit LED LCD 3D HDTV, $2599

Sony 46HX929

Dick De Jong
August 31, 2011
HDTV Solutions

Currently the XBR-HX929 is at the top of Sony's 2011 line of TVs - as well as it should be.

The Sony engineers have added features to this model that you can't find on any of their other TVs, even the HX820 that I reviewed recently.

For me, the most significant improvement is in the LED backlighting system. The HX820, and almost all of the other LED backlit TVs in the marketplace today, deploy the LEDs around the edge of the screen.

In the HX929, the LEDs are spread across the back of the display. Sony's marketing term is Intelligent Peak LED Backlight. I often use the term direct-lit for this full array backlighting technique.

Call it what you will, my experience is that direct-lit LED TVs produce deeper blacks than edge-lits, which translates into better picture quality. And the HX929 substantiates that contention.

The HX929, which has a 240HZ panel, is also the first TV that I have reviewed that implements a backlighting control that gives the human eye the same result as a 960Hz panel. Sony labels this motion detail technology, Motionflow XR 960.

I'm not a big fan of the ultra-sharp look produced by increasing the frame rate, therefore I usually deactivate it. But if you want the fastest TV in the neighborhood, the HX929 is your Maserati.

Of course, this BRAVIA TV includes all of the other goodies that you would expect, 3D capability (with active shutter glasses), a built-in Wi-Fi adapter, and a cruise ship full of Internet content providers.

If you want the best from Sony, in performance as well as features, then the XBR-HX929 is the peerless pick.

(Editor's Note: Sony makes three sizes of the HX929 series, 46", 55" and the luxurious 65". All have similar specifications and this review of the XBR-46HX929 can apply to its larger, and more expensive, brothers.)

Our Star Ratings
Performance: 4.5 4.5 Star Rating
The HX929's full array LED backlit technology (with local dimming) produces beautiful images with deep blacks and lush colors. Its 3D performance is commendable. Even though Sony has added a third speaker, the HX929's audio simply can't match its video quality.
Features: 5.0 5 Star Rating
If you are looking for the complete package, built-in Wi-Fi, an army of apps and more whiz-bang extras than you need, then this BRAVIA is your ticket to ride. About the only thing missing from the package are 3D glasses for the whole family, which you will need to purchase separately.
Ease of Use: 4.0 4.0 Star Rating
Even though Sony has provided a long menu of picture adjustment options, most of you will never need to fuss with them because setting up the HX929 for basic broadcast TV and Blu-ray viewing is a quick straightforward step-by-step procedure. Expect to spend some time connecting it to your home network and then exploring all of the Internet content sources.
Value: 4.0 4.0 Star Rating
At the time of this review, you could purchase the 46HX929 on the Sony site for $2519 (reduced from an MSRP of $3000). The HX929 is Sony's most expensive model and deservedly so. Still, $2500 is a chunk of change. I'm finding it online for less. Now, if they could just throw in a starter kit with at least a couple pairs of 3D glasses, I would rate that a 4.5.
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 have give very few 5 Star ratings, which we reserve for truly outstanding accomplishment.

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Reader Comments

Posted Oct 7, 2011 9:55:42 PM

By Riley Moreau

Even though I think 3D is overrated, I would still think about getting one of these TV's. I have had many Sony TV's in the past and they have not let me down in any way! I think it's awesome how they can get the picture so clear. It's probably from all the millions of colors they are able to use. I didn't even know millions of colors existed, but heck, it makes a beautiful picture!
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