Slim, High Frame Rate SXRD Rear Projectors From Sony
Pictured above is the 70" KDS-Z70XBR5, one of two new XBR SXRD microdisplays. The other is the 60" KDS-Z60XBR5. These two models are a whopping 40% slimmer than their predecessors even though the height of the new TVs remains the same. Although the sets have slimmed down ,the price on the 60" is a bit fatter than last year's model. The KDS-Z60XBR5 and KDS-Z70XBR5 will be available this fall for $5,000 and $6,000 respectively.
The non-XBR models are the 50" KDS-50A3000, the 55" KDS-55A3000, and the 60" KDS-60A3000. These cabinets are spec'd as being 20% slimmer than the previous models in each respective size. These sets will ship in August at $3,000, $3,300 and $3,500 respectively.
All the sets feature what Sony is touting as Motionflow 120Hz high frame rate technology. The feature is spec'd in the sales lit to offer four adjustable modes including "off" so the user can adapt the feature to the content "be it high-definition sports or movies from Blu-ray Disc."
120Hz refresh rates are becoming common with premium LCD displays, and is touted as greatly eliminating motion blur. What's fascinating is that 120Hz allows essentially a double frame rate for 1080p/60 signals. But 120hz is also a direct multiple of film's 24fps frame rate- movies on Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD are encoded at 1080p/24 and more and more players are allowing output at that native rate. It appears that Sony's adjustable Motionflow modes will display a 1080p/24 signal at a direct 5x frame rate of 120Hz, which would remove judder and any hint of flicker in the image. The other 120Hz displays we're aware of either don't accept 1080p/24 signals, or convert them to 1080p/60 before converting to 120Hz.
The sets are also compatible with x.v.Color, and Sony acknowledges that this feature is only active with compatible sources such as Sony camcorders. Other features include compatability with Sony's Digital Media Extender (DMeX), which offers a digital connection to the BRAVIA Itnernet Video Link. Broadband Internet users can mount the module on the back of compatible TVs and connect to the Internet and download various forms of video content, including HD, from AOL, Yahoo!, Grouper, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony BMG Music.
To access the user and set up menus and manage your downloaded videos, "most" of these new Sony TVs employ Sony's Xcross Media Bar (XMB) interface, which will be familiar to PlayStation3 users.
Sony also claims that the HDMI and the component inputs are compatible with both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals. There's no direct mention in the press mateirals we've seen so far, but it's hard to imagine that these sets wouldn't be HDMI 1.3 compatible as well.
Sony's new TVs are also compatible with Sony's BRAVIA Theatre Sync to simplify overall system operation. Essentially, this allows users to control any and all Theatre Sync components connected via HDMI.
Last, while the non-XBR sets use a video processing system based on Digital Reality Creation-Multifunction v1.0, the XBR sets use BRAVIA Engine Pro circuitry with DRC v 2.5. More advanced video processing in the XBR sets, in other words.