By: HDTV Professor
It seems like only yesterday when the first 60-inch television came out. It was big, heavy, box-like, and if you sat too far to the side, you couldn’t see anything. Now we have 70-inch HDTVs like the Sony Bravia KDL-70W850B that give you more than 60% more viewing area than even a 55-inch TV. This television is gigantic but it makes watching videos and playing video games an adventure.
While there are bigger televisions, your best bet from here is to get a projector if you want to go bigger. But picture quality on a project suffers when there is any direct light. The Sony Bravia KDL gives you the backlit panel display with true colors and heavy darks that give you superb picture quality. You will notice some picture quality suffering when you sit to the sides, but you’ll still be able to see the image. This TV is also big and heavy and moving it or mounting it can be an issue. Chances are, you will be setting this on an entertainment stand for good.
Let’s start here as it’s the most important aspect of any television. When looking for the right LED television, you want something that doesn’t only have true, vibrant colors, but that displays high contrast ratios and deep blacks. This TV does just that.
Out of the box, you will notice the Sony Bravia has colors that are very accurate with movies, standard television shows, or video games. The TV has some deep blacks that give the quality more of a realistic feel, but as its common with edge-lit HDTVs, backlight will seep around the edges.
The power behind the picture is the X-reality Pro picture processing engine. This is what gives you rich and crisp images no matter what you do. There are the typical presets you can choose from to pick an ideal image–in fact there are 14!–but with a TV this expensive, you have access to plenty of advanced features to help your image quality.
One thing you will want to do when you turn on the Sony is turn off the Soap Opera effect. This eliminates too much natural background blur but is unnatural to the human eye and causes movies and TV shows to look off, especially if you are watching sports. It’s on my default, but you can turn it off in the advanced picture settings.
The color accuracy is close enough, but not ideal without some toggling of the settings. Reds, greens, and blues are represented in ways that won’t seem off to you, but if you sit off to the side, colors suffer, especially flesh tones. Even the most expensive televisions have this same effect. It’s just part of the technology for now.
Because of the price, you are going to get plenty of extras with the Sony. First off, let’s introduce you to the Sony Entertainment Network. This houses all of the standard go-to apps such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crackle and Amazon Instant Video.
You can even “lol”, “OMG”, and hashtag all you want with the social apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Though, if you have enough money to get this television, chances are you have a smartphone you can do this stuff on instead. We will say that many of these apps are slow to load and with sign-up forms, there is a little frustration when waiting for the screens to load.
Your new television is also Skype-ready, but this requires an external camera that you have you buy separately. And because it’s internet ready, it has built-in WiFi so you won’t have to connect another cable to it for internet.
This TV comes with active 3D technology that you can turn on and off. There are 2 3D glasses included in the box and buying more will cost you. 3D technology is gimmicky at best and it’s hard to get on board with this feature. But if you like this stuff, then you will enjoy this TV.
The Sony is a large TV, so you can expect it to be heavy. Isn’t it ironic to think that as TVs get thinner, they also get heavier? We looked at a few wall mounts that could hold up to the massive 95 pound behemoth and they start at just over $100. If you get more 3D glasses and the mount, the price begins to add up. Honestly, this style of TV is easier on most walls by placing it on an entertainment stand. We won’t lie, though, with its thin bezel and beautiful display, this thing would look pretty great on a wall.
Another reason we like it off the wall is its tapered appearance. It starts wide at the base and thins off as it goes up. This actually gives the TV more room for more powerful speakers. Unlike many other flat-panel displays, the sound works and speakers won’t blow. Sony really thought this through by implementing two woofers in addition to the two speakers fitted inside.
The television has 4 HDMI ports and 2 USB inputs so you won’t run out of space to plug things in. The legs have multiple positions to the TV can sit on smaller stands. The back left houses the controls along with a four-way directional control that helps with volume and changing channels.
It’s hard not to love this TV, especially for the price. It has beautiful picture quality and plenty of presets for a variety of circumstances. You still have access to more advanced settings than smaller, cheaper TVs so you can do whatever you want to make things look beautiful. It’s a big TV and the heavy factor can be a drawback for many people, especially if you absolutely MUST have this thing mounted. Sitting at an angle presents some loss in color and contrast, but at the end of the day, the smart Bravia from Sony will give you everything you need to enjoy games, movies, music, and more.