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Sony KDF-E55A20

55" Grand Wega™ high-definition rear-projection LCD TV

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  • Sony KDF-E55A20

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  • Sony KDF-E55A20

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  • Sony KDF-E55A20

    Remote

  • Sony KDF-E55A20

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Item #: 158KD55A20
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Sony KDF-E55A20

by Steve Kindig
Sony

If you've been thinking about a TV in the 50" size range, add Sony's 55" KDF-E55A20 to your list. This is one of Sony's latest Grand Wega models, and its clean, compact design gives it a surprisingly small footprint.

The "Digital Cable Ready" KDF-E55A20 gives you two ways to join the digital TV revolution — it can receive both over-the-air and cable high-definition TV signals with no separate set-top box required. To make the most of the built-in cable tuner, request a CableCARD from your local service provider. The CableCARD replaces your cable box, and provides a simpler hookup, slightly better picture, and one less remote control to keep track of.

The KDF-E55A20 gives you plenty of options for viewing a variety of video sources exactly the way you prefer. Selectable viewing modes make it easy to expand standard (4:3) programs to fill the set's 55" widescreen display, eliminating those vertical side "pillars," if you choose. But you needn't be concerned about any negative effects from pillars or "letterbox" bars, or sustained images from video games, news tickers or station logos. All Grand Wegas are virtually immune to screen "burn-in."

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • High-Definition TV — receives and decodes digital standard-definition and HDTV signals from over-the-air broadcasts (antenna required) and cable TV service (CableCARD™ required)
  • widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 3 LCD panels, 1366 x 768 pixels each (all signals displayed at 768p)
  • 125°(H) x 55°(V) viewing angle
  • Wega Engine™ video processing
  • adjustable DRC MultiFunction V1 (upconverts non-HD signals)
  • built-in stereo speakers (12 watts x 2)
  • multibrand remote control
  • picture settings memory for each video input
  • 6 A/V inputs, including:
    • 3 composite video (2 rear, 1 front)
    • 3 S-video (2 rear, 1 front)
    • 2 component video (accepts 1080i/720p/480p/480i signals)
    • 1 HDMI digital audio/video input
  • 2 RF inputs (1 Antenna, 1 Cable)
  • optical digital audio output for Dolby® Digital
  • Energy Star® compliant
  • 57-3/8"W x 37-1/8"H x 19-1/8"D (pedestal is 40"W x 18-3/8"D)
  • weight: 92.5 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year parts & labor — in-home service
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • Contact your local cable provider for details regarding the availability and costs of CableCARD-related services

Tip: To find out if HDTV signals are available in your area, visit this helpful site and punch in your zip code.

Large Item Special Shipping: This item will be delivered and placed in any accessible room in your home. Available to physical addresses in 50 United States only. Limited delivery available to Alaska and Hawaii for $99 per item — call 1-888-955-6000 for more details. Sorry, we can't ship to P.O. Boxes or freight forwarders. Delivery takes 5-7 business days once your order has been processed. Extra charges may apply to items that must be carried up more than 5 flights of stairs. Allow extra time for delivery to remote addresses. Free return shipping not available with this model.

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Display
Screen Type
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LCD
Screen Size
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55"
Aspect Ratio
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16:9
Resolution (pixels)
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1366 x 768
Picture In Picture
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No
Compatibility
1080i Compatible
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Yes
720p Compatible
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Yes
CableCard Compatible
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---
General
Audio Output Power
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12 watts x 2
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Type of Warranty Service
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In-home
Power Consumption
Power On (Manufacturer)
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Not Given
Standby (Manufacturer)
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Not Given
Dimensions
Width (inches)
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57-3/8
Height (inches)
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37-1/8
Depth (inches)
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19-1/8
Footprint Width (inches)
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39
Footprint Depth (inches)
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18-3/8
Weight
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92.5 lbs
Analog Inputs & Outputs
RF Inputs
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2
Total Video Inputs
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6
Digital Inputs & Outputs
System Link
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None
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 55" LCD projection TV
  • RM-YD002 wireless remote control
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • Operating Instructions
  • Quick Setup Guide
  • Warranty sheet
  • Note on cleaning the rear cover
  • "Features and Notes on Viewing your LCD Projection TV" sheet
  • "Required Public Statement for GPL/LGPL Licensed Software Used in this Television" sheet
  • Warning sheet concerning removing remote and manual before discarding packing materials (attached to TV)
  • SonyCard (for www.sonyrewards.com)

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Remote Control
Inputs and Outputs Notes

Features

HDTV: The Sony KDF-E55A20 Grand Wega Rear Projection LCD TV has a built-in ATSC tuner that will receive over-the-air and cable High Definition signals without the need for a separate DTV set-top box. With its HD-compatible component video and HDMI inputs, the TV can also display programs in High Definition from high-end DVD players and set-top boxes. In addition, the TV also includes an NTSC tuner for analog broadcasts, and is CableCARD ready.

CableCARD: CableCARD provides cable subscribers with access to digitally encrypted cable channels without the need for a separate set-top box. With CableCARD, you can receive both standard definition and high definition programming. The CableCARD, provided by the cable TV company, inserts into the TV's rear panel CableCARD slot.

Native Resolution: Since the KDF-E55A20 has a display resolution of 1366 x 768, all input signals will be displayed at 1366 x 768. The TV has three 0.87" Wide XGA LCD panels, one for each RGB (red, green, blue) signal that each resolve 1.04 million pixels to deliver a clear, crisp, precise picture.

WEGA Engine System: Sony's Proprietary WEGA Engine System delivers superb picture quality from any video source by minimizing the signal deterioration caused by digital to analog conversion and stabilizing the signal processing. This engine features key technologies engineered and designed by Sony:

  • Composite Component Processor (CCP-X): The first step in the digital processing system, Composite Component Processor (CCP-X), enhances the input signal-to-noise ratio by chroma decoder digital processing.
  • DRC (Digital Reality Creation)-MF V1: Unlike conventional line doublers, the DRC Multifunction feature replaces the signal's NTSC waveform with the near-HD equivalent by digital mapping processing. The DRC Palette option lets you customize the level of detail (Reality) and smoothness (Clarity) to create up to three custom palettes.

DRC Modes: You can choose from the following DRC advanced video options:

  • High Density: creates a high-resolution picture with 4x density for high quality sources, such as a DVD player or satellite receiver
  • Progressive: recommended for moving images

CineMotion 3/2 Pulldown Processing: This function provides an optimized display by automatically detecting film content and applying a reverse 3/2 pulldown process. Moving pictures will appear clearer and more natural-looking.

Optical Engine: The Sony optical engine provides a high-resolution picture from corner to corner across the entire screen. It also renders an image with high-brightness utilizing a 132W UHP (Ultra High Pressure) Lamp (Model XL-2200) that you can easily replace.

Wega Gate: The Wega Gate screen gives you access to the following options:

  • Favorites: lets you store and view up to 16 of your favorite programs
  • Cable: takes you to the most recently viewed channel on the cable input
  • Antenna: takes you to the most recently viewed channel on the antenna input
  • External Inputs: lets you select equipment that is connected to your TV
  • Settings: lets you adjust the Video, Audio, Screen, Channel, Parental Control, Setup, and Applications menus

Program Guide: This TV is equipped to show program information if it is available from the station. The Program Guide lets you review program information, and select both analog and digital channels.

Video Mode: You can select Vivid, Standard, or Custom. The Vivid setting enhances picture contrast and sharpness. The Standard setting displays a standard picture for normal viewing environments. The Custom setting displays a picture with minimum enhancements. You can set a Video mode independently for each video input.

Wide Screen Modes: You can select a default screen mode to use for 4:3 sources. While watching a channel, you can use the Wide Mode button to cycle through the wide screen modes. If the 4:3 Default is set to anything but Off, the wide screen mode setting changes only for the current channel. When you change channels, the wide mode is automatically replaced with the 4:3 Default setting. You can choose from the following screen wide screen mode options:

  • Wide Zoom: enlarges the center portion of the picture and stretches the left and right edges to fill the screen
  • Normal: returns the 4:3 picture to normal mode with side bars to fill the screen
  • Full: enlarges the 4:3 picture horizontally only to fill the wide screen
  • Zoom: enlarges the 4:3 picture horizontally and vertically to an equal aspect ratio that fills the screen

Power Saving: You can view the picture with reduced power consumption by selecting the Power Saving mode. The picture becomes darker, but the black level is enhanced. To view the picture without the benefit of Power Saving, you can select "Standard" mode.

Steady Sound: This feature stabilizes the volume level, preventing unwanted blasts of sound during commercials.

Sound Effects: To enhance the sound, you can select TruSurround XT, which adds a three-dimensional sound to stereo programs, or Simulated, which adds a surround-like effect to mono-channel programs. The sound effects can be turned off.

BBE: The BBE circuit adjusts the phase relationships of the low, mid and high frequencies. The result is improved sound with more impact.

Sleep Timer: The sleep timer switches the television off after a specified amount of time. The sleep timer can be set to 15, 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes.

On Timers: This unit has two timers that can be set by day, time, duration, and channel.

Optional TV Stand: The TV can be mounted on the optional Sony SU-GW12 stand (item # 158SUGW12).

Remote Control

Multibrand Remote: The supplied remote is pre-programmed to operate this unit and a number of functions on other brands of A/V components, including DVD players, DVD/VCR combo units, HDD/DVD combo units, VCRs, cable boxes, and satellite receivers.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

HDMI Inputs: The TV features an HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) input that provides an uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface between the TV and any HDMI-equipped device, such as a DTV set-top box, DVD player or A/V receiver. HDMI supports enhanced or high-definition video, plus multi-channel digital audio. You can also connect a DVI-equipped device to the TV via an HDMI-DVI adapter cable. Since a DVI connection does not output audio, you will also need to connect an audio cable from the DVI-equipped device to the TV. The HDMI input has left and right RCA audio inputs.

Component Video Inputs: The two component video inputs will accept 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i signals.

Audio Out: The TV has a rear-panel audio output, which consists of left and right RCA audio jacks. Using the menu, you can choose Fixed or Variable audio output. The audio jacks are only operable when the TV's built-in speakers are turned off.

Optical Output: You can use the TV's optical digital audio output to connect a Dolby Digital/PCM-compatible digital audio device, such as an audio amplifier.

Front Panel Inputs: For connecting a game console or camcorder, the TV includes front panel inputs (behind a drop-down panel) with stereo audio and composite and S-Video jacks. For mono audio connections, you should use the left channel input.

 
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Sony KDF-E55A20 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

8 people say:

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4 out of 5

Truly Amazing picture

Written By Aaron, Paris, MO on Sunday, April 23, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This TV is truly amazing. Lightweight, beautiful picture, and a price point that can't be beat.

However, I've had the TV since X-Mas, and had to have a repairman come and fix it. A fuse or something supposedly fried and had to be replaced. Sony told the repairman that they have had a few of these do this. It took two weeks from the time it died (and I called Sony) until I had the TV up and running again, and the repairman said that was quick. They did do the repair in my house though, so that was sweet. I also had the Crutchfield service plan, but that was of no help until the Sony one had expired.

So, with the exception of having the TV out of commission for 2 weeks, it is truly amazing. I would definately buy it again given the chance. The picutre is so clear, and on HD programs, it looks like you are right there. Water on HD looks like you could jump in.

Light (from windows) do not seem to effect the picture quality or clarity. Do not hesitate to purchase this TV.
4 out of 5 people found this helpful
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2 out of 5

Not that impressed!

Written By Rich, Milford Connecticut on Friday, March 24, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I researched Big screens for a while and ended up with the 55 inch Grand Wega. Granted, I've never owned a Big screen TV before, I just assumed the picture would have been a bit more on the clear side. Everything seems so out of focus and blurry. I even dedicated an entire afternoon to tuning the picture for the best possible quality and, to my dismay, the picture is just not up to my standards. I am in all honesty, contemplating on returning this to Crutchfield under the 30 day no risk policy since it's only been around 3 weeks. Just like I mentioned in the title, I am not at all impressed.
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sony KDF-E55A20

Written By sheryl, Columbus, Ohio on Thursday, March 09, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This television is absolutely beautiful. I must say though, that I had a 19-inch CRT before this, so I'm absolutely excited to have a quality Grand Wega for such an excellent price.

The picture is sharp, the initial set up was easy, and I can't wait to get my HDTV and home theatre hooked up already!
1 out of 3 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Good TV, but there are potential issues

Written By Matt, Taunton, MA on Monday, March 06, 2006
 
This TV is very good. However, because it is LCD, there is the possibility that it will have bluish or reddish dots on the screen. This is the case with mine.

I've had the TV for 5 months now, and the dots started forming after 2 months. I count about 12 dots, about the size of a quarter, that aren't so visible on regular TV broadcasts, but show up more with HDTV broadcasts. When I'm watching a high def hockey game, forget it. They stick out like a sore thumb.

I had hoped they would go away, but they show no signs of that. My TV might be a lemon, but I'll find out when the technician comes. Just something to be aware of, because this TV will come with a single piece of paper amongst the manual and other paperwork that says this is a normal occurrence with LCD screens, but in my case, it definitely is not, and Sony Customer Care has been anything but helpful.

Other than this problem, the TV really is great, but I hope this problem is a rare occurrence with Sony's high-priced and high-precision TV's.
7 out of 8 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

LOVE IT!

Written By Luis, Raleigh, NC on Saturday, March 04, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I love this thing. Love it.

Did I mention I love it?

Digital picture is so sharp you can shave with it. Older analog video and cable signals, however, don't look nearly as nice, but are plenty good enough. DVD's, even of old 1970's TV shows, look spectacular.

I'll admit that the whole Wide, Zoom, Wide Zoom, etc. can be a bit anoying, especially since DVD's look good one way and TV looks good another, but it's simple to switch modes.

My only real complaint with this thing is how long it takes (I'm impatient) to switch between Video 1, 2, etc.

I haven't watched it in 36 hours (I'm moving), and I miss it dearly. Can't wait to hook it up with HDTV in a real media room! WOO-HOO!
1 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great TV!

Written By somiss1, Pass Christian, MS on Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I shopped for a long time and compared DLP and the more expensive SXRD Sonys. In the end, I chose this TV and I think that I made a great decision. We sit 15.5 ft from the set so I don't see alot difference between 768 and 1080.I got around the 1 HDMI input with JVC RX with HDMI Inputs/Output.I use the new HDMI Sony DVD and Directv HD DVR.Get a setup DVD and tune the set. The resulting picture is spectacular plus you saved a bundle! Crutchfield was great to deal with! Don't worry about ordering a TV online from them. It's painless and cost effective plus you get someone who knows what they are talking about.
8 out of 9 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sony KDF-E55A20

Written By Brian, Greensboro, NC on Thursday, January 05, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great TV! Hi-Def channels are clearer than real-life. Sounds great too. The menu is easy to navigate. The only complaint I have is that when I want to switch the built-in speakers off to use my suround sound system instead, it takes way too many steps. There should be a shortcut.
15 out of 18 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Sony KDF-E55A20

Written By no, Fort Worth, Tx. on Sunday, October 16, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
We just ordered this 55" TV from Sony and it ROCKS! The picture is razor sharp in our dedicated media room. After a year of research we could not be happier with our pick. From the phone call to our front door took 5 days...WOW! Thanks Sony and Crutchfield for a great experience. Got to run, the game is on!
119 out of 148 people found this helpful
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