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Sony KDL-52XBR2


1 Review

Item # 158KD52XB2

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Our take on the Sony KDL-52XBR2

Launched in 2005, Sony's BRAVIA XBR line quickly became the picture quality benchmark other LCD TVs were measured against. Sony is sure to extend that lead with these latest XBRs, which received a makeover inside and out. The 52" KDL-52XBR2 is the largest in the XBR2 series. Sony's elegant "floating glass" case design ensures that this TV will grab your eye whether it's on or off.

Launched in 2005, Sony's BRAVIA XBR line quickly became the picture quality benchmark other LCD TVs were measured against. Sony is sure to extend that lead with these latest XBRs, which received a makeover inside and out. The 52" KDL-52XBR2 is the largest in the XBR2 series. Sony's elegant "floating glass" case design ensures that this TV will grab your eye whether it's on or off.

The big performance story for the KDL-52XBR2 is "Full HD 1080" screen resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels). It provides about twice as many pixels as you get with typical 40" LCDs. That higher resolution gives images lifelike clarity, detail, and texture — it really is like looking through a window. Colors look strikingly natural, too, thanks to Sony's "wide color gamut" backlight, which reproduces a much wider range of colors.

You'll want to feed this thoroughbred as much high-quality material as possible, like DVD movies and HDTV programs. But realistically, you'll probably still be watching some regular (analog) programs for a while yet. That's when you'll really appreciate the KDL-52XBR2's advanced video processing. The latest version of Sony's DRC (Digital Reality Creation®) circuitry has twice the processing power of earlier versions. Until now, DRC could only process interlaced video signals, but this version can upconvert both interlaced and progressive video, giving images a smoother, more solid look. Native 1080p signals (like those from Sony's Blu-ray Disc player) are displayed directly, without any processing.

The future-ready set of audio/video connections is heavy on HD-compatible connections, including two component video and three digital HDMI inputs for your most advanced video gear. The natural ruggedness of LCD panels helps the KDL-52XBR2 excel as a total entertainment display. Connect your PC and/or video game console and work or play for hours if you like — LCDs are immune to screen burn-in.

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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.

Product Highlights:

  • 52" widescreen HDTV (16:9 aspect ratio)
  • built-in digital (ATSC) and analog (NTSC) tuners for over-the-air TV broadcasts (antenna required)
  • built-in QAM cable TV tuner receives unscrambled programs without a set-top box (cable service required)
  • S-PVA (Super Patterned Vertical Alignment) LCD panel for improved off-axis viewing
  • 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • 8-millisecond pixel response time
  • 1300:1 contrast ratio (7000:1 dynamic)
  • 178°(H) x 178°(V) viewing angle
  • BRAVIA Engine™ Pro digital video processing
  • adjustable DRC MultiFunction v2.5 (upconverts video signals to 1080p)
  • Wide Color Gamut fluorescent backlight for extended color range
  • built-in stereo speakers (11 watts x 2)
  • multibrand remote control
  • picture settings memory for each video input
  • 8 A/V inputs, including:
    • 3 composite video (2 rear, 1 side)
    • 1 S-video
    • 2 component video (accepts 1080i/720p/480p/480i signals)
    • 3 HDMI digital audio/video inputs (2 rear, 1 side) — accepts signals up to 1080p
  • PC input: analog RGB (D-Sub 15-pin)
  • 2 RF inputs for antenna/cable signals
  • optical digital audio output for Dolby® Digital
  • Energy Star® compliant
  • detachable stand (stand "footprint" is 23-1/2"W x 15-1/8"D)
  • wall-mountable (bracket not included)
  • 55-3/4"W x 32-1/2"H x 4-7/8"D (35-1/8"H x 15-1/8"D on stand)
  • weight: 102.6 lbs. (without stand)
  • warranty: 1 year parts & labor — in-home service
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • 52" LCD projection TV
  • Wireless remote control (RM-YD010)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • 8' Power cord
  • 3' RGB cable
  • 9' Coax cable with threaded "F" connectors on each end
  • Nylon support strap with mounting screw and mounting bolt
  • Plastic wire management bracket
  • Operating Instructions (English)
  • Operating Instructions (French)
  • Quick Setup Guide (English)
  • Quick Setup Guide (French)
  • Installing TV on wall instructions (English/French)
  • Warranty sheet
  • Consumer 1 Year Warranty sheet (for Canada)
  • On-line Product Registration sheet
  • "Required Public Statement for GPL/LGPL Licensed Software Used in this Television" sheet (English/French)

Energy Guide:

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Sony KDL-52XBR2 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(1 Review)

Simply fabulous

Scott from Mechanicsburg, PA on 3/9/2007

After two years of exhaustive research, I finally pulled the trigger and purchased an HDTV. As a longstanding and seriously hardcore audiophile, the acquisition of new gear is the culmination of a meticulous and deliberate decision process (and one which I enjoy, albeit less frequently now that I am married with kids).<BR><BR>This is the television I purchased. The screen is exactly identical to the XBR3 model, and the silver bezel imparts a look of understated elegance which blends beautifully with the neutral decor of our family room. The performance of the set (which I have owned for 3 weeks now) has been absolutely superb. The picture quality is fantastic; this line of LCDs is the first and only one (at present) to seriously challenge the best plasmas with regard to deep gray / black renderings. And the rest of the spectrum is nothing short of spectacular.<BR><BR>My living room is rather large and I was contemplating mounting the XBR above the fireplace, but it is too big and would have dominated that space. So I mounted it on an adjacent wall. Thankfully, the screen is basically impervious to glare or ambient light; we have tall windows on either side of the fireplace yet the XBR remains unaffected by the multiple sources of light at play in the room. It looks great from any angle. It is large enough to be viewed easily from a distance; loading the dishwasher goes faster when you have Larry Kudlow or SportsCenter to keep you company.<BR><BR>Like most other things, size matters. My wife initially said the 52&quot; was too large. Funny, she used to say that about her ring. Both complaints lasted a week. Now she just wants to watch her shows in HD on the big XBR.




Hands-on research

Product Research

Remote Control
Inputs and Outputs Notes


Overview: The Sony BRAVIA KDL-52XBR2 is a 52" diagonal LCD flat panel HDTV that features a Live Color Creation backlight system, TruSurround XT audio technology and digital audio enhancement amplification to provide you with a dynamic picture and sound quality experience.

1920 x 1080 Panel Resolution: Sony BRAVIA XBR televisions have Full HD 1920x1080 display panels. Full HD 1920x1080 panels have over 2 million pixels (more than twice that of 720p HDTV), and can fully reproduce the 1080p content that can be delivered by the new 1080p Blu-ray disc players without scaling. The BRAVIA EngineT PRO can upconvert everything from standard definition and high definition to 1080p for a lifelike picture.

Bravia Engine PRO Full Digital Video Processor: The improved BRAVIA EngineT adds a picture quality enhancement circuit called Digital Reality Creation Multi-function v2.5. DRC-MFv2.5 now has the added ability to process interlaced and progressive video signals, and because it has twice the processing power of previous DRC-MF circuits, it can do its processing and output them to 1080p. (Native 1080p input signals are not processed through DRC-MFv2.5.) DRC-MFv2.5 is also user adjustable according to the video source.

Live Color Creation System (featuring WCG-CCFL backlighting system): Sony's Live Color Creation achieves precise and wide color reproduction using a combination of advanced chroma signal processing algorithms along with a specially developed WCG-CCFL (Wide Color Gamut - Cold Cathode Florescent Light). Deep blue levels along with a natural, broad range of greens deliver vibrant colors throughout any scene.

7th Generation Sony LCD Panel: The Sony TV uses a 7th generation Sony LCD panel for truly matchless image quality and performance. This panel is produced efficiently from glass to a create large, high quality panel. The PVA high definition display (1,920x 1080) that is used offers a wide 178 degree viewing angle, very fast response times and a spectacular contrast ratio.

High Contrast Ratio: Sony uses a dynamic backlighting system called ACE (Advanced Contrast Enhancement) on BRAVIA TVs. ACE automatically senses the APL (Average Picture Level) of the video signal and adjusts the intensity of the backlight for improved contrast. VESA test and measurement methods are applied yielding a contrast ratio of used 7000:1. This number represents the widest possible ratio between black and white contrast levels. Sony also measures their BRAVIA televisions with a more stringent method that measures the amount of black and white levels that can appear on the screen at the same time. This method yields a more real world measurement of 1300:1.

CineMotion: This Technology along with the reverse 3-2 pull technology provides smoother picture movement when playing back movies or other video sources on film.

Integrated HDTV: This feature allows you to watch digital television programs and enjoy the improved audio/video quality offered by these programs.

ATSC Integrated Tuner: This tuner allows the reception of local, off-air digital broadcasts providing the viewing of free, true high-definition network programming without the addition of a set top box or a monthly fee.

HDMI: Interface (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) provides an uncompressed, all-digital audio/video interface between the TV and any HDMI-equipped audio/video component, such as a set-top box, DVD player, and A/V receiver. HDMI supports enhanced, or high-definition video, plus multi-channel digital audio.

PC Input: The PC input (HD-15-pin) offers easy connection to your PC, allowing you to use your high resolution BRAVIA S-Series Digital TV as a computer monitor.

VESA: The TV uses VESA compliant mounting holes to add an optional wall-bracket to hang the television on the wall. The TV is VESA 400 x 200 compatible.

Wide Screen Mode: This mode allows you to watch 4:3 normal broadcasts in wide screen mode (16:9 aspect ratio). There are five settings to choose from.

  • Wide Zoom: fills screen with minimum distortion
  • Normal: displays 4:3 picture in original size when original source is 4:3.
  • Full: enlarges the picture horizontally to fill the screen when the original source is 4:3; also use this mode when the original source is 16:9 to display the 16:9 picture in its original size
  • Zoom: enlarges the original picture without distorting the aspect ratio
  • Auto: screen automatically changes to the screen mode that is best for the current program

Picture Mode: The TV features Three Picture Modes to customize your picture viewing.

  • Vivid: This mode enhances the picture contrast and sharpness.
  • Standard: The Standard mode is recommended for your home entertainment use. (default setting)
  • Custom: This mode allows you to store your preferred settings from the following.
    • Backlight: adjust to brighten or darken the backlight
    • Picture: adjust to increase or decrease picture contrast
    • Brightness: adjust to brighten or darken picture
    • Color: adjust to increase or decrease color intensity
    • Live Color: makes colors more vivid
    • Hue: adjust to increase or decrease the green tones
    • Sharpness: adjust to sharpen or soften the picture
    • Gama: adjusts the balance between the light and dark areas of the picture
    • Black Corrector: enhances black areas of the picture for stronger contrast
    • Advanced Contrast Enhancer: automatically optimize the contrast; effective for dark images scenes because it will increase the contrast distinction of the darker picture scenes
    • Clear White: emphasizes white and light colors
    • Color Space: select the range of color reproduction from Normal to Wide
    • Color Temperature: adjust the white balance of the picture; there are three selections
      • Cool: gives the white colors a bluish tint
      • Neutral: gives the white colors a neutral tint
      • Warm: gives the white colors a reddish tint
    • Detail Enhancer: enhances the details of the picture
    • Edge Enhancer: enhances the outline of the picture
  • Noise Reduction: You can select to reduce the noise level of the connected equipment to the TV's VHF/UHF input.  You can choose from Auto, High, Medium, Low or Off.
  • DRC Mode: This mode produces a high-resolution picture for high-density sources such as Blu-ray, DVD, or Digital Satellite. You can select from Mode1(Recommended), Mode2 (only for 1080i) or Off.
  • DRC Palette: This feature allows you customize the level of detail (Reality) and smoothness (Clarity) for input sources.

Color Matrix: This feature allows you to reproduce the color-difference signals. You can choose between Standard (Automatically optimizes based on signal) or Custom (select either ITU601 or ITU709 which normalized the tone when color tones look unnatural).

Light Sensor: This feature allows the pictures brightness level to be optimized to ambient light. The effect from the Light Sensor depends on the setting of Picture Mode and Power Saving Mode.

Sound Mode: The TV features Three Sound Modes to customize your TV listening.

  • Dynamic: enhances bass and treble
  • Standard: suitable for spoken dialogue
  • Custom: flat setting or it allows you to store your preferred settings from the following:
    • Treble: increase or decrease higher-pitched sounds
    • Bass: increases or decreases lower-pitched sounds
    • Balance: emphasizes left or right speaker balance
  • Volume Offset: adjust the volume level of the current input (TV or video input) relative to other inputs
  • Steady Sound: select this mode to stabilize the volume across all programs and commercials
  • Surround: You can choose from "Off (stereo)", Simulate Stereo (adds a surround-like effect to mono programs), or TruSurround XT (surround effect for stereo programs)
  • BBE: select to give sound more impact by compensating for phase effects in speakers; you can choose from High, Low or Off
  • MTS: allows you to enjoy stereo, bilingual and mono programs

SRS TruSurround XT: Building on the success of TruSurround technology, TruSurround XT audio adds three new audio enhancement technologies to produce an amazingly immersive sound experience. Dialog Clarity brings movie dialog into "focus" during the playback of any surround-encoded material to make speech much clearer and crisper. TruBass creates incredible deep rich bass allowing a person to perceive significantly deeper, richer low bass tones that are far beyond the physical low frequency capabilities of the speaker itself. And WOW widens the soundstage by processing standard two-channel stereo material as well as multi-channel encoded material for a dramatic improvement in the playback of any stereo audio over a two-speaker system.

A/V Sync: Us this option to make adjustments to audio and video synchronization when you have external equipment connected to the Optical Out of the TV.

Label Video Inputs: This feature allows you to identify A/V equipment you connected to the TV. You can choose from the following.

  • Video 1-6 Inputs: Receiver, Satellite, Cable Box, VCR, DVD, DVR, HD, Game, Camcorder, Edit or Skip
  • Video 7 Input: PC, Edit, Skip

Note: The Edit label allows you to create a custom five character label for that input.

Label Channels: This feature allows you to assign labels such as station call letter to the channel numbers. You can use up to five characters.

Favorite Channels: This function allows you navigate a list of up to 16 favorite channels without leaving the current channel.

Show/Hide Channels: This feature allows you to show or hide channels that appear when you use the channel +/- buttons.

Note: Channels that you set to be hidden can be accessed only with the 0-9 buttons.

Freeze Function: Press this button once to display a frozen image of the current program in a window on the screen. Press again to show only frozen image on the TV screen. Press again to return to the program.

Jump Function: This feature allows you to jump back and forth between two channels. The TV alternates between the current channel and the last channel that was selected.

Parental Control (V-Chip): The parental control function allows parents to block unsuitable programming from younger viewers. You can select between Off, Child, Youth, Young Adult or Custom using the rating system in the TV's manual.

Caption Vision/Info Banner: This feature allows Closed Caption and/or channel programming information to be displayed on the TV screen. You can choose from CC1, CC2, CC3, CC4, Text1, Text2, Text3 and Text4

Sleep Timer: You can set the amount of time you want your TV to remain on before shutting off automatically. You can select from Off, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 or 120 minutes.

Timer: You can use this feature to turn the TV on, turn it off, or tune it to a specific channel at a scheduled time. The TV has two timers (Timer1 and Timer2).

Note: The Timer feature will not be available until you set the Current Time.

Power Saving: Select this feature to reduce the power consumption by adjusting the backlight brightness. This function also enhances the black level. You can choose from Off, Low, High and Picture Off.

Remote Control

Wireless Remote Control: The TV comes supplied with a wireless remote control (RM-YD010). The remote control is preset to operate Sony brand video equipment. The remote is also programmable to work non-Sony brand equipment such as DVD, VCR, DVR, Satellite or Cable.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

Side Panel:

  • HDMI In: the TV provides a side panel HDMI input
  • Video 2: consists of a composite video input as well as composite stereo audio inputs; great for connecting a camcorder or game system
  • Headphone Jack: listen to your TV in privacy using the headphone out

Rear Panel:

  • HDMI Inputs: The TV features two HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) inputs 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.
  • S-Video: The TV features one rear panel S-video connection
  • Composite A/V: The TV feature two rear panel composite audio/video RCA connections.
  • 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.
  • VHF/UHF and Cable Inputs: Two RF inputs that connect to your Cable and VHF/UHF antenna.
  • PC IN: Use the RGB connection to connect a personal computer's video output connector using HD15-HD15 cable (supplied analog RGB cable).

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