HIGH POINTS Great picture quality with HDTV and progressive-scan DVD sources.
My next priority was to converge the set's three CRTs, which Sony attempts to simplify through its Flash Focus feature. Push one button, and the set automatically aligns itself - not! A good way to test convergence on an RPTV is to tune in a financial news program and look at the text at the bottom and sides of the screen. After engaging Flash Focus, I saw fringing on the edges of the letters, which confirmed that convergence was off. Still, Sony's projection-TV service program provides a "commitment to repair or replace your TV within seven days" if you're unhappy.
With its Warm color temperature selected, the Sony measured very close to the 6,500-K NTSC standard at the high end of its grayscale, but its low end drifted toward green. The effect was noticeable in shadow regions of images, which took on a somewhat swampy tone. After calibration (see "in the lab" for details), the greenish cast disappeared and colors snapped into place. Watching the post-abduction library scene from the DVD of North by Northwest, I found the well-stocked library's wood furniture, leatherbound volumes, and intricately patterned oriental rugs so warm and welcoming that I wanted to pull out a novel and fire up a pipe.
Another thing that impressed me was the set's ability to convey fine shades of black. In the same scene of that Alfred Hitchcock classic, James Mason and Martin Landau hover menacingly around a befuddled Cary Grant. The Sony set rendered the well-lit interior with eye-popping contrast, pulling out bright highlights as well as the dark creases and folds in the bad guys' black suits. And when the action shifted to a nighttime shot outdoors, the amount of detail visible in shadows held.
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