Although the 65XBR10W can display HDTV, you'll be watching plenty of standard NTSC programming in the coming years. With standard movies from satellite or a regular DVD player, the set's upconversion circuit caused "stairstep" artifacts in scenes with vertical motion - a problem I've encountered on many HDTVs. Of course, one way around it is to use a DVD player with a progressive-scan output, which is what I did. The result: anamorphic widescreen movies looked incredibly good - perhaps as good as on any rear-projection TV I've reviewed so far.
Though I'm not always thrilled by the offerings on DirecTV's HBO-HD channel (HDTV may be great, but it can't make a bad movie good), a high-def satellite transmission of Edward Scissorhands - a movie I really like - was airing while I had the Sony set up in our studio. While the set's 7-inch CRTs may not squeeze out as much detail as 9-inch tubes, I could still discern the powdery texture of Edward's Gothic pancake makeup as well as his poorly applied scars, which looked like something from a kid's Halloween costume. Colors looked vibrant, especially in the Christmastime scenes, which abounded in glowing greens and reds. Even so, the flesh tones of the characters looked natural. Winona Ryder's face retained its pure, almost opalescent tone, while her boyfriend's mean mug came across as an angry, ruddy shade.
Sony's KV-65XBR10W is an impressive big-screen HDTV monitor at a competitive price. Once it was properly set up, high-def programs and DVD images delivered by a progressive-scan player looked great on its 16:9 screen. I must say I'm baffled that a manufacturer as savvy as Sony would provide only one wideband component input. Still, if I had $5,500 to spend and enough space in my living room for a really big HDTV, you can be sure I'd take a long, hard look at this one. S&V
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