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It continues the Sony tradition of faithfully delivering accurate picture quality without ever becoming ostentatious. The set is far from the cheapest TV of its size available; other brands offer models with similar basic features for about half the price.

However, the proof is in the performance, and Sony proves itself against the competition. Design: Slight and clean Reflecting its excellent but somewhat understated performance, the Sony 50WB is slim and subtle. Half the set is 2. There are no controls on the minimalist front of the TV, but buttons behind the left side of the screen allow you to control the TV and navigate the menus should your remote go missing.

This Sony also has all the necessary inputs and outputs, including four HDMI, and two USB ports, as well as composite and component video and analog audio in and out. It will deliver Dolby surround sound via an optical digital output should you want to feed the audio to an outboard system. Features: Fully loaded The 50WB has nearly everything that a family or movie fan could want.

Sony supplies smart TV apps, which cover dozens of popular services, from Netflix to Vudu. Sony also touts its own music and video services under the Unlimited brand more about that later. The set can play native 3D content from special Blu-ray discs or simulate 3D by upscaling 2D programming, which is less compelling.

There are currently scores of games available and Sony plans to eventually offer more than titles. The only feature missing is a built-in video camera, which comes in handy if you want to do a whole-family Skype chat. You can select from more than a dozen picture modes, each optimized for a different type of programming from animation to sports. And then you can adjust a seemingly infinite array of features, including such advanced parameters as dot noise reduction and smoothing, which attempts to remove jagged edges and stray pixels.

Sony Entertainment Network includes not just games but also Sony Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited for on-demand rentals and purchases. There are also some free casual games like backgammon and blackjack. Our only complaint with the smart TV component was that it was a little slow to respond; clicking out of an app would interrupt the movie we were watching for a second before returning to the main tile display of apps.

The designers could not leave well enough alone and added curved function buttons around the primary four-way directional pad.

Image Quality: Satisfying viewing experience There are so many possible adjustments available that the 50WB is something of a chameleon, able to adapt to nearly every taste and program source.

Standard mode, for example, worked best with standard-resolution DVDs, reducing artificially induced contrast, maintaining consistent colors and minimizing dot crawl noise what looks like stray dots traversing the screen. However, it really benefits from higher-resolution Blu-ray discs.

In our instrument tests, Cinema delivered the best results in terms of color accuracy, shadow detail and other quality aspects.

Viewers accustomed to cranking up the sharpness controls, on the other hand, may feel the focus is a little soft on details although that can be adjusted as well. In a Blu-ray of The Red Shoes, skin tones looked luminous, and the blue hues of the Mediterranean were enticing. Click image below to enlarge. The only gripe I had with color reproduction was using the Standard mode Vivid was always too much for us to watch a football game recorded at p.

While the field looked green rather than too blue or yellow , the picture tended to be a little too bright, a sensation that can cause eye fatigue especially if the game goes into overtime. A few picture adjustments, such as changing brightness, backlighting and sharpness, easily corrected the issue. Fortunately, the Sony 50WB handled all the scenes we threw at it with aplomb.

In darker movies, such as Aliens, the Blu-ray disc scenes of dank corridors and monsters hiding in the walls were rendered cleanly while maintaining accurate colors.

Rust-red railings and green-faced victims were clear. The soldiers never would have missed them. Star fields in Gravity also looked remarkably good, with deep blacks that did not diminish the appearance of thousands of points of light in the background. Yet we never shrank from its effects. Such video processing can sometimes create more problems than it solves, adding software visual glitches and noise graininess.

The system makes dialogue clear without burying the rest of the soundtrack. The speakers never become bombastic. It rewards those who are willing to tweak its picture and has a full array of smart TV features to keep the whole family happy.


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