Sony TV Lineup 2011
For a complete listing of all Sony HDTVs, scroll down or click here.
Last updated on 01/18/2013
A guide to Sony's 2011 TV lineup.
By Liam McCabe
Sony is a long-standing giant in the consumer electronics industry with a stake in just about every kind of gadget category imaginable. Their BRAVIA TV division is substantial, and they were one of the leaders in the push to LCD TVs. In the past few years, their influence has slipped. Perhaps it's complacency, or perhaps it's the glacial pace of bureaucracy that can sometimes creep in at huge conglomerations, but Sony has not quite kept up with their competitors in of market share in the US. That said, they maintain huge influence abroad, and still make some fine LED televisions: their high-end sets are all up to snuff with the latest and greatest specs.
Sony only offers active-shutter 3D TVs at present, but that may change soon. They're reportedly in talks with LG Display, the LCD supplier for -- you guessed it -- LG, to buy a chunk of passive-display 3D panels for a new line of BRAVIA 3D TVs. It signals a coming format war in the nascent 3D TV business: expensive and headache-inducing but high-res active 3D vs. cheaper and smoother but low-res passive 3D. If Sony moves to passive-type 3D, they'd be the third TV maker to shift to the format, barely one year after active-shutter 3D became the "next big thing."
2011 Sony Lines
Sony LED TVs
Sony will offer a wide selection of LED sets this year, from array-backed powerhouses to mid-range, edge-lit sets.
- The flagship HX929 series sports some of the "biggest" numbers of any TV available this year. It's a 1080p LED-backlit array set with 3D capability (active shutter, unfortunately) and an unbelievable 960 Hz refresh rate (18 months ago, there was a debate about whether 240 Hz sets were necessary, let alone this number). It's internet-ready with WiFi-n compatibility -- another must-have feature these days -- and the monolithic, nearly bezel-free design is a sight to see. Available in 65, 55, and 46-inch configurations.
- The HX820 series is a bit of a downgrade, but still packs quite a wallop. It's an edge-lit LED set rather than an array-type model, and the refresh rate drops down to "only" 480 Hz. But otherwise, it's another above-average 1080p, 3D-capable internet-ready set with contemporary features, a stunning design, and a slightly lower price tag. Take your pick from 55 and 46-inch models.
- In a bit of an odd offshoot from the main line, Sony also offers the NX720 series. It keeps pretty much all of the same specs as the EX720 below, but the design is decidedly less slick and modern, opting more for a regular 2008-era chunky-flat aesthetic than a circa-2011 slate. Still looks to be a great TV, and it'll be available in 60, 55, and 46-inch versions.
- Further down the 7xx line sits the EX720 series. Previous EX models have been "green" or "eco-conscious" or whatever the environmentally friendly buzzword du jour is from year to year. In any case, if it's like its predecessors, it'll save you a couple bucks on your energy bill each year, and since it uses a less-impressive edge-LED setup than its HX-series sibling, it'll save you a few more bucks up-front at the store too. Aside from the LED distinction, the 720s HX and EX are pretty much the same (both 240 Hz, both 3D capable, both internet-ready as well). Available in 60, 55, 46, 40, and 32-inch configurations.
- When we get down to the EX620 series, we're firmly in mid-range LED territory. It uses the same plain-Jane edge-LED setup as the EX720 series and still connects to the information superhighway, but drops the refresh rate down to a reasonable 120 Hz and leaves the 3D capability on the showroom floor. It's sure to be a good-looking, perfectly capable LED TV, and if we had to blindly pick a Sony model that will offer great band for the buck based on specs alone, it would be an EX620 TV. Available in 55, 46, and 40-inch variants.
- And for the "look I'm LED, too" entrant, Sony gives us the EX520. It's much like the EX620 in pretty much every way, but the refresh rate drops to a sometimes-blurry 60 Hz. If you're on a bit of a budget, it'll be fine to tie your living room together, and it'll certainly be crisper and brighter than either of the conventional LCD sets below. If it were our money on the line, this would be our low-end cutoff for the Sony lineup, 2011. Take your pick of 46, 40, and 32-inch screens.
Sony LCD TVs
- The BX420 line is a 1080p set with 5 HDMI inputs but not any integrated internet, nor any notable refresh rate, nor a notable feature to be found. This is a budget set, through and through, and depending on the cost, may or may not be worth a look when it's on sale if you need a TV for the bedroom. 46, 40, and 32-inch sets, yadda yadda yadda.
- And there's the lowly BX320 series. 720p, no features to speak of, but they'll be cheap and they'll fit comfortably in small rooms. Honestly, we recommend unabashedly low-end sets like this one before the half-baked 1080p LCDs these days. Even at that, you will see a positive difference with a brand-name low-end LCD like this over a store brand like Westinghouse or the doppelgangers impersonating RCA sets. The BX320 comes in 32 and 22-inch configs.