Sony’s KDS-A3000 series is a sure shot winner in the rear projection HDTVs category. The 55 inch KDS-55A3000 is the middle of the three sizes in the series. It is believed to be the most colour accurate RPTV available on the market today.
The 55-inch model weighs 81 pounds and its dimensions are 49.6 X 36.3 X 15.6 inches. It has a table-top design with extremely narrow sides and top bezels which makes the TV look as if it is all screen. This look is enhanced by its cabinet which is comparatively narrow in depth. This rear projection TV is silver in colour with black speaker grills, housing the stereo speakers below the screen. Along the bottom of KDS-55A3000 is a clear transparent panel.
The remote control of this TV is extremely basic and does not live up to the TVs standard.
The features provided on the KDS-55A3000 are plentiful. The selection of picture settings is plentiful. Along with the regular selectable modes for picture like Vivid, Standard, Cinema and Custom there are colour temperature presets like Warm1 and 2, Neutral and Cool. A combination of Standard mode and Warm 2 gave the best picture according to us. The Advanced menu has a Noise reduction feature, which cleans up video noise very efficiently. It also has a MPEG Noise Reduction feature, which does not function as effectively. The other features on the Advanced Settings Menu are Clear White, Black Corrector, Gamma and Live Colour. 120 Hz de-judder processing is the new craze in TV and Sony’s version of this anti-judder feature with two settings is the Motion Enhancer feature. This feature eliminates the artefacts in the transfer process of film to video.
All the inputs on the KDS-55A3000 are located out of sight but are easily accessible on the left rear side of the TV set. There are three HDMI inputs, which are 1.3 compatible in the video connection list. Other than this there are three composite video, two component video and one S-video inputs. The video connections also include one RF input and 15-pin RGB input to hook up the computer. Also included are one set of variable or fixed stereo audio outputs and an optical digital audio output for the audio connections.
Sony’s KDS-55A3000’s performance when compared to other HDTVs proved to be excellent and beyond compare. Colour accuracy, black-level performance and noise reduction in this TV was second to none. However the MPEG Noise Reduction feature was a bit disappointing. Also the KDS-55A3000 could not resolve the full 1080i signal in the Custom or Cinema mode leading to a loss of resolution. This however is not a problem as Sony plans to make a firmware upgrade which will be available free of charge through its website to A3000 owners in a few weeks time. The anti-judder feature is excellent and smoothes out the picture wonderfully. It’s black level and shadow performance and white field uniformity left no room for complaints.
Sony’s KDS-55A3000 is an HDTV with rear projection has wonderful colour accuracy and a performance which is beyond compare. At $1, 999.99 it’s a bargain and well worth a buy!!