Sony KDL-60R520A Review (KDL60R520A)

60 inch, 120Hz, Edge-Lit LED-LCD

by , Senior Editor

Sony KDL-60R520A LED TV DesignWhat does the KDL-60R550A have that the KDL-60R520A does not? 3D is the answer, passive 3D to be more specific. Other than that the screens are identical except maybe slight appearance differences. The KDL60R520A has Wifi, Smart TV options with Sony's Entertainment Network, Motionflow 240 from the 120Hz panel, USB ports and playback, Screen mirroring via Wifi (for Smart phone use NFC compatible devices), and DirectTV DVR direct service without additional receivers.

Picture Quality

From the matte-type screen finish you get good black levels in the top and bottom bars of the screen (16:9 content) but not as much with images on screen. There is a bit of glare off the matte screen from in-room light but colors are realistic and enjoyable. Light throughput is not as brilliant as it is on some clear coat LED panels.

On the positive side Sony's processing is excellent so image edges are very clear partly due to the clear resolution enhancer technology built in the KDL60R520A. Edges are crisp and sharp.

On the less positive side, off center viewing is not as good as some of the clear coat panels out there and certainly not plasma TVs. Dark shadow detail is not great either. This LED edge lit LCD will do well in rooms with controlled lighting, and possibly less so in rooms with lots of lighting in the room.

Pictrure Mode Settings

Vivid: Juices the picture with too much blue, image enhancement and all kinds of false features.

Standard: Still too much blue push but definitely a saturated picture and OK for bright rooms if you turn off the other settings which interfere with picture quality (see Picture Settings).

Custom: Comes set near D6500 for a cinematic, film like picture.

Smart TV Options

The Sony Entertainment Network includes premium Apps such as Netflix®, Pandora®, HuluPlus™, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube™, Slacker® Internet Radio, Crackle and social networking through Facebook and Twitter as well as others. Sony claims Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity Widgets as well.

Here are a few of the included Apps that we have viewed and rated:

Yahoo!: Widgets Internet Apps Button on remote takes you there.
Blinkx: quirky videos, funny shorts videos rating 2.5 out of 5.
Dr. Oz: Short tips on better health. One minute videos. Rating 3 out of 5.
Crackle: Has 220 free movies (with ads) but some pretty good choices 4 out of 5.
Slacker: Personal radio with lots of music choice. It gives some commentary on the tunes and you can set it to a genre and just let it roll – providing background music if you want 4.5 out of 5.
Sony Digital Concert Series: A limited selection of 7 live concert recordings from Creed, ThirdEyeBlind, and Chickenfoot – at least that's all they have at the time of this writing. Recording quality is average and is of the whole concert. Rating 3 out of 5.
Sony Video Unlimited: Paid movie service $5.99 for HD Movies.
Bilabong: Poor quality Surfing and island clips. Rating 2 out of 5.

Apps can be slow loading. When I tried to load the NHL Vault App, the menu prompts me to go online from a computer to register for the service.

Bang for the Buck

This is a bang for the buck type of TV by leaving off 3D, and focusing on size Sony has joined Sharp in the price per square viewing inch focus category. This is a well priced strong value 60” LED TV. Competition is from the Sharp LC-60LE757U series, LG 60LA6200 and Samsung UN60F6400 models, along with some stiff plasma TV competitors like Panasonic and Samsung.

Robert Wiley Jack Burden joined the review staff of CEAG Inc. in May 2003 after finishing his graduate work at Harvard University. He has been reporting on consumer electronics and conducting product reviews for more than seven years... Read more about Jack
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