The Sony line show today saw a few announcements about new HDTVs, but prospective TV buyers looking for information on new SXRD-based models will be disappointed. SXRD, the company's LCoS-based, high-end projection display technology, has performed well in our tests--most recently with the KDS-60A2000 and the KDS-60XBR2. News of new SXRD products is always highly anticipated, but this year, like it did in 2006, Sony has kept the real details under wraps.
The only new information, according to Sony's rep, is that the baseline KDS-A2020 series, consisting of 50-, 55-, and 60-inch models, is exactly like last year's KDS-A2000 series, except that the cabinets are all black instead of silver. According to their live pages on SonyStyle.com, the new A2020's will ship March 15. The 50-inch KDS-50A2020 will retail for $,2299, the 55-inch KDS-55A2020 for $2,499, and the 60-inch KDS-60A2020 for $2,899.
If last year is any indication, I expect Sony to announce details on the step-up XBR series of SXRDs around June, or perhaps a couple weeks earlier. In the meantime, rumors will percolate on the capabilities of the new sets, so I might as well get it started now: I've heard they may have a 120Hz refresh rate. I can't really see the benefit, since blurring and image lag aren't issues with SXRD to nearly the same extent as they are with flat-panel LCD TVs, but we'll see.
True HDTV fans are also asking, "What about HDMI 1.3?" Sony's rep told me they're "not talking" about that feature. I believe that's because the company would rather push its own branded features that depend on 1.3, such as wider color space, than refer to a generic feature. Whatever the reasoning, I don't believe any of the A2020 sets have HDMI 1.3, but I'm fairly certain the upcoming XBR models will. Since Sony isn't talking, we can't confirm yet.