Sony KDS-70R2000 £4800

24th Apr 2007 | 23:00

Sony KDS-70R2000

A simply gorgeous set with all the right bits

TechRadar rating:

5 stars

The strengths of the 70R2000 more than compensate for any minor flaws

Like:

<p>Superb pictures and good value</p>

Dislike:

<p>Dull off-axis viewing, SD looks soft</p>

It's not often that we look at rear-projection TVs, but we couldn't resist this giant 70-inch screen. Size aside, the 70R2000 is far from ugly. Connections include two HDMIs, two component video inputs, a PC input, a CI slot revealing the presence of a built-in digital tuner, and a digital audio output, which outputs any multi-channel audio that might arrive via either of the HDMIs.

The mammoth screen is actually the first to use Sony's new SXRD projection innovations. One of the benefits of this technology is that its exceptional pixel density allows it to routinely deliver 1920 x 1080 pixels. And that Full HD endowment is backed up by 1080p compatibility and the facility to show 1080-line sources on a pure, no-overscanning, pixel-by-pixel basis.

More excitement comes from the 70R2000's claims of an exuberantly high 10,000:1 contrast ratio (achieved via a dynamic iris system), accompanied by picture in picture options as well as Sony's widely acclaimed Bravia Engine image processing.

The 70R2000 delivers the best picture we've ever seen on a rear projection TV. Really, it's that good. A particular highlight is its sharpness and detailing, which does frequently spectacular justice to the extra resolution and clarity of a quality high-definition source.

It helps that the screen shows motion with none of the blurring or noise that can bother LCD or plasma rivals. In fact, there's no sign of any technology-related problems at all - the first time we can say this of any rear-projection system.

Also sensational are the black levels, delivering pitch-black effortlessly while retaining plenty of greyscale subtleties. These excellent black levels help the mammoth unit produce colours with a richness and intensity unprecedented in the rear-pro world.

If we're being niggly we might say that, while dreamy with HD the 70R2000 can make SD sources look a touch soft. Also, the picture loses a little brightness if watched from above or below. But these are pathetically minor issues when stacked against all the strengths. Even the set's sound is outstanding, for heaven's sake!

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