Bit of background:
Bought a £1800 Samsung D7000 55" from Richer Sounds earlier this year. Looked great, until I watched it at night. Then I noticed light bleeding at the edges and very poor backlight uniformity causing nasty clouding in dark scenes whenever there was panning.
Looked at MANY Samsung D7000/8000 sets in many shops and came to the conclusion that whilst some may have been better that the stock that Richer Sounds had, they all still had the problem to some extent or another.
Since it appeared to be a general feature of edge lit LED backlit LCDs from the all the reviews I started looking at the more expensive £2000 Sony HX923 which has a full panel array of dimming LEDs for the backlight.
I could see no bleeding or clouding issues at all with these. But getting hold of a 55" HX923 was pretty much impossible as they had just stopped making them... I ordered one, but after a week or two they admitted they couldn't get them.
So I moaned a lot on here ( ) and gave up.
Then last week I noticed an ex-display 55" 923 up for sale for just £1299. Was delivered for free yesterday, has a 5 year warranty and is absolutely spotless. Not a single mark on it or even on the 3D glasses.
As the front is just a single sheet of flat black gorilla glass I was expecting it to be pretty scratch free anyway.
Looks great as it is very thin with no visible border at all when off.
After a short period of calibrating I have to say I am very happy ( ). As it has dimming local LEDs the black levels reduce to 0. Watching a film with the lights off you cannot even see the shape of the panel on dark scenes, or even where it is just a corner of the screen in shadow for example.
Colours are excellent, it has a large palette than the Samsungs and with the smooth gradient software enabled there are no visible bands at all during things like Ch5's red screen at the start and end of adverts, or in the PS3 home menu, however hard you look.
Motion smoothing is something I'm a big fan off. I would have liked to have seen the hyper-realistic Samsung style effect, but it can't quite do that in any mode, instead it manages completely buttery smooth full 1080 motion resolution with very little soap-opera effect. (Most people would see that as a good thing, as it retains the film 'atmosphere'.)
Built in wi-fi means you can do all the media stuff like the Samsung, and like the Samsung it's all a bit naff as you are denied access to picture setting in this mode.
Sound quality is terrible. There should have been a built in 2.1 sound bar stand, but they haven't delivered that yet. The unit is just too thin to be able to house a good speaker.
Doesn't matter though as I will go through the proper 5.1 sound system anyway.
So I am happy that fate has saved me £700.
365 Electrical still have a 46" model left
If anyone wants one that size I would leap on it. Full array LED backlighting is a league ahead of edge-lit. Sony 953 is not available yet (and will be very expensive).