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Sony's reputation for innovative TV designs goes back decades. In 1970, when most TVs had a "wood-grain" look, Sony's Trinitron Profeel was cased in silver-tone aluminum -- a look the marketers called "naked."
Today, forward-thinking designers at Sony have provided such innovations as the user-changeable bezel of the Bravia and its "floating" design, a clear area that surrounds the bezel and makes the Sony LCD television appear to be set off in its own window.
Sony has seen the future and it is big. On the floor of the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show, the company showcased an 82" Sony Bravia prototype which may well become a production model later in the year.
Another advancement expected in 2007 is a module that will fit onto some Sony TVs, enabling them to stream video from the Internet without a PC.
Also at the rumor stage is a possible return to production of Sony plasma TVs, if a manufacturing arrangement can be worked out.
It might be reasonable to assume that anyone springing for one of the high-end Sony flat-screen TVs would also be connecting a home-theater audio system. Nonetheless, Sony has gone as far as possible to ensure that the built-in audio in its Bravia and Qualia TVs is listenable.
Of course, there are limitations to what can be done with thin speakers on the edges of the screen, and anyone really concerned about audio will want to add a subwoofer and extra speakers for surround-sound effects. But if you just want to take your Sony TV out of the box and plug it in, you won't be disappointed in what you hear.
Because 1080p is the highest definition available in today's television world, and because Sony has a strong reputation for quality, videophiles were eagerly awaiting the debut of the 1080p line of Sony televisions.
Many were delighted with what they got. Of course, you'd expect the set to process high-definition content well, but Sony's picture processing features also improve the appearance of standard analog cable channels.
The seven Bravia sets feature wide viewing angles and color-enhancing technology, come in sizes as high as 70 inches. In a move apparently meant to appeal to women, Bravia owners can buy a $300 bezel in one of several colors to replace the standard brushed-silver look.
You may have already installed a wireless router to allow various family members to connect to the Internet in your house. Convenient, isn't it? No wires, and you can move the computer to another room any time you like.
Did you know the same technology exists for TV signals? Sony's LocationFree routers let you wirelessly receive signals from your cable box, satellite or antenna.
So if you're sitting at your laptop in bed and suddenly get the urge to watch Nick at Nite, all you have to do is fire up a remote control. You can use the Sony LCD TV in the kitchen to take in those episodes of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" you saved to the DVR in the living room.
ConsumerSearch.com calls Sony's Grand WEGA KDS-60A2000 the "best LCoS TV," while Ultimate AV magazine names the Sony Qualia 006 an "ultimate choice." There's no doubt that Sony projection TVs have a distinct edge in the rear-projection market.
Of course, there's a price for that edge. The Qualia 006 costs approximately $10,000.
The Qualia 006 also boasts a production of more than 2 million pixels and the highest resolution in HDTV possible. It just might make the Super Bowl look better, even if your favorite team isn't playing this year.
If you're one of those have-it-all types, the feature sets -- deep blacks, stunning resolution, wide-ranging picture controls -- on Sony's projection TVs will wow you. Just be sure you have the wallet to match.