In case you haven't gotten enough of amazing TVs you can't possibly afford in this awesome economy today, Cnet has reviewed the 55-inch, plasma-killin' tri-colour LED-backlit Bravia XBR8 we saw a couple months ago. Spoiler: Sony's setup didn't lie—it's the best LCD TV ever, falling just short of the best HDTV ever, nearly matching Pioneer's PDP-111FD (Cnet's best flat-panel period) in blacks, colour accuracy and bright-room picture quality.
Here's what's great: The black levels are near-Kuro deep. In dimly-lit scenes, blacks had "an inky depth in dark areas that lent superb punch and realism to the image, and easily outclassed the rest of the non-Pioneer sets." The only taint is that when bright areas are next to dark ones, it lightens up the bars a bit, so Pioneer wins here. The colour accuracy "is nothing short of superb" and after calibration they're as "excellently balanced and still as saturated as on the Pioneer." Its de-juddering mode is also the best they've ever seen.
Its few weak points: Image quality fades when you look at it from an off angle, the previously mentioned blooming with high contrast images, and the dejuddering can produce some artfacts, especially with a standard-def picture. Oh, and it's $US7000, the most expensive TV they've ever tested. On the upside, if you're willing to spend more than $US6500 on a TV, you apparently can't go wrong. [Cnet via Sony Insider]