2009 HDTVs Shipping Now-Buy A Closeout Or Wait For The New Model?

February 25th, 2009 · 19 Comments · LCD Flat Panel


Sony KDL46V5100

Update (Feb. 27, 2009)- Sony has revised its  dynamic contrast ratios as follows: S5100 series 30,000:1; W5100, Z5100, XBR9 series 100,000:1 

Change comes to the TV industry.  In previous years, most manufacturers introduced new sets between July and September.  This year, many vendors will introduce most of their new 2009 models between March through May.  The TV makers and parts suppliers joined forces to help create the earlier introduction in an effort to boost HDTV sales in the traditionally slow sales months of April through June.

Right now, the set makers are offering their respective retailers huge incentives in the form of instant rebates, extra discounts and other deals.  Overstocked with this year’s sets, the big box dealers must move them to make room for the 2009s.

Should you purchase a deeply discounted 2008 HDTV or wait until the release of the 2009 models?  HD Guru obtained details from the major vendors and industry sources and here tells you which companies make significant performance improvements and which ones simply offer annual style changes and added features, such as more Internet connectivity for specific widgets.

Today, we provide Sony information not found anywhere else!  Check back in the coming days for other 2009 brand updates.

Sony plans to release its 2009 line beginning at the end of Feb., with its entry level (Wal-Mart/mass merchant destined) L5000 series, followed by the KDL32XBR9, S5100 and “V”5100 models in late March.  The other XBR9 models are expected to ship in late April.  The Z5100 models will reach dealers in early May.  The “Green” VE 5 HDTVs are scheduled to ship in early July as well as the W5100 (except the 65″ which arrives mid-August).  Expect Sony to offer replacements for its XBR7 and XBR 8 later in the year.  They’re likely to arrive after July 2009.


The 2009 L Series models come in 22”, 26”, 32”, and 37” sizes.  The current 32” is discontinued this month.  The 22″ and 37” models 2008 L4000 models stay in the line.  Major features and specs include: 1365 x 768 resolution; built in ATSC/QAM tuner/ 8000:1dynamic contrast ratio (19”/22”); 13,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (26”/32”/37”); Bravia Sync (HDMI CEC); Bravia Link compatible, 1080p 60/24 inputs, Energy Star 3.0 compliant and new cosmetics (they got rid of the slits in the bezel bottom).  MAP= Sony Suggested Retail Price

Model                     MAP

KDL22L4000            $499.99
KDL26L5000            $549.99
KDL32L5000            $599.99
KDL37L4000            $799.99

HD Guru Verdict- If you’re looking at the 32” HDTV with 2 HDMI inputs and find a hot deal on the 2008 model, go for it.


The 2009 S5100 models come in 32”, 40”, 46”, and 52” screen sizes.  Major new features/specs are: 1080p resolution (60 Hz) 30,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (no standard contrast ratio spec is currently available), Energy Star 3.0 compliant, a USB input, new cosmetics (they got rid of the holes in the bezel bottom)

Model                     MAP

KDL32S5100            $799.99
KDL40S5100            $999.99
KDL46S5100            $1299.99
KDL52S5100            $1799.99

HD Guru Verdict- The 2009 Models appear virtually identical to the 2008 models sans the USB input, go for a closeout bargain on a 2008 S4100 model.

Sony’s dropping the 42” and 52” V4100 models in the first quarter, the 40” and 46” sizes remain in the line.  For comparison against the 2009 models, we listed the current retails.  Major features include 1080p; 60 Hz refresh; four HDMI inputs; 25,000:1 dynamic contrast, Energy Star 3.0 compliant, Bravia Engine 2 signal processing Bravia Sync and Bravia Link compatibility.

Model                     MAP

KDL40V4100            $1299.99
KDL42V4100            $1399.99
KDL46V4100            $1599.99
KDL52V4100            $1999.99

HD Guru Verdict- Look for deals on the discontinued V4100 42” and 52” sizes

The V5100 series comes in the 40”, 46” and 52” sizes.  Major features include 1080p; 120 Hz refresh rate; 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio; four HDMI inputs Energy Star 3.0 rated.

Model                     MAP

KDL40V5100            $1499.99
KDL46V5100            $1799.99
KDL52V5100            $2299.99

HD Guru Verdict- The V5100 represents a $200 (40”& 46”) or $300 (52”) step-up for the 120 Hz refresh rate feature.  120 Hz provides a near doubling of motion resolution over 60 Hz models.  Watching sports or action programs/movies a 120 Hz refresh rate looks sharper during motion and pans.  Compare these models against the 2008 120 Hz “Z” series currently being closed out.

The 2009 VE5 “Green” (lower power consumption) series is new for 2009.  It comes in the 40”, 46” and 52” screen sizes.  Major features/specs include 1080p resolution, 120 Hz refresh rate, Bravia Engine 2 signal processor, and 50,000:1 dynamic contrast, and of course, it is Energy Star 3.0 certified.

Model                MAP

KDL40VE5            $TBA
KDL46VE5            $TBA
KDL52VE5            $TBA

HD Guru Verdict- There is no 2008 model to compare the VE5s against.  Aside from the environmental benefits of lower power consumption, will you save money by choosing a VE5 model over V5100?  It’s too soon to call, we’ll need to wait for some real world test data and learn how many additional dollars Sony is charging for the “green” feature.

The 2009 32” XBR9 shares the same specs and features as the V5100 series models, including 1080p resolution; 120 Hz refresh and four HDMI inputs.  It replaces the KDL32XBR6.

Model                     MAP

KDL32XBR9              $1099.99

HD Guru Verdict-The 32” XBR9 appears to have similar performance specs to the 2008 32KDLXBR6.  The retail of the 32XBR6 is $999.99, $100 less.  Look for a close out deal on the 32XBR6.

The W5100 series will be available in the 40”, 46” 52” and 65″ screen sizes, however they won’t ship until July.  It replaces the 2008 W4100 series, which is being discontinued this month.  Major features include: 1080p, 120 Hz refresh rate, Bravia Engine 3 signal processing, 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, Bravia Internet/Widgets, TV Guide On Screen program guide, new cosmetics and Energy Star 3.0 compliance.

Model                MAP

KDL40W5100            $TBA
KDL46W5100            $TBA
KDL52W5100            $TBA
KDL65W5100            $TBA

HD Guru Verdict- The only major change from the 2008 W5100 line appears to be the Bravia Internet connectivity and a new signal processor.  Consider one of the current closeout models.

The Z5100 series will be available in the 40”, 46” and 52” screen sizes.  Major features and specs include 1080p resolution, 240 Hz refresh rate, 10 bit LCD panel, Bravia Engine 3 signal processor, 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, Bravia Internet Video/Widgets connectivity, light sensor, four HDMI inputs, new cosmetics and Energy Star 3.0 compliance.

Model                     MAP

KDL40Z5100            $TBA
KDL46Z5100            $TBA
KDL52Z5100            $TBA

HD Guru Verdict- The 2009 Z series major improvement over the 2008 Z4100 models is its 240 Hz refresh rate.  While on paper this signifies better motion resolution, we need to test a production unit to evaluate the degree of improvement, and learn if there are any tradeoffs, such as additional artifacts.  The 2008 Z4100 120 Hz line is already being heavily discounted.  For example, Best Buy is advertising the 46” KDL46Z4100  $1479.99 and you can find it on line for even less.


The XBR9s replaces the 2008 XBR6 models in the 40”.  46” and 52” sizes with 1080p resolution and a 240 Hz refresh rate and a 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.  Changes include wide color gamut cold cathode fluorescent backlights (WCCFL), Bravia Engine 3 signal processor, new cosmetics and Energy Star 3.0 compliance.

Model                    MAP

KDL40XBR9            $2799.99
KDL46XBR9            $3099.99
KDL52XBR9            $3699.99

HD Guru Verdict- The biggest performance change in the XBR9 over the soon to be discontinued XBR 6 models is the 240 Hz refresh rate (up from 120 Hz in the XBR6s).  The retail price differential comes at an $800 premium for the 40” model,  $400 additional for the 46” and $300 more for the 52”, making it a tough choice without seeing testing Sony’s 240 HZ XBRs.  HD Guru suggests checking out the close out pricing of the XBR6s before deciding to hold out for the new model.

The KLV40ZX1M 40″ 9mm thick LED backlit monitor introduced last Dec. will be continued unchanged.  Sony has not released any details on its 2009 replacements for XBR7 and XBR8 series.

Have a question for the HD Guru?

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19 Comments so far ↓

  • Kathy St.Onge

    Sony may produce a good product in most cases but when they don’t, in the case of the KDF55WF655, Which we purchased several years ago and have had nothing but problems with, they do NOT try and FAIRLY rectify the situation with their consumers and are ARROGANT in their attitudes. We were offered a certain replacement model at a discount price for a two week period and when we reluctantly decided to replace the old set with one of the newer models offered we were told it was no longer avaialble.

    Sony’s customer serive is the PITS! they do not give a darn about their consumers and the company representatives exude a pompus arrogant attitude when dealing with them.




  • James Friedman

    Okay first off they are totally wrong about the W5100 series TV. I just bought it and it’s 100,000 dynamic contrast so it doesn’t even compare to the W4100’s 30,000 ratio. Also the 5100 has the Bravia 3 engine and the 4100 has the Bravia 1…buy the W5100 it’s worth it for the price!

  • Sony No Baloney

    Chance Stevens posted
    Over at TVLampsnbulbs, we’re guessing the 52XBR9 will be $3,499. It will be interesting to see how Sony prices these televisions since they’ve lost the #2 spot to Vizio.

    There aren’t many people in the $3,000+ market but I guess anything is possible.

    Sony builds the best TVs PERIOD. Vizio is ok, but for the blue collar crowd.
    You need to refine your standard bucko.

  • Chad Jenison

    It appears that in the 2009 series, the XMB user interface is only accessible with the W5100 and Z5100, while in the 2008 series, the V4100 had XMB.

  • George

    Although I have read here about the discontinuation of the KDL52XBR6, I do not see much price movement from Sony on this model. Why is this?

  • Steven

    I’m work in Sears of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The price of a 40W4100 is $865.

    I have in the store a UN46B7000 SAMSUNG LED 1,000,000 DyContrast. This TV images are *********** amazing. Is 1.2″ wide…

    The major Sony competition and the price is much better.

  • Miami

    So what does the 46w4100 compare to for 2009? and is it worth buying the discount model?

  • The1Unknown

    One thing that I dont understand is that why does sony keep on raising the prices on these dam newer model TV’s I would expect not to pay 2k for a 40’inch xbr9 WTF? since the economy is all mest up.

    What are they trying to rip people off?

  • tim bierman

    I own a 46Z4100 and have had nothing but problems with it. I have been without the TV for going on a month now and Sony couldn’t care less. Their authorized service center is laughable . Their customer service is a poor excuse for service. And, their exchange department is reluctant at best and unfair . They want to exchange my TV which i bought in mid Nov 2008 and functioned properly for less than 3 weeks for a lesser model’
    I made the unfortunate mistake of purchasing a Sony from sonystyle.com
    I would rather have AIDS than a Sony st this point
    just a warning

  • NJ Steve

    New Sony? Where’s the l-a-r-g-e screens? 70″ etc?

  • mary

    my husband and i are looking to purchase a second tv for the basement, we don’t have it hooked up to satellite as the upstairs is, we do have a converter box and small antennae, we usually only watch the local news am and pm along with enjoying videos. we are looking at the sony bravia L4100 and L5100, the latter being around price of 599.99,what do you think, is this a good deal, or should we wait a bit and see if prices come down? we would need to purchase a dvd also, should we go with an upconversion or just the regular dvd? what are the pros and cons? thanks for your input.

  • mark

    up to last year Sony used Samsung’s panels, they have switch to Sharp panels for 09, Vizio uses chinese made panels hence the lower quality in picture

  • Rob

    Costco has great deals on the smaller Sony’s (up to 32″ and great deals on the Vizio’s as well as older Samsungs and panasonic Plasma’s. Are the “Guts” made by the same company(S)?

  • Allen West

    I see a 65″ “W” series. Is this Sharp Glass? Will be interesting to see if Sony can price something large in LCD that doesn’t price itself more like an automobile. You’d think they’d learn by now after Qualia line and the 70″ outlandish priced LCD’s.

  • Chance Stevens

    Over at TVLampsnbulbs, we’re guessing the 52XBR9 will be $3,499. It will be interesting to see how Sony prices these televisions since they’ve lost the #2 spot to Vizio.

    There aren’t many people in the $3,000+ market but I guess anything is possible.

  • FiguredMaple

    I’m also looking forward to the HD Guru’s advice on the new Panasonic plasmas!

  • B. Factor

    Thanks for the great info! I can’t wait to hear your advice for the Panasonic plasmas….

  • Hammer

    Conn’s here in Texas has the Sony 32 XBR6 on sale for 599.99. I see it at Crutchfield for 999.99 and one other place for 799.99. It is 1080P but not 120Hz but sounds like a good deal if you want a 32″!

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