Sony’s 120-Hz television delivers terrific video and aces our video-processing tests. But what’s more interesting is that Sony has finally integrated streaming video capability right into the set — while also expanding online content options. In addition to free-video sources like YouTube, CBS, and a variety of Sony-owned movies and trailers, the W5100 also serves up Amazon Unbox purchases. (Sony plans to add Netflix later this year.) And if you’ve taken the leap and added a DLNA-compatible server to your home network, the W5100 will stream your pictures, video, and music as well.
With no in-built wireless, however, you’ll need a get-gadget connection to take advantage of streaming and Internet-enabled features. That and you’ll need some patience, too. Sony’s pretty cross-media bar menus move fluidly, but its Yahoo Widgets-based weather and photo apps don’t. Streaming video can take some time to buffer as well.
But once the stream begins, the 52W5100’s video processing and motion smoothing do an incredible job of cleaning it up. Web video that looks crappy on a laptop’s LCD looks noticeably clearer and crisper on the Sony. And DLNA-streamed movies and TV shows sourced from Unbox are not just watchable — they actually look good.