It's not going to be easy for a TV launching in 'late June' 2009 and priced at 'around £1,800' to justify its price, but the Z5500 series might just do so. As the model number betrays, the Bravia Z5500 comes in succession to the Z4500 series, which you may recall we rather liked. Hopefully the Z5500 will only be an improvement.
Three sizes of Z5500 will be available: 40in, 46in and 52in. All three sport 1,920 x 1,080 (Full HD) panels with 200MHz processing aiming to provide silky smooth images. Bravia Engine 3 processing should ensure both standard and high definition images are presented optimally.
An Ethernet port, coupled with DLNA connectivity, means the TV can stream media from devices on the same network. Connect a Z5500 series TV to the 'net and a range of AppliCast programs can work their magic, offering access to RSS feeds, weather forecasts a calendar among other widgets.
If you're feeling environmentally friendly then you'll be pleased to ear the Z5500 series consumes between 25 and 35 per cent less power than the last generation Z-series. Idle power consumption of a meagre 0.19W shouldn't worry the polar bears and the TV will automatically enter standby if there's no input, or - when a PC is connected - if no user activity is detected.
Further to those energy saving capabilities, there's also an ambient light sensor (which can be disabled) enabling the Z5500 series TVs to adjust their backlight level to suit their surroundings. And taking things to the extreme, Sony isn't packaging a paper manual - instead it's embedded into the TVs XMB.