This is a review for Sony's 60 inch wedge design TV - the KDL-60W855. Most of the reviews posted here by Amazon relate to other Sony models. Only the 60 inch model has this design which is quite different from the other models.
On receipt of the TV my first reaction was how large it is. I already have a 55 inch Sony TV so had some sort of idea of the size of this set but and extra 5 inches measured diagonally across the screen actually results in a significantly larger screen area. In terms of dimensions the TV is 54 inches wide and 32 inches high - so a big set. It's also a fairly heavy set. This is due to the wedge design. Positively the TV certainly seems more robust than my 55" model which flexes easily.
Set up is easy and can be done by one person. The stand - consisting of two legs - needed to be fitted (assuming you are no mounting the TV on a wall). Each leg is held in place by two screws and the useful assembly instructions detail how to unpack the large box the TV comes in and attach the legs. The TV is held in place by packing materials whilst the legs are attached which makes the process even easier. One the legs are on it's simply a case of attaching linked devices and that's it. In my case this involved attaching a SkyHD+ box using a HDMI cable. An amplifier/blue-ray player and Apple TV box both link through the Sky box. Whilst heavy the TV is not so heavy that it can't be lifted into place by one person.
Whilst the TV wedge shaped (to increase speaker size and hence improve sound quality) it is possible to mount it on a wall. The TV is heavier than most similar-sized models abut at around 34Kg should not cause problems for wall-mounting systems for this size of TV. It has a standard VESA fitting so if you want to put it on a wall, no problem. You will probably need more than two people to do this though.
In fact after a bit of consideration I decided to wall-mount the set. As I've noted the TV has a standard VESA fitting. Four spacers come with the TV to assist in mounting the set. Attach these to the four mounting screws and the TV is ready to fit to the bracket. The key is choosing a strong wall mount.
Once turned on the TV goes though a set up procedure which involves linking the TV to the Internet (with using a WiFi connection or cabled one), a software download and options to scan for terrestrial analogue channels (in the UK there aren't any anymore!), terrestrial digital channels, and satellite channels (the TV has a satellite decoder built in). In my case none of this was necessary as all TV comes via the Sky box. And that's it. Overall probably a maximum of 30 minutes to set up.
Out of the box the TV picture is very good - bearing in mind that this is a standard HD set, and not one of Sony's ever-expanding range of 4k Ultra HD models, this is pretty remarkable in itself. The TV has the same resolution as my Sony Z3 mobile phone screen. The fact that the picture looks good when increased so dramatically in size is excellent. A HD signal - from Sky HD channels in my case - results in a crisp, rich picture. On a standard definition signal you can definitely see the different.The picture is unavoidably fuzzier. It's not bad, just not as good, and I suspect unavoidable.
So to features of the TV. I guess the most significant issue is sound quality. The wedge shape of the TV is specifically aimed at improving sound quality. Put simply, with most modern flat-screen TVs there is simply insufficient room to have large speakers. The wedge design results in more space for two larger speakers, and it does make a difference. The speakers have more more bass than my 55" model, the volume can be higher without distortion, and the virtual surround sound works better - possibly because the set is so large the speakers are a fair distance apart.
In terms of accessories, as seems to be the case these days, the TV comes with almost no documentation. There's a Quick Start document which is useful and a 'Reference Manual'. This is a weighty manual but only because it contains information in about 15 different languages. Only 15 of those are on English and I fear the term 'reference' must have been lost in translation. You have to rely on the Sony online manual accessed via the TV itself. I don't find this very user friendly and with so many options to tweak the picture and sound a proper reference manual really is needed. In terms of other accessories, again as is often the case, there are no cables at all so if you need an extra HDMI cable you'll need to buy it separately. The TV comes with a standard remote. Disappointingly the Sony RMF-ED004 Touchpad Remote Control
isn't bundled with the TV. This offers an alternative, in some ways simpler way of accessing common commands, plus has Near Field Communication functionality which means you can use it to quickly pair a phone or tablet to the TV to display video or photos. I already have the Touchpad Remote and find it useful. You do get two pair of active 3D glasses with the set though.
This is a smart TV so is linked to the Internet. I've seen some surveys that suggest that people tend not to connect their TVs to the web. It really is worth connecting this set to the Internet. First, it's easy to do. You have a choice of a wireless connection or a cabled Ethernet link. I use wireless which works fine. A clear advantage of having the TV connected is that as Sony introduce software updates for the TV they'll be installed automatically (if you select the relevant option). These updates come quite frequently - every couple of months or so - so it makes sense not to miss out on potential improvements.
Smart TVs of course come with Apps. By far the most useful on this TV is the BBC iPlayer. You also get Demand 5 (for Channel 5), Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and Sony's Video Unlimited, Music Unlimited and PlayMemories. Plus SkyPe's available, a web browser, and a range of more minor apps to provide you with weather forecasts, games, or video of mountain scenery and more. With a fast internet connection, and the iPlayer High Definition option selected, you can watch past BBC programmes in very high quality - as good as watching live via Freeview or SkyHD. No Sony TV's include ITV or Channel 4 on demand services due to an exclusive deal they've done with Samsung to only supply content to them. Irritating but that's the situation. I'd be far more bothered if the BBC programmes weren't available. Netflix and Amazon video services are also pretty good and, even on this large-screened TV, image quality is good. I personally wouldn't be without a smart TV.
Other innovative features. Well for a TV under development in time for the World Cup there's a "Football' button on the remote control that in theory selects all the screen and sound settings so they are just right to watch football.There's also a 'Social View' setting which allows you to watch tweets about the programme your watching stream across the bottom of the screen. You can tweet as well. If you've fitted the Sony CMU-BR200 Skype Camera with Microphone Unit for Sony Bravia TV
(higher spec sets include a camera built-in) you can watch TV whilst broadcasting your picture, and you can watch someone else if they have a camera as well. The problem with tweeting is that entering text via the remote is a bit cumbersome. I have a Sony bluetooth keyboard which I hoped might pair with the TV, but no luck. This would have made tweeting much easier. For Twitter fans it's an interesting extra. Plus, while noting special features, SkyPe is installed. Better if you buy the camera, but it works without it.
Overall, a high-quality, multifaceted TV set. It's also pretty good value. So worth five stars. I would advise other buyers though to look at Sony's Ultra HD models. They are not much more expensive and for this size of screen I think Ultra HD is a better bet. There's a range of Sony models which actually look exactly the same as this model, adopting the wedge design.