on 7 September 2012
We decided to upgrade our ten-year old TV to something a bit more modern recently and so (as is usual when choosing an expensive gadget) I spent many evenings reading reviews of all manner of TVs. A couple of weeks of this and my head was done in - way too many options, acronyms and features when all we were looking for was a nice family TV. So after the initial rush of storing 55"+ TVs in my wishlist, my search became a little more focused.
I used a TV size calculator (the Which website has a very good one) - which lets you plug in the size of the TV and will then tell you how far away you need to sit from it to be able to get the best viewing (or vice versa). We could have gone to 55", but went for the smaller size TV for a couple of reasons: cost and also because we have two young children and I'm not sure sitting a few feet from a relatively large TV will be good for their eyes or necks.
So after a bit more procrastinating, I had whittled down a shortlist to this Sony and the Samsung 6300 Samsung UE55ES6300 3D Full HD 1080p Smart 3D LED TV with Wi-Fi built-in and Freeview HD and 2 x glasses included (New for 2012). Both highly-rated manufacturers. In the end, the decision was made after a visit to the local John Lewis store. The Sony had a glass screen and the Samsung didn't - not sure what type of screen the Samsung had (seemed a little soft), but the thought of small kids poking their fingers into an expensive screen was frightening. The Sony's glass screen can take a fair bit of prodding and can be cleaned very easily. The Samsung also came with a whole load of "Smart" features, of which we would probably not use 99% of them. I have no intention of seeing family members on Skype in high definition, nor would I want to use the TV for logging onto Facebook.
Ordered the TV from Amazon because it was cheaper, but if you want additional peace of mind, John Lewis was a couple of hundred quid more expensive, but provides a 5 year guarantee.
The actual TV is amazing - with stunning picture quality for high definition channels. The colours are vibrant and the build quality of this TV is excellent. The kids love it as their cartoons look a million times better than our previous TV, my wife can enjoy watching dramas and soaps in high definition and I'm delighted when I watch Sky Sports - Formula 1 on this TV is incredible. The TV streams directly from various iPlayers, which means we don't miss out on any of the programmes we want to watch. If you have fast internet, you'll love watching iPlayer on this screen.
So far, we've not had to adjust the colour settings on this TV (we just plugged it in and started watching), but there are lots of websites out there advising on the appropriate settings you need for different types of TV programmes. You may need to watch out for some reflection on the glass - if it's in the line of sunlight, then you'll need to adjust your colour settings.
There are a three things that detract from an otherwise brilliant TV. Two of which may cost you a little more cash and one you can do nothing about.
Sound: the sound on this TV is astonishingly poor. The TV sits on a long silver metal plate, which doubles up as the speakers. The sound is tinny and the volume needs to be cranked up to make anything of it. I'd say that's the worst part of the TV. When we were in John Lewis, they had hooked the TV to one of these sound bars (Orbitsound T12V3 Spatial Stereo Sound Bar with iPhone Dock), which when switched on (you press mute on the Sony remote so you're not getting two sets of sounds) made a huge difference to the sound. This sound bar gives a much deeper and richer sound and there's no comparison to the rubbish Sony speakers. I forked out for the sound bar via Amazon, although it does mean I need to house the sound bar and the subwoofer somewhere. It also comes with its own remote, which is a pain as I now have a Sky remote, TV remote and volume remote. But it's worth it. When you see this TV in action, ask the salesperson to try it with and without a secondary speaker system - you'll notice the difference.
Tilt: When on the speaker/stand, this TV tilts slightly back at an angle. It's not noticeable when you view the TV head-on, but when you're sat at angle to the TV, you'll notice the lean. It's bizarre and I'm not sure why it's been manufactured like this. To get around this, we're buying a new TV cabinet with a cantilever arm so that the TV can be mounted and the Sky box, sound bar and games console can slot in underneath on the various shelves. The original speaker/stand will be relegated to a box in the garage.
Menu: the one thing you can't do is change the menu system. Using the Sony remote takes forever and the menu is just a pain in the bottom to navigate. We spent an hour or so entering WEP keys and setting the damn thing up. A more intuitive menu system would have been much better.
Overall, highly recommended as a great family TV. I've not seen another TV (bigger or smaller) at this price that is better. And given how much time I spent in Currys and John Lewis, I'd like to think I made the right choice - the family certainly thinks so.
***UPDATE 09 Nov 2012***
Just to let you know that 3 months after we got the TV, we're absolutely delighted with it. We still haven't manually adjusted any of the settings, but the picture quality is superb. Easy to clean little people finger marks and it was the right decision to get the secondary speakers, which provide a deep and rich sound. An excellent TV.
If you're still unsure, I'd recommend you go to John Lewis, Currys etc and see it in action, but please test the TV with and without a secondary sound system.
As I suspected, we're not actually using many of the 'smart' features, other than the iPlayers. We've got decent broadband, so there's no lag watching "iProgrammes" and the picture quality is excellent. Standard definition is good with this TV, but HD channels are where the TV comes into its own. We've also realised (but didn't notice at the time of purchase) that the TV has a dimming feature that apparently reduces the amount of energy consumed by adjusting the backlight levels to suit the picture/scene. Not something you really notice unless you're actively looking out for it, but if it helps reduce energy bills then great.
When we first got the TV, we tried looking at the web via the TV, but it was a pain in the proverbial with the menu and there was some lag between opening webpages, so we haven't bothered since. The criteria was always a good TV, not a giant laptop screen.
on 17 October 2012
I've had this TV for about 1 month now and bought it on the basis of the reviews here, so I thought I would add my own 5* review.
Setup is very easy, but you will need a cross-head screwdriver to put the stand together (about 10 screws). The instructions say you need two people, but I managed on my own. The difficult bit is picking the screen up and slotting into the stand.
The TV CAN and WILL topple over if you are not careful and don't bother tying it down... so if you have kids or animals, you would be well advised to make sure you have the ability to screw into your stand (some fittings come with the TV). It can be tempting not to do this as the instructions leave it in as an optional after-thought and you'll probably just want to get watching things.
The screen is amazing and I love having the HD tuner built-in. The sound is fine for a TV, but doesn't do the same job as separate amp and speakers. The smart features (e.g. iPlayer, YouTube) are great for me, but I was disappointed that the web browser doesn't allow video playback (I think Flash playback specifically)... as I would have liked to watch TED.com on there.
I've also just discovered the iPhone app... it works brilliantly and actually makes it faster to navigate around the menus, which I have found to be quite slow in the past.
Not sure if my words have been more negative that positive, but rest assured this is a fantastic TV - you won't regret buying it.
P.S. I haven't tied my TV to the stand yet - a weekend job I mustn't forget :)
on 26 September 2012
I've owned Sony TVs in the past, but I still researched quite a few other brands before I bought this to get an idea of what was available, and what to expect. I went for the Sony because it seemed to offer good value, and ticked my "must have" boxes - built in HD Freeview, 800Hrz, enough HDMI/SCART/USB access for use with my existing equipment, and WiFi connection. It arrived securely packaged, and the assembly instructions were clear and in plain English. It took two of us less than 10 minutes to have it mounted and switched on. The basic set up takes no time at all and there is plenty of scope for tweeking if you're bothered. The manual is electronic and gives excellent instruction.
The picture quality is excellent, and the sound bar gives better than average sound - more than adequate for most domestic situations and much better than the basic 'back of the monitor' speakers (although I've since gone for a wall mount and 5.1 surround in preference). The XR800Hrz motion makes a real difference and is worth the investment on its own. Freeview HD and WiFi work as expected, and internet connection is good. The connections on the rear of the monitor are clearly labelled and easy to use. I wasn't that fussed about the 3D capability when buying, but the picture is, again, excellent and BD 3D can be amazing with film given the right content.
Why not 5 stars? Well, nothing's perfect. If I was being picky, I'd say that the sound bar is only "good" and you'd be better off investing in a 5.1 or 7.1 system to really take advantage of the 3D sound capability with Blue Ray. The remote control is a bit fiddly at times, especially if you're trying to change some of the non-basic settings to suit programme content - finding the right sequence of buttons to press can be a bit of a faff.
on 27 October 2012
Sony have always had a great name for televisions, a fact that's been eroded in the last two or three years by a series of lacklustre sets from the electronics giant. Admittedly most of the sets I've bought over the years have been manufactured by Sony, because generally I've found them to be reliable, and good performers. After reading a few positive reviews I decided to finally go for this one to replace my last set. I actually watch most films on a HC6000 Mitsubishi projector but a TV for occasional viewing of stuff is what I wanted in another room. Firstly the neatly packed TV is surprisingly light - around 19Kg for a 46" set with a speaker base is pretty good and a nice contrast to the memory of lugging a 50Kg 28" CRT set up the stairs to my bedroom! Setting it up takes 40 minutes or so and once unpacked involves bolting it to the sound base (unless you plan on attaching it to the wall - there are holes for this but you'll need to buy the bracket separately). The hardest bit here is laying it carefully face down (on something soft!) and then lifting it on to the base that you've just got ready - easier with two people but I did manage it alone. It must be said that the set looks fantastic and really stands out as a modern piece of kit in your living room - the black glass screen looks lovely even switched off! While the slightly tilted angle serves to give it a contemporary edge as well as facilitating the viewing angle of the average sofa-seated human. I'd say it actually looks nicer in the flesh than it does in the publicity photographs you may see on line. The remote is neatly laid out and easy to use (it will also operate other equipment, such as a Sony Blu-ray player), and round the back of the set you'll find plenty of connections including several HDMI sockets, a Scart for your old video machine, audio outputs, USB, etc.
Switching on, initialisation is quick and you can be ready to go in minutes. The menus are attractive and intuitive, plus you'll find that you can connect to the internet to easily browse material there (albeit in lower resolutions). There are many, many personalisation sliders for image and sound control, from the basics of brightness/contrast/colour through to gamma, 'reality-enhancer', noise reduction controls, etc etc. There are some pre-defined modes for those who don't want to mess, though some of them look awful. Make sure you set the audio to come through the sound base rather than the TV speakers - there's a noticeable improvement in quality and contrary to many flat screen sets, it actually sounds rather good. Of course it's no match for a proper 5.1 or 7.1 set-up but the audio quality surprised me nonetheless. One small gripe is that the more advanced side of the manual is actually on the TV itself, making it more difficult to read about settings whilst changing them - there is a basic hard copy manual to get you started, however, I can understand the ecological reasons behind the decision so I think it can be forgiven. Image quality with Blu-ray Discs is wonderful - extremely sharp, colourful, and vivid, whilst black levels are excellent (this is a LED set with local rather than edge dimming, and this blows away older LCD sets). Quite surprising though is the apparent detail of upscaled DVDs - I've never actually seen DVDs look this good and I found it a pleasure re-watching a few of my old discs as they looked better than ever. Of course one of the main selling points of this set is the fact that it's 3D capable, specifically the active shutter variety (i.e. you get a full 1080p image fired at each eye, rather than the half resolution of the passive format). It doesn't come with any spectacles (the price point of the set is already very good and I guess it helped keep the cost down if it shipped without specs) so I also picked up the TDGBR750 (I'm assuming you know that you will also need a 3D Blu-ray player (if you wish to view 3D material - they are quite cheap nowadays) and a HDMI cable to connect the player to the set). Having watched a couple of 3D discs now I'm really impressed - you may need to give your eyes a minute or two to adjust to the effect but, once settled, the depth (depending on the film) is gripping and addictive to watch. Evident is occasional cross-talk (where one eye picks up the image intended for the other) but overall the impact is not a million miles off what you'd expect at a 3D cinema projection. In fact as soon as I'd watched one 3D Blu-ray I immediately went on line and ordered two more! It's incredible that we've got this kind of technology available in our homes these days. There is a 2D-3D conversion mode for standard discs but, whilst there is the illusion of some depth I generally think modes such as this are a waste of time.
£1200 may seem a lot to pay for a TV but you're going to be living with it for a few years and probably getting a couple of hours viewing out of it each day on average, so I think it's worth paying when you get performance this strong. It's pretty much the best TV I've ever watched anything on, and to get a hike in quality beyond this you're probably looking at spending two or three grand on a set. Given the best balance of price versus performance, I think the KDL46HX853 is something you seriously need to consider if you're buying a new set. It looks awesome, whether you're watching anything on it or not :)
*Update* It's worth noting that the LED control is switched off by default - switching this one (via the advanced picture menu) substantially enhances contrast and black levels. Also be aware that the settings for each input can be customised, but if the plugged-in Blu-ray player to a particular HDMI input also outputs a 3D signal then there are two batches of settings for the same input - one for 2D, one for 3D. Essentially if you've set everything up based on a 2D blu-ray disc then you will also need to customize the default settings for a 3D disc separately. You only need to do this once (i.e. not every time you switch on the equipment) and the TV chooses automatically, but thought I would point this out because altering the set-up for 3D separately is easily overlooked, but does yield significantly improved results if indulged.
Paul (The Grim Cellar at Blogspot)
The Sony Bravia HX853 is a big investment but for those seeking the home cinema experience it offers quality in abundance.
I don't think I've ever seen a picture quality as vibrantly colourful before. Having recently watched the Jubilee's pageant sailing up the Thames on BBC HD it was so wonderfully detailed that I could even put up with the BBC's inane coverage of the event. The TV runs in 1080p HD with Sony's dynamic detailing and colour technology producing something jaw-droppingly good. Watching the film Zulu on Blu-ray was even better than on our other Samsung widescreen as the vibrancy of the picture is made so much better. It will give films old and new a fresh appearance.
The Bravia's 3D technology works dynamically with the Sony active shutter 3D glasses to offer continuous high quality imagery. Having tested the 3D with a number of people it mostly got very positive marks. However some found that with too much 3D imagery happening on the screen (for example in Sharks 3D they used a shoal of fish as the foreground image in front of the shark) which meant some found it quite difficult to focus at times. This is likely down to your eyes trying to adapt to 3D. This kind of, perhaps excessive, 3D imagery is mainly subject to demonstrational pieces (like Sharks 3D) not regular films and overall the Bravia handles 3D extremely well (you can adjust the 3D levels in settings and this does help with the aforementioned problem). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows looked stunning and the depth given to action scenes was amazing. The TVs brilliant colour and motion technology, adding the range of audio from the soundbar, produce a top quality 3D experience.
The HX853 uses a sound bar stand to produce, maybe not surround sound, but certainly the range of sounds you'd expect from surround. The low end can produce some very impressive effects and the overall mix is done extremely well. Loud crashes are given the significant `oomph', and quieter dialogue comes through clear and un-muddied. You will hear the rumble of an oncoming storm or the grand swell of an orchestral score. Outside of true surround it's the next best thing.
The HX853 has a number of online features connected through its inbuilt Wi-Fi or through wired LAN. As you may expect most of the better services are subscription only. The Sony Entertainment Network offers a variety of the latest films in HD or SD for rental (at around five pounds). These can be one off payments however the other film services on offer (LoveFilm and Netflix) are both monthly subscription options. On demand TV services include BBC IPlayer, 5 on demand, Sky news and BBC News. Other online services such as Sony Entertainment TV, Music Unlimited, Crackle and Muzu offer clips and varying degrees of quality programming. The Bravia also features a range of Apps such as Skype, Facebook and Twitter. The latter two can be used as widgets and kept on-screen. You can also connect with other Wi-Fi devices to show videos, photos etc.
The Internet can be accessed through the TV's browser but I did not find it particularly easy to navigate.
The speaker stand in approximately 43 inches in width and 7 and a half in depth. The TV and stand is approximately 27 inches high.
While the Bravia HX853 is obviously a large investment the performance is undeniable. If you're planning to go 3D then you will want the best experience possible. Even if you're not ready to invest fully in 3D yet (as you'll need a 3D Blu-ray player, glasses or a subscription to Sky's service) you will have, not only the possibility of 3D, but an extremely high quality high definition TV. For the next step up in home entertainment and for those who want that full cinema experience it's more than worth the investment.
on 26 January 2013
My review is about how to get the best picture out of your new Sony HX853, and calibrate it to a near professional standard.
The Sony HX853 has a very good 'out of the box' picture, but you could have an excellent picture for a true cinematic experience 'as the director intended'. When you've spent all that money of a top of the range TV, why not now try and get the best possible picture out of it you can!
Most TV's and the Sony included exaggerate the colour blue in the display, which like washing powder make your whites brighter. Some people like their TV's this way, like turning up the bass on your stereo when listening to music - its a personal preference, but if you want the picture correct like you are in a cinema your picture will typically need correcting.
Before you do this there a a bunch of forums that have lots of helpful hints how to do this and it is worth reading through them (watching their videos)to understand what you are trying to achieve. I would recommend going to the AVforum website first as they have helpful videos WHY you need to calibrate your TV in the first place [...]
To be able to calibrate your TV you will also need a couple of things
1. A Calibration DVD with colour filters (most THX certified DVD's come with test patterns but not with the glasses required for setting your colour balance). You can also download a free test pattern disc from [...]
A calibration disc with get you a lot more out of your TV, especially using the test patterns to correctly set your Brightness and Contrast, so your whites are white and your blacks are a gorgeous inky black without loss of detail (eg a scene in a dark cave, where the whole thing look black and there are no shades of dark grey)
A while ago for my previous TV I brought Digital Essentials DVD/Bluray off here on Amazon which has all the test patterns and colour filters for setting up your TV as best as you can, with out going to the next almost professional level.
And to take your calibration to a professional level
2. A Colour Meter with HCFR colormeter software. This is very useful for setting your 'Greyscale' which is found in the TV setting 'White Balance' menu.
Colour filters with set-up discs enable you to set your colour balance correctly, but a colour meter lets you set the 'intensity' of those colours. Typically when you see a 'Greyscale' pattern, (a test pattern that shows bars from white to black with shades of grey in-between) light greys have a green tinge and dark greys have a red tinge. Setting your White Balance correctly will eliminate this.
I used a 'ColorMunki' as my colour meter brought off here on Amazon - see my review on how to use it. In conjunction 'HCFR colormeter' which is free software available from [...] and an easy user guide on what you are trying to achieve with it [...]
Now my Sony 55HX853 is truly outstanding, a marvel to behold.
Here is the list of my settings, if you search online for sony hx853 settings, you will find other peoples, and magazine professionals [...] Room conditions, ambient light, reflections all affect the picture and the best settings for YOUR ROOM.
If you have never calibrated a TV before, the oddest setting is changing you colour temperature to 'Warm 2' This is what the colour white should look like on a piece of white paper in the midday sun - and what all films use as a reference. To most people (me included) when you first change this setting everything looks yellowy, but when your eyes get used to it, you will realise it is correct - the same as when you go to the cinema.
These are my settings, and if you want to try them you are more than welcome, and you are only a reset button away if you dislike them. Also bear in mind my TV during daytime gets a lot of reflections from a window.
All Eco Settings: Off
Mode: Cinema 1 For daytime viewing, and Cinema 2 for night-time viewing.
Backlight: 8 When Cinema1 (cinema 2 night-time viewing back light set at 4)
Colour Temp: Warm2
Dot Noise Reduction:Off
Smooth Gradation: Off
Film Mode: Auto1
Adv Contrast Enhancer:Off
LED Dynamic Control: Standard
Auto light limiter:Off
Clear White: Off
Live Colour: Off
White Balance: This varies from one TV to another, and is where you need the ColorMeter to set right, but mine was
Using these settings in MY ROOM ENVIRONMENT the picture is OUTSTANDING and it was worth spending the extra money (approx £120) to get a TV that when reviewed costs on average £1500, which is still a lot less than getting a professional out to do it for you!
on 23 January 2013
I was deliberating between this one and the 753 model and as I couldn't see much difference between the two apart from a £300 price difference I plumped for the 753 model, admittedly I ordered it from John Lewis, then I came across more info that this model was vastly superior in picture quality so I immediately cancelled the 753 and tried to order this from John Lewis but alas they don't stock it any more due to new models being released this spring so I decided to purchase from Amazon as I've always been happy with and secure in the knowledge they are one of the best for replacements/customer service etc if anything should be amiss. I was somewhat miffed I had to purchase a separate warranty buying from Amazon as John Lewis offers their own free 5yr one. I only buy extended warranties for an expensive purchase such as this which should last numerous years.
Anyway, this beauty arrived very quickly and was very easy to set-up on its included stand. The 6 degree tilt backwards I was worried about before ordering but I have not noticed the tilt whatsoever so it's not a problem for me as I thought it might be. I was also not keen on the glossy screen, I can't stand reflections on tv's. Thankfully it hasn't been too much of an issue, the only time I've noticed a reflection is watching in the evening with a dim lamp next to me with the rest of the room in the dark. I can see a bit of the lamp reflected in the screen but it's not a big problem to fix, I'll just need to move the lamp!
Coming from a 32" HD ready Sony bravia that I've had approx 7yrs, the 46" initially looked massive! Within a few days it now looks more normal in my room. I connect the tv, dvd player, sky HD box, XBox etc through a Sony amp so I can't really comment on the poor sound described by others through the tv speakers but modern thin tv's are designed really to be used with surround sound systems anyway so if you don't have one make sure to include one in your budget or even a decent soundbar if you don't have enough room.
Out of the box the picture is really decent but having lurked on forums where they discuss the 'perfect' picture settings, set to scene: cinema. I proceeded to follow them but to my eyes it looked an awful lot worse! So I started fiddling and tweaking myself and let my eyes guide me. This is my 'perfect' settings:
Eco settings, all turned off. Scene select off.
General tv (24p)
Colour Temp: Neutral
Noise Reduction: High.
MPEG Noise: Auto.
Dot Noise: Auto.
Reality Creation: Auto.
Video Area Detetction: Auto
Smooth Graduation: High.
Film Mode: Auto 1
Until I made these adjustments I saw quite a bit of light at each corner of the screen, using these settings has minimised it so much I barely notice it unless I'm in a menu which isn't a problem. These settings also gave me a really good crisp, sharp, high quality picture that blew me away! I could be heard saying 'wow' quite regularly under my breath whilst watching tv for the first two days I had it! I hope my settings help someone get a good picture and you can then tweak it further if necessary to suit you. While I'm a bit of a female geek, I am not a total tech head who knows all the ins and outs of calibrating tv pictures but I found these settings worked for everything from general tv watching, xbox games, blu-ray player and streaming films from lovefilm at least for me so may be a good place to start.
Speaking of changing settings within the menus, I was expecting tons and tons of options that were hard to find and would take weeks and months to figure out after reading people saying they were unintuitive and difficult but I was pleasantly surprised to find that there isn't really as many options as I was fearing. Yes, some of the picture settings are under different option categories but its more tedious to keep delving into them all to change things than difficult.
3D for me is a bit of a gimmick and while it does work fine, I expected something more. Things don't pop out as much as I thought they might but that could just be me not having watched anything in 3D before and yes I was wearing Sony 3D glasses turned on, watching a Sky 3D channel before anyone asks lol
The wifi on the tv picked up my network instantly with 4 bars even though it's 150ft away from the router, shame about the sony 3D blu ray player I bought with £90 off it, bundled with tv, sat next to the tv I was lucky to get an internet connection at all.
I have no stuck or dead pixels, I don't see any banding or clouding, just an absolutely breathtaking picture! I find myself watching programs I never would have before, any excuse to watch and marvel at such a fantastic picture. SD pictures are just as good as my old HD ready 720p tv showing HD programs. It's THAT good!
on 20 July 2012
New flat, so new TV time, needed the biggest and the best and Sony have delivered.
I am a massive gamer and the picture and sound connected to my PS3 in 3D in unbeatable.
My Sky sports package doesn't have 3D but the 2D stuff is still incredible.
Build quality is great, the remote is good, if a little small.
Can't recommend enough. Go out and get one now.
on 3 November 2012
The TV itself is great especially at the price.
The angle at which the TV leans back on it's stand seems more noticeable in real life than the pictures would lead you to believe but is not a major problem.
The big problem that I had with the TV was the fact that it 4 or 5 attempts to get it delivered. The courier regularly delivered boxes that were damaged and had actual punctures right through the packaging.
They also delivered the TV on different days than had been agreed and when there was no answer left the TV with neighbours.
In the end I wrote to the directors and eventually managed to get the TV delivered in an acceptable way.
All the guys at Amazon customer support were helpful...but it still took over three week, many calls and much hassle to get the product delivered in an acceptable condition.
on 10 August 2012
Firstly, the picture. Holy mother of the television gods! It basically sends all other screens in the same price bracket to the corner of shame. There is nothing else I can add that will emphasise just how good it is.
There is a "simulate 3D" function which attempts to interpret 2D into 3D, quite fun for games such as Battlefield but not anything like true 3D by a long shot. True 3D is excellent. I highly recommend Despicable Me (Blu-ray 3D) as a good value and highly entertaining family movie for showing off the television. The 3D is used really well throughout with some very memorable scenes. Tron Legacy is also a cracking 3D title.
Be careful when purchasing the glasses. Amazon's prices do fluctuate, and sometimes the single pack glasses are cheaper than the double packs, as bizarre as that sounds. The TDGBR250 is the best on the performance/budget curve, but if you want to go all out with the best possible 3D image currently available the TDGBR750 Titanium Glasses are supposed to be a bit better. They cost about twice as much as the TDGBR250 glasses when bought singly. Do not buy the TDGBR100 or TDGBR50; they are out of date with more significant cross-talk.
Having on-board wireless and a Digital Freeview HD tuner is brilliant. I connected the TV to my wireless network very quickly and it downloaded a firmware update all by itself. Freeview was easy to set up, and it found a decent selection of channels including BBC HD (which has a brilliant picture). There's also a CAM slot in the back of the telly, so if you want to receive channels like ESPN without a package subscription you should be able to stick a viewing card in there (with a suitable CAM adaptor).
The on-board services like Youtube etc duplicate much of what I have on the PS3 and my Sony blu-ray player, so I haven't looked at them much. Judging by the rest of the somewhat sluggish menu system I think the PS3 will certainly give a faster and slicker experience.
For full 3D, you will need to connect your playback device (PS3, Sky+ box, whatever) to the television using a high speed HDMI cable that supports HDMI 1.4. I used the AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet which is cheap as chips and perfectly adequate. If you want to run your playback device through another device such as a surround sound receiver, then all links in the chain must be HDMI 1.4 compliant in order to play 3D content. That includes the cables, and the receiver.
If you connect your PS3 through another device and it does not detect a 3D-capable television, do the following:
1) Make sure your PS3 has the latest firmware upgrade;
2) Connect it directly to the television with a suitable HDMI cable, and go through the picture setup menu.
Here's what I don't like about the TV:
The speaker stand! While others have said it gives great sound, mine seems weak and tinny. I thought it was possible that I received a bad unit, but further research revealed a lot of people who think it's a joke. I had to turn the TV up to about 24 with films to be able to hear everything and this caused speaker vibration from the treble. I spent some more money on a Sony BDVE190 combined blu-ray player and surround system, and even this low-end 300W system blows the speaker stand out of the water. Switching between the two while content is playing reveals a truly drastic difference. I've now upgraded that to a BDVN790W, which is even better.
I know integrated speakers are always rubbish, but the "integrated speaker stand" is a substantially sized unit with high build quality, and Sony have missed an opportunity here to load it with decent hardware. Prospective buyers should be aware of its limitations.
The menu system! Slow, unresponsive, and can be awkward to navigate. Some options appear in various places throughout the menu system while others are difficult to find. Although most options which affect picture give you some degree of live preview of the changes, others don't. I recommend using the inbuilt I-Manual to learn about the various settings. Unfortunately the I-Manual doesn't give an explanation of what every single menu option does/means, but it covers a lot of useful features.
Neither of the above issues would stop me from buying this television again. It's a large and impressive unit with a superb picture. The "gimmick" of 3D, when executed this well, really does add a new dimension of immersion to films. OK sorry for the terrible pun. But it's true!