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VINE VOICEon 9 June 2012
Size: 46-inch|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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.
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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.
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on 24 May 2012
Size: 46-inch|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Well, from the title, you might be able to guess that i"m impressed. I'll try to keep it brief otherwise I'll end up in some Clarksonesque list of behemoth comparatives, so I will limit myself to touch on picture, build and functionality, and look at what could be better. here goes:


This is a very special looking TV. it doesn't quite have the glitz of Samsung TVs, or the OTT design of B&O or Loewe, nor is it as themed as apple devices. Instead, what it oozes is quality. The materials are solid, the canted lean against the soundbar base is elegant, the minimal edge and slim design (largely due t the clever inclusion of speakers in the discrete base) make this vast TV seem smaller than it should - at least until being watched: it really does blend into furniture rather better than most other televisions. As proof of this, when i told my OH that i had a 46" TV on the way, for my 4m x 4m room, she was aghast. In the end, she almost walked past it claiming it didn't look THAT big (she is normally not that hard to impress... or perhaps that's just politeness). The backward lean does mean that if the stand is used and your furniture and higher than a modern media cabinet, then it will likely be leaning slightly away from you. Also, putting the speakers in the base works very well in terms of sounding rich and deep (much, much, better than my old Samsung, but nowhere near as good as decent external speakers-amp) but does rattle the furniture and anything left on the furniture a little. The lean has some advances, however. for example, window reflections are less of an issue, and provided you can rely on ambient, rather than ceiling, lighting, then the same will apply to natural light. The remote is a little plasticky, and has no backlight. Samsung certainly do a better job with the aesthetics and ergonomics. I'm an evangelical Logitech user (Harmony one, brings joy to all who touch it!), so this is no big deal.


Navigation is a bit clunky at first, and slightly slow. The internet browser a little pointless, and the widgets, as much as they might be useful if you really wanted your favourite film interrupted by tweets, newsflashes, weather forecasts etc, are of little use to the average person. But there are so many things to commend about the way this TV interfaces with other devices. For example, with serviio installed on your computer, the TV will happily stream media from any wireless device in your network. The TV rapidly engages with USB peripherals, and simply connects to external HDDs via USB, to either play media (not if your HDD is Mac OSX Extended formatted, unfortunately) or use an HDD as a PVR. Slick. The jewel in the crown, however, is the ease with which this TV engages with internet streams. There is a fully working BBC iPlayer (truly, fully functioning, although finding live TV is missing) BBC news, and forthcoming live BBC sports (not in time for this sunday's Monaco GP, alas!) for the Olympics. My favourite (since I subscribe anyway) is the Lovefilm functionality. And no, this isn't just another Amazon plug, the function is truly awesome, with dozens of movies, episodes of TV series, etc, instantly viewable, in higher quality than Lovefilm instant over the internet, and with no charge for any rental. On top of this, Sony offers a fully HD PPV movie service analagous to MacTV.

The Picture.


Enough said? well, probably not, but this is truly stunning. the lighting is so even, that the darkest scenes are just flat and beautiful. The contrast seems huge and yet doesn't cause eye strain. The dynamic range is massive, particularly with dark tones, where the darkest shadows reveal inky depths and outlines, and deep rich colours, not just some binary black-grey blockiness. colours are perfectly neutral and lifelike. This is the only TV i have watched where, straight from the box, the colours look just right (it reminds me of the screens on big screen macs, which hardly ever seem to need calibrating, and just produce the most perfect prints with little or no profiling being needed). Skin tones in particular seem just-right. The whites seem a bit less perfect, and there is some blocking and colour instability in some scens. I don't really know if this is a source issue (watching a frozen planet blu-ray) or something about the panel. Either way, it is a miniscule concern, and in no way detracts.

Motion is exceptionally smooth (as Sony tout) I'll give this a mixed blessing, on one hand it mean there is no smearing, artefact or jagginess. On the other hand there is somethign a bit weird about some panning shots, where the fluidity is slightly eerie. Motion in 3D is exemplary, however, and there is no headacheyness, fuzzyness, eye strain or other discomfort as a result. Indeed, the whole 3D experience is impressive, neutral, understated, yet involving. Whether i'd rather watch Harry Potter in 3D blu ray, or Grand Turino in streaming realtime is another matter, but if you want a proper 3D experience, I don't think you can go wrong here.

The final thing to talk about is the scale and resolution of the panel. In probably not very many years, people will regard this sort of thing as old hat, but for now i have never seen a better picture, in a prettier box, with better functions.

Simply fantastic
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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!
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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)
Picture: Vivid.
Backlight: 5.
Contrast: 92.
Brightness: 62.
Colour: 60.
Hue: 0.
Colour Temp: Neutral
Sharpness: 25.
Noise Reduction: High.
MPEG Noise: Auto.
Dot Noise: Auto.
Reality Creation: Auto.
Video Area Detetction: Auto
Resolution: Max.
Smooth Graduation: High.
Motionflow: Smooth.
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!
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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)
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on 9 September 2012
I found the sound system more than disappointing. I could not detect any difference between the TV integral speakers in isolation of the sound bar and with the sound bar plugged in. I have an old Sony "steam driven" TV, type KD-28DX51U, which has a far superior sound system, and expected my new purchase to be at least equal to my old TV. After a week, I conceeded defeat and purchased the Sony Home Theatre System HT-AS5. This system is fantastic, and I am now a happy bunny. The TV, excluding the sound, I cannot fault. Olympics in 3D, brilliant. My advise therefore, is to buy the equivalent TV with no sound bar, and spend the money saved on the HT-AS5 or AF5. Learn from my mistake. Note that the HT-AS5/AF5 sound systems are embraced in the Bravia system, automatically controlled by the TV functions. I would be interested to hear what Sony have to say about there "fantastic" sound bar!
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on 7 February 2013
I bought the 55" version of the TV on the back of so many positive reviews but I have to say I felt let down by it and returned it.

I currently have a 40" Sony LCD which is a little lost in our room so I've been looking for a good 55" set for a while that didn't come with Samsung ES8000 pricing. As I spend a reasonable amount of time on my PS3 input lag, motion clarity etc was all crucial which is why I opted for this set. When I got the set unpacked it looked amazing and really filled the space well but when I switched it on things went downhill.

We spend a lot of time watching 720p or 1080p TV and films through Apple TV and they did look spectacular but when switched back to SD on Freeview it was virtually unwatchable. The few free HD channels looked fine but unfortunately there simply arent enough channels to only watch HD. It took some soul searching as this was the TV I had dreamed of, but it couldn't stay it really was that bad on SD. So it was packed up and the old set re-instated and life was good, if a little distant, again.

My advice would be if you have Sky, Virgin and only watch HD then go for it, I've no doubt you'll be happy. On the other hand if you're stuck with Freeview you'd be better to have a good look around before buying, just make sure you get to see the SD picture.
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on 30 September 2012
I've had this TV for over 2 years and decided the picture from the internal freeview tuner is decidedly wishy/washy (especially with SD pictures). So I now use a freesat box and get a much better (sharper with better colours) picture.

Stupid TV doesn't always remember that I've set it to external input once waking up after being on standby. Really annoying as I nearly always watch from my satellite box. Doubly annoying as sometimes it takes a minute for the TV to switch to a different input after switching on.

I have tried to connect up a USB hard drive, but found this TV does not recognize it. I contacted Sony who have suggested that USB hard drives which have their own power supply are not supported. So you must buy a USB drive which is powered only from the USB cable. Also it should be noted that the TV formats your hard drive in such a way that it cannot be read by Windows. Also the video files appear protected/encrypted and non transportable. I was able to see the hard drive under linux, but the video files appear to be in a non standard format that is not supported by any video player that I know of. So if you wanted to record from the TV and then watch the video on your laptop or port your videos to another drive then this is not possible. Because of this ridiculous level of copy protection and no time-shift facility the TV loses two stars!

The fast forward function when skipping through recorded films/programmes is really very poor. Only one or 2 frames are shown for something like 30 seconds of video. This makes it very hard to skip adverts or to quickly locate a point in the film. Also you can't delete or cancel recordings whilst a recording is in progress. I'm really very disappointed about the PVR on this TV. Would have expected something better considering the amount paid for the TV.

Most of the time the TV is non-responsive during the first 30-60 seconds after switching on the TV. I've checked the batteries on the remote and they are fine. I see the TV LED flash which acknowledges the remote, but the TV refuses to change channels very soon after switching on. This is very annoying and I need to check another TV in order to determine if this is a real fault or not on my TV.

I tried the DLNA. I installed homestream application onto my high performance laptop from the sony website. Then I was able to tell homestream to share a folder on my laptop with the TV.
Then on the TV I was able to see this folder from the media->photos/photos/music->homestreeam->folders menu. One negative was that the stream rate wasn't high enough to play high definition 1080i videos. The video was stop-start and I'm not sure if this was a bandwidth problem or a problem with the wireless connection. I found the starting up of the homestream software is unreliable within Windows 7 (64 bit). I was unable to get the software running the second time after I had run it once. I reinstalled the software and had the same problem. First time the software works fine. The next time I use it the software was unable to communicate with the TV (or vice versa).

The TV easily copes with fast moving action. I watched 'Quantom of Solace' the other day in HD and this TV had no problems with the fast action scenes.
The audio quality is more than acceptable and is just as good as my old TV (LG5700). I have no idea why other reviewers say it is poor because it certainly is NOT poor. If they want a sound bar then they should go and get one.

I used to watch all my TV through the PS3 playtv and I can say the SD pictures are almost as good. So clearly there is some good up-scaling hardware in this TV. The SD is almost as good as HD in some broadcasts. Sometimes I put the TV on BBC1 and the quality is almost as good as BBC1-HD.

I tried a 3D movie and it works very well. I thought initially there was a problem with the TV's 3D,but I found that I had to go through the video setup on the PS3. Then everything was fine. I have seen objects floating/offset in front of the TV by typically up to 30cm, but with special effects this occasionally has been as much as 1 metre. I have so far seen no ghosting or crosstalk problems. The main thing about 3D is the extra depth you get in the pictures. The 3D quality is very good. A big advantage of active 3d over passive 3d is that you can watch it from anywhere in the room. You don't need to be dead centre when watching the TV. Also you are getting maximum HD resolution in both eyes. Whereas for passive TV's you are only getting half the HD resolution in each eye. The 3D glasses I purchased (Sony 250) are not comfortable to wear over glasses.

The power consumption of this 'A' rated TV is incredibly low. I am seeing it only consume 50 Watts on my energy meter when on a HD freeview channel.

The EPG is very good. It is easy to skip to the next days listings. There's also a nice feature of typing in the channel number whilst in the EPG to jump quickly to that channels programme information. Also the scrolling of the EPG is quite fast. I saw a leading Philips TV and was astonished just how slow the EPG scrolling was and this was one of the reasons I chose this TV.
From the EPG you can select programmes to record and you can also do 'series record' (press info button when on a program) and this works very well. The only negative is that the TV automatically selects non-HD version of programmes when doing series record. I can't see a way around this problem.

The default beep heard with every keypress of the remote was annoying. I found this could be switched off on the settings->sounds (keypad tone) menu.

I was unable to find ITV or 40D catchup TV services on this TV. Various internet websites claim no Sony TV's have these particular services.
I have found BBC iplayer though.

One final niggle was the complete lack of handling slots (or grip points) on this TV. The back of the TV is smooth with few places where you can get a grip on it when installing the TV onto its stand or moving it. It might be a real issue if you live on your own because you probably need 2 people to safely mount this TV on its stand.
33 Comments| 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 5 December 2012
I bought this as a replacement for a 4 year old Sony KDL-40W4500 as it had a rave review from What Hi-Fi including positive comments on the sound. Yes, it looks great, the HD picture is terrific as are Blu-Ray & 3D images but I found the sound tinny and nowhere near as good as the W4500. I did manage to improve things a fraction with manual tuning but speech was still sounding poor as was everything else. I have now added a Sony HT-CT260 soundbar - another £250 on top of £70 for a pair of 3D specs. The soundbar solves the problem and makes an acceptable replacement for a cinema sound system with its wires all round the room. Sony should really be offering this TV as a package with a choice of sound systems. I can't believe that any serious movie and/or music buff would be prepared to put up with the sound emerging from the so-called "built-in home cinema system stand". I've always had Sony products and found them reliable and good quality. If you add a sound system, this TV is a winner but you need to take account of the extra cost before deciding. Finally, would it kill Sony to throw in a pair of 3D specs?
33 Comments| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

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