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on 7 June 2012
Size: 46-inch|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This TV comes with a slim stand that has speakers built into it - A theatre stand. Ascetically, this is different in a few ways. Firstly, the TV sits low on the stand and the overall height of the unit is only the same as our previous 40" LCD - Good. Secondly, the TV leans backwards on the stand - not seen this before - seemed odd at first, but after a few days we don't even notice it. It just looks great. The screen is quite reflective, and because it leans back, you have to be careful about wall lights etc behind you as it tends to reflect them.
As to performance as a TV ... It has a Freeview digital tuner that also receives the HD free channels.
We also use a Sony Freeview HD + recorder and this works well with the TV.
It has 4 HDMI sockets and various others as per spec. Having 2 USB sockets is useful. Great for running a slide show, or choose a favourite photo for the day using this beautifully lit screen as a picture frame. Again, looks great.
The picture quality is excellent. It just is. And of course there are lots of settings to personalise this.
The sound is adequate for such a slim unit. I've been spoilt by a previous CRT TV that had built in sub-woofer and 4 satellite speakers which gave a fab sound. But honestly, it's not bad.
Now to 3D. We have watched this through a blu-ray player using 3D DVDs. You need Sony's powered 3D glasses which don't come cheap either. Once goggled up, the 3D is very effective. Don't forget, everyone needs glasses, and cinema glasses don't work at home - just so you know.
It is also a 'smartTV', so it connects to your router (easily) and you can stream iplayer, skype etc as you so choose. For the modern generation it is very versatile. We are well pleased with this TV. It's a super package.
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on 2 November 2012
This product is well made and aesthetically pleasing to the eye,the sound is adequate and the picture is stunning,but,only when you sit in front of the tv,when you watch from an angle the picture washes out,hence that is why Which did not give it a best buy,but overall i am pleased with my purchase.
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on 7 August 2012
Just picked up this TV today and all I can say is wow! have been looking around for weeks online and in stores and kept on reading reviews etc.... glad I choose this one in the end though.

Well done Sony!
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VINE VOICEon 28 May 2012
Size: 46-inch|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This TV is pretty much a triumph of aesthetic and technical design for Sony - it is a very special TV and if this is Sony's vision of where smart TVs should be currently then the vision is good and Sony have a deserved flagship TV in their product line.

Out of the box this TV was relatively easy to set-up... the hardest bit was fixing the mounting bracket to the stand, and that was only because we couldn't find the mounting screws in the box! Assembly after that was straightforward - the TV looks odd at first with a slight offset to the vertical, in fact it almost looks like a very large laptop PC screen. The TV sits very tightly to the small stand - in some quarters this TV is called the "monolith" as when turned off, the smooth black gorilla glass rises straight up from the stand and looks very elegant. The design of the TV exterior is fabulous - well thought out and looking simple and uncluttered, with a discrete Sony logo at the bottom of the screen. Brilliant stuff - but Sony do manage to lose a few points for the TV remote. Having supplied a breathtaking looking TV, which would impress anyone, they have issued a horrible plasticky, standard type Remote that would look equally at home with one of my old budget VCRs from years ago... Come on Sony, this TV deserves something better, a gorilla glass touch remote with illuminated keys perhaps? Something to match the elegance of the design. Sony's future Smart TV competition will probably come from a company who have a deserved reputation for their attention to detail in the design and Sony could and should spend a little time on details like the remote control.

Having said that, there isn't much else to criticise about this TV - the picture straight out of the box was stunning - vivid colours and contrasts in SD mode, with no evidence of horrible juddering or blurring - although the upscaling isn't always as good as one would want but that is more to do with the SD picture source than the TV. Quite a revelation in SD mode, the real picture revolution comes when watching HD or 3D pictures.... HD is amazing, the clarity and colours make you think that you are inside the scenes, they are so realistic - and in 3D for the very first time, no shadowing or haloiing, just bright dizzying 3D - I tried Resident Evil and Hugo to exercise the 3D and both films were absolutely fantastic to see - I saw things that weren't visible on my old 3D TV and everything was brighter and crisper - most of this has to be down to the TV and its picture processing (although for 3D, the glasses probably have improved technology too). Like the other reviewer, I haven't seen such a good picture in a similar sized LED TV - it really has to be seen to be appreciated.

The speakers for the TV are built into the shallow base and Sony claim that they give a cinema type sound - well, it has to be said that the sound is much clearer and better defined than normal built in TV sound, but I don't think they quite manage to come close to a home theatre surround sound experience - the bass isn't quite there and the speakers let in a touch too much midrange for me - yes they are good but not as good as my own sound system.

For connectivity, this TV excels too - connection to home wi-fi was relatively easy - the hardest bit is entering your SSID key using the remote control. Once this has been done, there is access to streamed content - BBC I-Player, 5 On Demand, You Tube, NetFlix, LoveFilm (both need subscriptions) and SEN (Sony Entertainment Network) which also needs subscription- one glitch I found was that to get LoveFilm working, you have to subscribe to SEN and activate your subscription through this website. The instructions on-screen didn't match what was actually needed to get LoveFilm working and this was a little frustrating. With subscriptions activated and a good internet connection, this TV makes sure that you are not dependent on the TV channels to watch decent programmes, in fact you'll probably end up streaming the content you want when you want to see it, which is what was intended. Lacking were ITV Player and 4 On Demand - bit of a shame, hope Sony adds these as soon as possible.

All in all, this TV is a cut above the rest in terms of performance and quality, and even though the price tag is quite hefty, this TV won't disappoint as it is in another league compared to most other TVs - the picture quality alone is worth more than the purchase price - If you're not an LED TV fan, you might well be when you've spent some time with this one - and for Sony this TV is a real winner - technically and aesthetically this TV is truly special.
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on 17 December 2012
This review is for the Sony KDL40HX853 3d telly - the 40 inch version, although I imagine it will apply to the other screen size models as well. I'm basing it on setting up this model for my parents. In common with most tellys these days, it will need setting up by either someone who is quite happy with technology or by a professional installer, otherwise you probably won't find out about serious problems with networking etc until the unit is out of guarantee.

NB: If you install onto the stand, make sure to fix the stand to whatever it is resting on otherwise it is sure to topple off during the process of connecting all the cables. The speaker base unit takes M4 (I think) bolts buy a couple in advance. If you put the base onto an existing TV cabinet you can just drill a hole through the top of the old cabintet and screw the bolt in from underneath.

The Good
The picture quality, colour balance, brightness, responsiveness, are really superb - better even than the best from Samsung/Panasonic.

Cabinet look/feel
Ultra simple, minimalist but sleek cabinet design looks well finshed off and very attractive in black.

This telly has a great range of features, including lots of services that can be accessed via the Internet including free to view watch again services (like iPlayer and 40D) plus quite a few pay for services like Lovefilm (I think it was that rather than Netflix) as well as Sony Entertainment's own on-demand services.
The Wi-Fi networking feature is great, though in practice if you have a networked DVD player and HD Recorder like BT Vision you will need a hub by the TV. Web derived services perform well even watching HD/3D content, providing your Internet connection is fast enough.
It is hard for me to comment on 3D performance, as I've only ever seen one other TV reproducing 3D content and that was on a development model several years ago (without any need for glasses mind you), but just from my limited experience with clips / demo content, it looks pretty good with the right content, but there are too many variables involved both in content production and then the processing for reproduction to predict how it willlook on this model before you see it.

The Bad
Sound - is really, really bad.
Don't take notice of any reviews that say the sound is good or even acceptable. You'd really have to have very poor hearing not to notice the poor sound provided by this unit. Those so-called professional reviewers who big up the sound quality in their reviews should be ashamed. Either they did not review this unit and just cribbed from the press release (shurely not!) or they reviewed a different product or have terrible hearing problems. The in-built speaker system is of really unbelievably poor quality, tinny. with very limited range - worse than most kitchen FM radios. This is despite extensive fiddling with settings, reading up on web forums etc. etc. It is about the quality you expect from a pound shop portable radio. The sound configuration settings available are also much more limited than I expected given the range of other features.
The supplied add-on Sony sound-bar/base is only of any use as a base - but it doesn't even serve well as that it has a fixed, 6 degree backward lean. In use it doesn't affect the viewing that much, and you kind of get used to it after a while, but is annoying none the less - why 6 degrees back? A forward lean you can understand, where the unit will be mounted on a high shelf but backward is pretty much pointless in almost any situation (reflections included). If this were my telly I'd use a third party stand, wall mount it or build my own stand.
The sound quality from the base/sound-bar is about the same as the cabinet speakers, but just a bit louder. Really, any old style stereo TV produces much, much better sound.
So if you buy this unit you must buy a sound bar at the very least or, if you can cope with adding yet more complexity to the set up and use, run it through your own sound system. Whatever you use as an add-on, it will produce better sound than that generated by the unit itself or the unit with it's supplied sound bar.

Poor Ease of Use
The other main downside is ease of use or lack of. Even allowing for the fact that most TV's now are very complicated, this would not be so much of a problem if the unit did not need quite a bit of setting up to get a reasonable quality of tv viewing experience out of it. If you need to do anything aside from changing channels or sound volume, the menu control system you encounter is complex and un-intuitive in use. In fact for technophobe consumers it is in practice unusable. If you are a techie type you'll cope with but not like the menu system.

The remote control feels like one that comes with the very cheapest of devices - again think pound shop and you won't be disappointed. The buttons are small and not well laid out or marked or lit up, and so are hard to use in low light levels. If you have poor eye sight you will struggle to use this in any lighting conditions.

The build quality of this tv seems better than other recent Sony TV's but really, the sound quality and ease of problems overshadow any notional benefit from better build quality. You just won't care if you don't enjoy the viewing experience.

Your average consumer will soon give up trying to access most of the useful additional features like web browsing on demand / watch again services. Unless you want to look at the Sony support pages, web browsing is made (deliberately) incredibly difficult.


If you want just a TV with a great picture and sound which when set up has straightforward in use advanced features look elsewhere. I'd go for a similarly priced Panasonic myself, the all round package will likely be great and you won't be constantly irritated when using it. The picture will be almost as good, the in-built sound is likely "good-enough" for most, and the feature/settings menu system is usable with the OK remote.

If picture quality at a reasonable price is your top priority, and you don't mind spending hours tinkering, providing and setting up your own sound system, or having to do all this using (after spending more hours learning to navigate with) the poor menu all on the rubbish remote (although apparently there are Android and iPhone remote control apps from Sony which are easier to use) then, at the right price, this could be the TV for you.
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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 December 2012
Bought refurbished TV from Sony Outlet...TV picture brilliant, sound is not so good, TV had some damage and had not been repaired and tested as promised by Sony Outlet...Sony Customer Service complete rubbish. Recommend you buy 'New' and not from Sony Outlet and also buy a sound system if you wish to match the sound experience to the visual experience.
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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 29 September 2014
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