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 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!
on 19 March 2013
I always wanted a Sony television and have recommended them to friends and family but each time I went to buy a new set I would spot a great review of another manufacturer then go for that. This time all the reviews pointed to the HX853 series and so I went for it through Amazon for convenience and the ease of returns. At first I was shocked by the size, previous Samsung was only 42" but the Sony is slim, elegant and incredibly good looking so although the screen is wider it appears to take up less physical space and looks so much better than its predecessor. That said, having had 55" I would not go back down the scale unless forced since the extra screen space is a boon. Setting up was simple, took BT Vision at the same time and added a Sony Blu Ray to the package, all 3 tuned themselves in automatically and the set itself is so sensitive I immediately managed lots more Freeview channels even without BT. The sound is fine for me, previous set played through the wifi but no need on this one as it is loud enough and of good stereo reproduction. No doubt surround sound is better but that is extra money and wires so not for now. Lastly picture quality, lots of reviews have went into great detail on this but all I can say is WOW!!, the detail, colours, vibrancy and contrast are spectacular and at times in HD it is like looking out of a window. Watching wildlife HD films is nothing short of amazing and makes the investment worthwhile on its own. Also tried out a 3D Blu Ray with the Sony glasses which was a great success and quite breathtaking considering this is a domestic product designed for a living space. In summary this is a fantastic unit, I am so pleased I decided to take the plunge and buy a quality Sony.
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?
on 27 January 2013
Recently purchased KDL55HX853 and must say it is Amazing!!!
Straight out of the box it is very easy to setup whether using the soundbar stand or wall mounting. All fixtures and fittings slot together easily and are very intuitive.
When first powering up you are guided through a very easy to understand basic setup guide which guides you through all the normal language selection, tuning and network setup.
The HD picture is fantastic with all the factory default settings but it is possible to make them better with the amount of picture adjustment options!!! Analogue or digital pictures can be a little hit and miss but this is more down to the filming and age of the broadcast but even the worse pictures can be adjusted to an acceptable viewing level and some very close to HD quality.
I've used the set with the soundbar stand, home cinema and just the integrated speakers. I am currently just using the integrated speakers and although with the default settings it's not great, have found with a little bit of setting up the sound quality is pretty damn good. NOTE like the picture setup if the broadcast is old then don't expect miracles with the sound.
If using Youtube, twitter, facebook or general web browsing I would recommend the Iphone/pad remote control app to make typing a lot easier.
on 20 October 2012
Read so many reviews on this Tv before taking the plunge. I knew about the sound issues and would agree with previous reports the sound is adaquate for normal TV broadcasts but for movies and PROM concerts its not good enough. (I have purchased a Sony HTAS 5 Sony Home Theatre System at £177 and its brilliant). This system makes all the difference but I did buy this Tv for its picture qaulity and it doesn't disappoint. It lives up to all the outstanding reports-truly amazing. Definitely worth buying for that alone. All slim TVs have iffy sound quality. You can't expect anything better from such a thin screen case whatever the make Samsung, Panasonic etc. For normal TV progs internal speakers are adaquate anythinh else get an economical surround sound system like the Sony 5.1. Sony in their wisdom decided to put the manual into an on screen imanual built into the TV. I like to thumb through pages and the slimmed down manual is poor. You can download a manual on line but I have only found the button that prints the whole thing on the Sony website. The strap supplied on my previous 37inch Sony to fix it to the wooden table to stop it falling forward if grabbed by a child, is missing from this machine. the manual suggests you make one out of string. Poor on you Sony --bearing in mind the price of this TV. Setting up straight forward. Various setings have to be tweaked from factory settings to get the best out of picture quality. But when linked up to the Sony Blue Ray (BDPS390) at £89 I bought at the same time the results are nothing short of breathtaking. You will not be disappointed. The only drawback is that ITV Player and 4OD are not available yet online through the TV. iplayer is fine. Come on Sony get you finger and sort that one. Hence the 4 stars only for issues of sound, no ITV player. Given my time over again I would make the same purchase choice of this machine again. Highly recommended. Paul
on 4 November 2012
I bought the 40" version of this TV last week with a free Sony 3D Blu-ray player and am VERY impressed. It displays the picture from all sources (DVD with HDMI upscaling, Xbox 360, PS3 and the free Blu-ray player) incredibly clearly from any angle and distance.
The SmartTV bit works very well and is easy to use. As usual with Sony equipment, it takes no time to set up and be up and running.
It's not clear from the product photos, but the screen is of the shiny glass effect type - something I'd worried about because I recently bought a PC monitor with the same glassy finish and am finding reflection a problem, but somehow on this TV it's not a problem at all as you see no reflection at all when the TV is on. The silver edging effect looks nice and neat too - between that and the glass screen, this TV looks almost exactly like a massive iPad!
There's currently a promotion on where if you register this TV with Sony you get the Bond 50th anniversary Blu-ray collection; and the Blu-ray player most places are bundling with it has a similar offer where you get Spider-man 1-3 plus the 3D version of The Amazing Spider-man; so that's extra added value into it.
The 3D works very well too - I can never see 3D in the cinema and only bought a 3D TV because they use newer technology so display 2D better than a 2D TV would too; so it's better to get a 3D TV regardless of whether you intend to use 3D at all. However, I got a pair of active 3D glasses and tried them on, and whilst I've not been able to see 3D to the same levels my family have when using them with this TV, I can still see 3D for the first time ever!
All in all a great buy - it's won several TV of the year awards, and having had it for almost a week I can see why!
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.
on 28 August 2012
NOTE - you must go into the Home Page ( settings) and turn off all Eco settings. There is a ECO light setting in there which is switched to ON. This dulls the picture. Turn it to off and the picture comes to life even more.
Overall the picture is truly stunning. You can go right up to the TV and the lines and edges are perfect. No jaggered lines what so ever( even when the sharpness control is turned up) I also have a top of the range Panasonic 55 inch plasma in the bed room. I love this TV. However the sharpness and colours on the Sony are truly amazing and blow the Panasonic away. The blacks are not as deep as the Plasma ( only just)but there is no washed out corners or crushed blacks on the Sony. which is big step forward.
The motion handling is amazing with no blur.
No regrets getting this what so ever.
if you can stretch to the this model over the lower range, then do so. I understand that the lower ranges are not as sharp and motion not as good.
on 13 March 2013
After Sony's lacklustre offerings of late they are back on top.
This TV is simply stunning.
I replaced my old LG as I wanted to put it in the bedroom and decided to treat myself to something a little bigger for the living room. Yes, you can get 3D Smart TV's for a lot less money, but you get what you pay for. Stunning motion, even under the fastest action and panning shots. Fantastic detail and colour. Amazing contrast. Brilliant Smart content.
Go on, treat yourself. You know you want to.