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My Sony KDL46HX853 review
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Hello all i thought i would post an honest opinion on my new Sony KDL46HX853 so here goes:

Out of the box it has to be said that is one good looking, stylish TV and when switched off it has that picture frame look due to the slim profile and mainly due to the Gorilla glass finish on the panel which makes it look like the TV is just one pane of black glass with no bezel...very nice.

The styling has taken some cues from last years Panasonic VT30 plasma range with some Sony additions such as the silver metal trim running around the outside of the TV and the curved edges of the TV, it's also worth noting that the back panel is metal which is unusual with LCD/LED TVs and adds to the pride of ownership factor and overall feeling of a quality build and finish.

Straight out of the box and hung on the wall the Home settings are predictably overblown but after calibration the TV settles into a really watchable picture, it's worth noting that calibration can be bit of a pain as there is no option to copy settings over to different sources like there was on my GT30...oh and no ISF modes are on this tv.

More concerning is the complete lack of any colour calibration modes, Sony still seems to be resistant to anyone messing with the factory colour settings for some reason so you are left with just colour and hue for adjustment and although the colour is not far out atall from the box just a few adjustments would make it far more accurate which leaves me slightly perplexed...surely the consumer should be free to adjust the colour more freely?

Anyway once calibrated the image displayed is pretty special with particular highlights being the clean, crisp whites which are displayed next to inky blacks and the way in which the TV handles motion, it's just effortless in action with no signs of judder or artificial processing such as halo effects etc. The detail levels from a HD source such as my Panasonic BDT500 blu ray player are exceptional with every ounce of detail revealed, the opening sequence of Star Wars episode 3 Return of the Sith on bluray is simply stunning and colours are bold without being overblown and skin tones are completely natural.

As mentioned earlier its motion that's handled so nicely with this tv with panning shots of any speed dealt with confidently and free from noise, judder and halo effects or shimmering and it rates amongst the most confident presentation i have ever seen in this respect. The blacks lose a tiny amount of detail level when compared to my previous GT30 plasma but it really is a tiny amount we are talking about and as near as i've seen to a plasma from an LED/LCD TV which is very impressive and just adds to the cinematic image the TV produces.

So it can't all be positive can it?? No, is the short answer. Throw any SD content at the tv such as SD Freeview and the TV simply doesn't like it, you get a slightly soft image that's a bit noisy and although it's far from a disaster performance with SD was better on my GT30. Detail levels seem to drop off the face of the planet which is pretty normal these days and although you can all but eliminate the noise with the myriad of features on the tv they just make a slightly blurry picture far to blurry to be enjoyable and the same is true of upscaling dvds except they suffer from far less blurring, my BDT500 bluray player was a far better upscaler than the tv.

There is a weird backlight issue present on the TV which is only visible when viewing the TVs menus, using the Game mode or when using the apps on the tv and it shows itself as two distinct patches of light eminating from the bottom corners of the screen with the left hand side by far the worse although it's only visible in low light conditions. I'm not entirely sure what's going on here but my guess is that the TV is boosting the backlight levels here because a properly calibrated picture setting shows no sign of the issue.

Unfortunatley you can't change the picture setting all the time to eliminate it so you are stuck with it but once you go to iPlayer for example and start playing something you can then change the picture setting to a calibrated preset and hey presto it's gone! Just a shame that it can't be eliminated entirely, i've now set a completely different mode up for gaming to eliminate the problem here as no matter what you do the problem is still there in either of the game modes on offer. But it must be said that it's a minor issue and doesn't affect movie or tv viewing in any way.

This is a hugely impressive TV that displays a simply excellent image with HD but doesn't much care for SD, it has a good tuner (although Freeview HD was a bit crisper on my GT30) and an excellent selection of apps on offer including iPlayer, Nexflix, 5OD, Lovefilm, BBC Sport, Youtube and of course Sonys own Entertainment Network which has it's own button on the remote. It has simply bucket loads of picture options and enough options for the tweakers out there like myself but the menus are a little awkward with some options hidden away in unusual places but the main thing is it's all there if you look hard enough and there is an i-Manual built into the tv if you get lost or can't find an option which is nice.

The TV carries a web browser although it's unfortunately Opera based and tends to throw it's toys out of the pram far too often as it struggles to cope with sites with lots of content and advertising but it's a handy tool for a quick google search for example.

3D performance with the standard BR250 IR glasses is another positive and although the glasses are quite bulky and not too comfortable over extended periods they do block out peripharal vision nicely and don't darken the image like most glasses do and the image on offer from the Avatar 3D disc is lovely. It's rich in detail and offers simply stunning depth of image that quite comfortably beats my old GT30s 3D performance, the colours remain nicely judged and black levels remain every bit as impressive as before with crosstalk a rare occurance, if it wasn't for the galsses this would be a 3D image you could quite easily watch for prolonged preiods of time. New Sony titanium 3D glasses have now arrived which should solve the issue.

To sum up then this is a highly specified TV with modern looks and brilliant build quality and contains every extra you would expect from a 2012 TV apart from the rather gimmicky voice and body controls seen on Samsung and LG TVs which isn't a bad thing imo, it's fully equiped and the performance is simply stunning in HD with the most cinematic image i've seen from an LED tv but if you live on a diet of SD content you may be better off looking elsewhere but for everyone else this is a fabulous TV despite the very slight backlight issue and i'm very happy with it.

The 46HX853 comes very highly recommended by me and is definately worth auditioning if you are after a 46inch TV this year, i can see just why it's going to be hard to beat this year in What Hi Fi and i'm proud to show it off whenever i get the chance which tells you all you need to know really. To quote Dumb and Dumber....i like it ALOT Smile

 

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

Very comprehensive Oldboy, here`s hoping you have more luck with this set than you`ve had with previous ones.

I`ve had my Sony Kdl 46z4500 for 3 years now and while with h.d. and bluray feeds it is still ace it is not up with best now with regard to s.d. broadcasts, but, and it is a big but, i have not had a bit of trouble with it.

 Build quality counts for a lot , imho.

 

Hope you enjoy your new t.v. for many years.

Cheers.

 

 

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

Ah nice one Oldboy and great review.

Home cinema system: LG 55EA980W OLED TV,  Pioneer Bdp-lx71, Pioneer Vsx-lx70, B&W FPM Series, B&W PV1.

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

Many thanks for the positive feedback gel, thought it was worth a real life consumer review as i was so impressed with it.

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

Hi do you have any issues with banding....Ie when watching football when they have the long panning shots?

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

fubar925 wrote:

Hi do you have any issues with banding....Ie when watching football when they have the long panning shots?

Nope no issues with banding atall on any source at any time. Why do you ask?

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

Been reading on another forum (Am I allowed to say which?) about banding issues while watching football with long shots ie goalkeeper kicking the ball to a forward.. I am looking at getting this tv after all the issues ive had with the es8000. Im a bit fed up to be honest all these tv have there own problems. 

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

Well all i can say is that i can confidently state that my 46HX853 has no such issue and i watch alot of football, it may be down to the settings on the tv perhaps? I turn everything off apart from motionflow and LED dynamic control on the tv and i've calibrated the screen as accurately as i can and all is well, i've really enjoyed the footie on this tv as it's so smooth and detailed where previously my Panasonic GT30 struggled slightly with a 50hz niggle that affected the vertical lines on the pitch which sometimes caused a double or triple image of the lines.

You are right about tv issues....i found the more you dig the more worried you can get but it's worth pointing out that the nature of the internet is such that you will find far more negative opinions than positive and there comes a time when you just have to dive in knowing what the potential issues are so that you can quickly return a tv that shows them.

Take your previous ES8000 tv for example....i had this tv on my wish list when i was looking to replace my faulty GT30 but when i auditioned it 4 times at 4 different retailers i found every single one had some bad backlight issues that just ruined the picture on an otherwise excellent tv. A quick search when i got home just reinforced what i had seen as the issue was widely reported by owners and those who had auditioned them so it was quickly removed from my list along with the ES7000 which had the exact same issue.

What i would say is the auditioning any potential tv is a must and the first step in deciding which tv you want, get a trusted retailer to minimise any issues with returning a faulty tv and do some research to prepare you for any potential issues. At least then if you are unlucky enough to get a tv that has issues you can act quickly and minimise any hassle or potential cost, you could always ask to have a tv on approval at home of course.

All i can say is that i'm very happy with my 46HX853 and it shows no sign of any banding but i can't guarantee you will get a tv without the issue, it's a lovely tv though and i'm sure you would be happy if you bought one.

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

Oldboy wrote:

All i can say is that i'm very happy with my 46HX853

Which, bearing in mind your long problems with the Panasonic GT30 and your short problems with the Samsung ES8000, is good to hear and is really all that matters. Hope you enjoy it for a long time until you trade it for something just as good, but bigger!

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

Thanks for the honest reply.. Im got my local retailer to order kdl55hx853 in for me should be in the shop by wednesday might try and twist there arm to let me trial it at home....!! fingers crossed 

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

You are welcome. I just hope that you are happy with the 55HX853 when you receive it, keep us posted with your thoughts. Hopefully the store will let you trial the tv at home...it's in their best interests to let you do so.

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

Well just an update. Had the TV delivered and installed today, My first thoughts.... Tiny amount of light bleed bottom right hand corner and either side in the middle but must stress hardly noticable at all even in low light in my living room nothing like the es8000...Picture quality is good but not great out the box hoping one of you guys may publish you picture settings for me to trial?/got one big issue but will come to that later..The SEN is good got alot of content and set out well kinda like the new windows 8/xbox360 feel to it really nice only draw back not enough items on the screen at one time to much button pressing to get to what you want too get too...more then 3 or 4 presses of the down button to get to the app you want.... there is a favourite section but in my opinion you should be able to acess this with 1 button press not 4... Also the load time is quite poor ive got bt infinity option 2 and really slow to load up initially. That said and done nothing sony couldnt fix with a firmware update????. Also like the fact the remote works ith the ps3 through bravia sync pretty cool option even if not needed (harmony 1100).

Also there is option button to adjust settings and the home button to adjust settings aswell. The picture settings are also confusing hard to explain but you have scene select which gives you acess to picture settings like sport,game,photo,cinema etc. let's say you select cinema you then have to press options on the remote to adjust the picture settings for that scene..***** to many buttons to press got to spend a day programing harmony lol. also if you select cinema then picture you then have the otion of cinema1 and cinema2.

Now my major gripe with this set is the banding or DSE oh my god its ruins a near great tv while watching the football tonight its really off putting to say the least.... I also noticed it while watching some 3d content through sky some skate boarding programe..

So thats where I am at the moment unsure what to do gonna play with the tv for a week as the sales guy who I have been dealing with is on holiday for the week will keep you all updated and in the mean time if any one as any picture referance settings please post them for me to try.

 

 

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

fubar925,

It sounds like you are not happy with the 55HX853 then and that it will be going back soon.

I understand your frustration with the menus as they are quite confusing with some options hidden away in stupid places and far too many menus for it to be user friendly but after you spend a little time with it things start to click and you get used to it, thank god for the options button on the remote as it does stop alot of menu trawling but it's still not a great solution.

I've got some bleed on my tv too but mine is only visible on the Game picture setting and on the menus (including the SEN and online content menus) but when viewing movies and tv and online content it never rears it's head, mine is on the bottom of the set on the left and right side with the left being the worse but as it doesn't spoil my viewing so i can live with it.

As for banding (DSE what is that?) i've not noticed any such effect on my 46 inch so perhaps if you could explain the effect a little more clearly i could look for it on my set but i've not noticed anything that has ruined the football for me and i'm pretty quick to notice flaws so i'm hoping my tv doesn't suffer here. It's bad news that you have an issue but i have noticed a few complaints about this on various forums but the effect is never explained so i've no idea what it looks like so i can't comment but you must be very annoyed to put it politely.

I can post some picture settings but you must keep in mind that every picture setting must be calibrated for every source, i've found no way of copying settings over yet so i calibrate with a disc and note down the results then switch to the source and adjust the picture from my notes, i'm still seeking a way around this as it's long winded and stupid when compared to my old GT30 which made calibration a breeze.

It would be helpful if you could tell me which sources you would like some settings for then i could post them for you so let me know and i will give them to you but remember you may well need to adjust them further for your tv due to slight differences in manufacture, your room lighting conditions and the fact that your tv is bigger in size than mine.

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

Oldboy

 

The light bleed is no where near as bad as the es8000 in fact only visible when in menus like you mentioned when watching a movie or sky hd you can not notice at all. The blacks like its been said are im my opinon amazing infact when watching star trex the movie in some shots you could hardly see where the letter box began and if you did was only hen you searched for them truly outstanding..

Now the DSE (Dirty screen effect) If you cant see it dont go looking for it in imho....

(DSE (Dirty Screen Effect) are blotches/marks on the screen that are easily noticeable when the TV does a panning shot vertically or horizontally and more so when the background is a solid color, such as a blue sky or a soccer pitch.)

If you do want to know the issue is when there is a long panning shot ie goal kick if you dont look at the ball (which is 9 times out of ten in the center) look at the grass and it has a kinda black inky washed out effect to the shot.. Like a dusty screen also noice it aswell when in normal paly if you dont watch the player with the ball wach the players who are making the runs.

I hve tried cinema1 pictureperfect settings from another forum but it was really dull for every day. Also do you use the motionflow,noise reduction,mpeg noise reduction,dot noise etc etc... on the other forums told to turn them all off why have them in the first place??was wondering what settings you have because you seem to have no dse effect and kinda hoping its my settings

Would it be worth me buying one of the thx setup discs?

I wonder if this issue is more noticeable with the larger screen???

 

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

fubar925,

I agree with you totally RE the black levels as they are simply outstanding for an LED tv and are the best i've seen from anything other than a plasma tv, you are right about the black bars too and i noticed that when watching Star Wars and Star Trek...very impressive indeed.

Now to DSE...yes i had noticed it a little but i have to say it very rarely gets to a level where it annoys me and seems to depend on the quality of the source but even on bluray i've had an occasional instance of it which slighly tarnishes the HD experience but it's only ever very slight with bluray. With tv it's a different story and i do notice it more with the footie but as you say if you keep focus on the ball or player it's not an issue but if you don't you notice it straight away during high speed panning shots. It's not a deal breaker for me and with HD channels it clears up alot so i can live with it but it may well be more of an issue on your 55 inch screen where i'm sure the effect will be even more noticeable purely because of the extra screen size.

As for settings if you look on my other thread called "How do you judge where to set the backlight on an LED tv?" i have answered that very question to another forum member who asked me exactly the same question, i've posted my settings on there minus my contrast, brightness, colour etc settings but all the picture options you mention are on there for you to look at and copy if it helps? Some are useful and some aren't and my settings are the result of about a weeks worth of research into all the settings but bear in mind personal preference so still experiment a little if you are not satisfied with the results, let me know how you get on.

As for a THX disc that's a no brainer and is well worth getting. If you own a few dvds you may well have a disc with the optimiser calibration software on it already, it's on dvds such as the Star Wars Trilogy and a list can be found at THX.com, you might even be able to borrow one from a friend or even rent a dvd for the evening with it on to save money. The only issue is you need a pair of THX blue filter specs to adjust the colour on the calibration disc but these are cheap although unfortunately only available from the THX store in the USA so you have to get them shipped but it still comes out at under a tenner for a pair.

You can adjust the rest of the settings without the glasses though and i found that the colour only needed to be adjusted by 2 points to 52 on my tv so you could just use that and forget the glasses if you prefer but i can't guarantee it will be accurate for your tv.

I'm sure some time spent with a calibration disc will improve your picture no end so highly recommend it but i'm sure the DSE effect will be exaggerated on a bigger screen, hopefully some calibration and settings tweaks makes it better so let me know how you get on.

Samsung UE55F8000 TV (THX professional calibrated), Dali Zensor 5 7.1 (front presence configuration), Sony BDPS790, Yamaha RX-A2020, Marantz PM6004, Marantz CD6003, Virgin TiVo 1TB, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, WD TV Live, WD My Book World 1TB.

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RE: My Sony KDL46HX853 review

Oldboy, very interesting post!

I would appreciate your feedback on this 

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/tvs-and-projectors/sony-46hx853-vs-panasonic-st50

Michell Gyrodec, RB303, Benz Micro Ace H, Icon Audio ST40 w/KT88s, PS1 Phono, Kudos X2, Rega Apollo R, DAC

 

 

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