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Sony KDL-55NX813 review

Just when you thought there were enough Bravia TVs around, Sony has issued this 55 inch LCD. It may be niche, but we think it's appealing Tested at £2500

Our Verdict

The Sony remains a great choice if you want the option to upgrade to 3D

For

  • Excellent picture quality
  • nice looks and build
  • tons of internet content

Against

  • 3D is an optional extra
  • surprisingly thin sound
  • some double images in 3D

According to our contacts at Sony, all manufacturing of TVs over 55in has stopped, presumably to make way for new models. So for now, you’ll just have to make do with 55in. It’s a hard life…

Comparatively small in its class, this dapper set doesn’t have 3D built in.

Instead you have to buy the TMR-BR100 transmitter and matching glasses separately, and even after shopping around this will set you back around £200.

Extra cost aside, having an extra extremity on your otherwise stylishly straight-edged TV isn’t ideal, regardless of how compact it might be.

And what if you also have a Wii bar or Xbox Kinect? Suddenly that space on the top of your set is looking like prime real estate.

On the other hand, what it does mean is that those who don’t yet want to go down the 3D route can buy a telly now and know that it can be upgraded to 3D spec whenever they’re ready – and the good news is that the KDL-55NX813 is an extremely capable 2D display.

The master of motion processing
Sony has long been the master of motion processing, and the KDL-55NX813 proves it’s still the case.

Other TVs are capable of rendering the slow pans of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but only the Sony has a truly convincing grip on the complex, unpredictable, fast-paced action.

The edge LED backlight proves that it’s capable of producing impressive contrast levels, too, from punchy, detailed whites to deep yet revealing blacks.

On top of all that, Sony’s already impressive line-up of internet services was recently bolstered by the addition of Qriocity, and while we’re not entirely sold on the music portion’s low-quality streams, the pay-as-you-go movie service has an impressive catalogue and excellent picture and sound quality.

Of course, you can also get your HD fix via the Freeview HD tuner, and images here are just as vibrant and sharp as they are with other HD sources.

Standard-def channels and DVDs are impressively upscaled, too. There’s very little noise, even in shoddy broadcasts, and colours successfully tread the line between vibrancy and over exposure.

A new dimension in gaming
If you do decide to plump for 3D, you’re likely to be very pleased. Killzone 3 (definitely the best 3D game so far) looks awesome, with the Sony dragging you into the action with the kind of detail that significantly enhances depth, which makes it easier to judge distances – and spot your lethal enemies.

Again, there’s impressive levels of punch, but as we’ve found with other TVs, the Sony suffers from a degree of crosstalk that some people will find tiring.

Our only other gripe is that the KDL-55NX813 sounds a bit thin, but what really keeps the Sony at four stars is the presence of some bigger, better all-round competition from the plasma brigade..

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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