Sony KDL-55EX723 review

The Sony KDL-55EX723 has great web content and Blu-ray motion handling, but its 3D performance is poor Tested at £1650

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Really impressive with 2D but falls badly behind in terms of 3D


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    Big screen

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    cracking on-demand content

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    great Blu-ray motion

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    detailed HD

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    lovely colour


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    Crosstalk and double-images on 3D

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    weak sound

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Sony has dropped 52in screens in favour of this bigger size. And unusally in a size sector that tends to favour plasmas, it's an LCD screen.

It has an edge-LED backlight (which helps keep its depth down to 4cm), and a dynamic contrast setting that Sony says is ‘mega’.

We probably wouldn’t go that far ourselves, but it is true that the EX723 produces deep blacks, and combines these with pure whites.

Excellent colour and motion
That purity is largely a result of a neutral colour palette that also creates lovely, natural, organic skin tones in the faces of The King’s Speech, yet produces vibrant brightness when you switch to the colourful animation of How to Train Your Dragon.

We’ve become accustomed to Sony’s excellent motion handling (although other manufacturers have made major gains), and with both of these Blu-rays the EX723 is is very capable, maintaining solid edges and fine detail during fast-paced action and slow, tricky panning shots.

Talking of detail, the Sony reveals as much as its rivals in well-lit scenes, but doesn’t quite have the same level of insight into dark nooks.

3D Blu-ray is disappointing

Unfortunately, 3D Blu-ray performance is disappointing. Play Tangled and the Sony is clearly capable of producing sharp edges and digging up lots of detail, but that also comes with a level of shimmer and crosstalk that makes the experience hard on the eyes.

Motionflow and 3D don’t play well together, either, with the film juddering badly. On top of all that, the backlight brightness necessary to mitigate the dulling effect of donning 3D glasses reveals a little clouding across the panel.

With DVDs, the Sony is a touch noisy but very detailed, while the opposite is true with standard-def Freeview. Both benefit from the impressively realistic colour palette, though.

HD broadcasts are better, with definition and vibrancy to rival others, although the rather cluttered and hard speakers make the audio is weak against most of its rivals.

Online functionality is good
While the EX723’s picture and sound is somewhat inconsistent, its menu system and online functionality are far more convincing.

The horizontal icons that represent each menu tab are still there, but they now appear along the bottom of the screen, with the picture shrinking to accommodate it.

Each highlighted tab’s options appear up the right-hand side, as do Twitter and Facebook, which are integrated extremely well. Qriocity’s excellent selection of on-demand HD movies completes the excellent package of internet services.

There’s no getting around the big problem, though – this is a 3D TV that’s not great with 3D.

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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, Reading 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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