Sony KD-65X9005B full review
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For its first foray into 4K, Sony bucked the trend for wimpy TV audio by introducing a panel flanked by forward-firing drivers and unapologetic amplification. See Best Smart TVs: what is the best Smart TV of 2014.
For this second iteration, the Sony KD-65X9005B, Sony has similarly snubbed cookie-cutter flatness, using its new signature wedge cabinet to enhance audio. The result is unquestionably the best sounding flatscreen we've ever heard.
Thankfully, the rest of TV is worth making a noise about too. And if a 65-incher is too much for you, you can go smaller with the 55-inch KD-55X9005B – or live it even larger with the 79-inch KD-79X9005B.
Connections include four HDMI, between them supporting ARC, MHL and HDMI 2.0 4K 60Hz. There are also three USB, ethernet, SCART, component/composite video and stereo audio inputs. There's also integrated Wi-Fi and a digital audio optical output.
A port replicator is supplied to help with wall-mounting.
This PTR-BR100 port box requires its own power supply and has satellite and RF tuner inputs, plus USB and three HDMI sources. A tethered chord routes everything to a dedicated back-panel connection.
The set hides a Skype camera in the bezel, but this can be capped if you don't like the idea of the all-seeing eye recording you in your lounge. Less intrusive is an integrated HEVC decoder, which makes the set compliant with Netflix 4K.
Sony provides both a standard lightweight IR remote and a fiddly Bluetooth controller.
Sony has changed its panel supplier since last year, which has resulted in the return of Active Shutter 3D. Although not as comfortable or flicker-free as last year's Passive 4K offerings, 3D depth and clarity remains excellent. The set appears to work particularly well with side-by-side 3D broadcasts from the likes of Sky. Read: Best World Cup 2014 TV deals: Cashback offers and free tablets
Sony KD-65X9005B review: Performance
Overall image quality is squarely on the right side of sensational. The set offers bold contrast, a result of the brand's X-tended Dynamic range image processing.
It also has extraordinarily rich colours. Reds in particular throb with a plasma-like lusciousness. It's worth noting that Sony's vaguely defined Triluminos colour-image processing is also compatible with extended x.y.color information included on its Mastered in 4K Blu-ray releases, although this only works on the Cinema preset.
4K performance was accessed both with Netflix 4K programming and a dedicated 4K media player (actually the Sony POP-FMPA60) which was loaned preloaded with native 3840 x 2160-pixel resolution sequences, some of which were in high framerate 60Hz.
The detail and fluidity of sports footage shot at this faster frame rate proves to be a revelation. Sky's announcement of a dedicated UHD channel for native 4K content, certain to offer high-frame rate sport, may not be too far away. We really want to see more of this 4K/60Hz material.
The KD-65X9005B also does a sterling job with full-HD sources. X-Reality Pro image enhancement does a remarkable job extrapolating fine detail from 1920 x 1080 sources.
Motion handling is fine provided you stick with the Motionflow Clear or Clear Plus settings, which offer the best combination of detail and artefact-free movement.
We've covered Sony's Smart TV platform at length before. Suffice to say here it offers a fair, but not comprehensive, selection of catch-up TV and streaming VoD services, including BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, YouTube, Netflix, Mubi and Sony's own movie streaming channel.
The TV also includes screen mirroring with compatible Miracast-enabled Google and Microsoft smartphones. One neat new addition to the roster is Photo Share which allows up to ten users to share and save JPEGs in a single session.
On the debit side, the UI can be sluggish to react and is certainly feels more lethargic in than some of the quad-core competition. (See all Digital Home reviews.)
Sony KD-65X9005B: Specs
- 65-inch LCD TV
- 3840 x 2160 pixels
- Freeview HD, 2x satellite tuner
- 65 W total (2 x 12.5 W + 2 x 20 W) amplifiers
- 4 x HDMI 2.0, SCART, component (YPbPr)/composite
- stereo phono audio input
- digital optical audio output, 3.5 mm headphone jack
- 10/100 ethernet, 2.4 / 5.0 GHz 11n Wi-Fi
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Miracast screen mirroring
- 3 x USB 2.0
- HEVC decoder
- 180 W specified on-mode power consumption/ 75 W measured 100 percent red field power consumption
- 1494 x 95 x 790 mm (whd, w/o stand)
- 45.9 kg
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