There's good news and bad news when it comes to ease of use. On the upside, it's a huge relief to find that Sony's latest remote control now features a nice big 'SEN' button giving you fast, direct access to all of Sony's online content.

Also a major improvement is the onscreen menu system for accessing online stuff. The TV picture continues to play on the left, with Twitter feeds scrolling along underneath, while ranged across the screen to the right are a series of different content categories: Video, Music, Apps and a Favourites section where you can position all your most-used apps.

There's still more that could be done to make finding individual apps a little easier. But the latest online Sony TV experience remains a million times better than the fiddly menu mess you had to trudge through on 2011 Sony online TVs.

While you can now access online features more easily, however, getting to the rest of the set's features sadly still requires you to tip-toe through Sony's once-cool but now hopelessly cluttered and illogically organised PlayStation-style double-axis menu system.

One final negative point to make is that Sony hasn't made any effort to offer any control alternatives to the standard handset. There's no touchpad remote, no gesture control, no voice control, no 'magic wand'-style remote... Perhaps surprisingly, though, we didn't actually find ourselves missing these sort of 'enhancements' all that much, except for when trying to use the integrated Web browser.

Sound quality

The KDL-46HX853 is one of the best-sounding flat TVs around. The key to its success lies in that included silver 'bar' stand you get with the main TV. For Sony has taken advantage of the extra physical size of this bar to include a decently powerful set of forward-firing speakers, which receive their sound information courtesy of a dedicated connection cable running between the stand and the TV.

The result of using the stand for the TV's sound is a soundstage that's wider, richer, clearer and more powerful than anything you'll hear from the vast majority of rival sets. Just occasionally a vocal can sound slightly dislocated from the on-screen action, but these moments are very rare, and probably won't bother you at all from a typical viewing distance.

Value

It wouldn't have been unreasonable for Sony to have really cranked up the price of the KDL-46HX853 given how much effort has clearly gone into improving its performance and design. But actually, at £1450, the KDL-46HX853's price compares very favourably indeed with the prices of rival sets from the likes of Samsung, LG and Panasonic.