TODO alt text

Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 review

Sony's 55" LED LCD TV is pricey, but frequently spectacular

Our Verdict

Mostly stunning pictures, but this bigscreen struggles on the value front

For

  • Great HD pictures
  • Decent SD too
  • RGB LEDs

Against

  • Price

The Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 has an interesting trick up its LED sleeves that's not matched by any of the other LED models: RGB dimming.

The technology for this is much more expensive versus the white dimming found on the Sharp LC-52LE700E LED TV. But the reward for your money promises to be a wider colour gamut.

Also, if 55 inches is a little too big, then you might want to consider looking at the smaller set in the range, the KDL-46X4500.

Sony has also gone to town with the KDL-55X4500's design – especially in the way a pair of pole-style speakers have been integrated into the middle of a transparent section of the set's outer bezel. You can even go for speaker grilles in Obsidian Black or Ruby Red if you really want to push the design boat out.

It's a pity, perhaps, that the KDL-55X4500 has a pretty big rear end by today's svelte standards. But if the set produces good enough pictures, a few centimetres of rear depth really shouldn't matter much in the greater scheme of things.

The KDL-55X4500, surprisingly, doesn't carry Sony's latest Bravia Engine 3 video processing system, only managing to offer its previous incarnation, BE2, instead.

But it does keep up to speed with Sony's latest TVs in connection terms, thanks in particular to four HDMIs, a USB port able to play multiple format AV files, plus an Ethernet port that lets you stream in files from your PC.

Ebony and ivory

At times, the KDL-55X4500's pictures look nothing short of sublime. For starters, as usual with a direct LED TV, it produces terrific black levels that enable it to show dark scenes with total conviction and bags of detail.

What's more, since the screen employs local dimming, you can enjoy the terrifically cinematic spectacle of crisp whites sitting in the same frame as rich, deep blacks.

The Sony's pictures are also stunningly crisp and sharp when showing HD, and it was a relief to find this quality remaining when the picture gets moving, thanks to a combination of a decent innate response time and an effective 100Hz processor.

Standard-def pictures are upscaled to the screen's full HD resolution rather well too, considering how vast the set's panel is, and as we'd hoped would be the case, the RGB dimming delivers a colour gamut of truly immense range and subtlety.

Being picky, we might say that the range of hues is a bit too extreme and that the ultra rich tones can look a little unnatural.

Other small complaints concern the KDL-55X4500's pictures losing contrast if watched from much of an angle; really bright parts of the image appear a touch bleached out and there are noticeable, but very minor, traces of backlight inconsistency.

However, we should stress right away that these flaws only make their presence felt should you, mistakenly, leave the backlight set higher than its level 5.

However, with some loud and clear, if fractionally bass-light, audio partnering its often stunning pictures pretty well, the KDL-55X4500 is only ultimately let down by its hefty price tag.

And with the RGB dimming arguably overcooking colours to a point of discomfort, we can't help but feel a little as if we're paying heftily for a feature we didn't necessarily need.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview

Tech Specs

Product TypeLCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Digital TunerDVB-T
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces2
Product FamilyBRAVIA
Brand NameSony
Screen Size139.7 cm (55")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
USBYes
HDMIYes
RMS Output Power20 W
VGAYes
S-VideoYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
ColourMidnight Sky
Sound SystemDolby, Surround Sound
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesAuto Program, Channel Labeling, Favorite Channel Selection, Picture in Picture, Teletext
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelKDL-55X4500
Product NameBRAVIA KDL-55X4500 55" LCD TV
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKDL55X4500U
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

55" Full HD 1080 BRAVIA LCD TV with Bravia Engine 2 PRO and RGB Dynamic LED backlight. Watch TV, movies and games in High Definition detail thanks to the 6.2 mega pixel resolution

Package Contents
  • BRAVIA KDL-55X4500 55" LCD TV
  • AC Cable
  • Operating Instructions
  • Table-Top Stand
  • Remote Commander
Weight (Approximate)47.50 kg