Sony bravia kdl-60lx903 2

There's much to like about this top-of-the-range set – but some niggles annoy, too. Building the manual into the set itself (the so-called 'i-manual') is a good idea on paper, but can be infuriating in practice.

Then there's the handset, which takes some getting used to. A joypad, and central select button, is used to run through menu options and lists. Fair enough, but the joypad is itself surrounded by a further ring of buttons. The spacing is quite narrow, so it's too easy to activate the wrong function.

The remote is only partially-backlit; needless to say, none of the buttons in the region of the aforementioned joypad are.

remote

In connectivity terms, it's nice that Sony has side-mounted two of the four HDMI ports, for convenient access – good news for gaming and camcorder enthusiasts. You'll also find a composite AV input there, in addition to the CI slot and USB port.

rear panel

Also well-designed is the clumsily-named Xross Media Bar, an onscreen menu system that has been developed from the PlayStation's. Here, all functions are grouped into basic categories. These are listed at the top of the screen: after waking it via the handset's Home button, select the relevant category and scroll downwards until the desired item appears.

The Xross Media Bar is access-all-areas; in addition to configuring picture and sound, it's used to select channels, AV inputs, multimedia and online content. Selecting content delivered via the internet is just as easy as selecting programmes received via an aerial. Unless, that is, you have to search for it; using a numeric keypad to enter words into YouTube's search engine can be a chore.

We're also annoyed that you can't jump through lists one page at a time. Sensibly, the handset dedicates buttons to key functions like the EPG, teletext (coloured buttons, including the all-important red one), channel up/down, volume, AV input/aspect ratio selection, subtitles, and standby. The remote will also operate other equipment, like DVD/Blu-ray players and AV amps.

The 60LX903, like most modern flatpanel TVs, supports HDMI CEC for one-handset control of your AV system. Other positives include responsive programme guide and digital text functions. The layout of the latter is neat and uncluttered and a popup menu gives you the opportunity to choose between eight programme genres (news, sports, drama, etc.) or switch to a category view.

Four of the latter are user-definable favourite, the other lists radio programmes. Odd that radio doesn't instead live in the genres list.