Sony KD-55X9005A review

Awesome 4K and great Blu-ray upscaling, but it's audio and 3D that make this 4K TV shine

TODO alt text
Editor's Choice

Is the KD-55X9005A packed with all-new tech ripe for a new era in TV? There's certainly some tweaked software on board as well as that 3840x2160 pixel panel, but there's plenty of familiar technology - and some familiar problems, too.

The KD-55X9005A uses an LED-backlit LCD panel - complete with local dimming - and Sony's own Triluminous technology, which sees white LEDs banished in favour of blue with an accompanying array of quantum dots good for green and red light.

So, exactly how advanced is that 4K resolution? Squeezing in those 8,294,400 pixels on a 55-inch panel is no mean feat, though the maximum image is 'only' eight megapixels.

It's four times that of a Full HDTV - itself capable of a maximum two-megapixel image - but the pixel density still doesn't compare with what you'll see on most smartphones. Take those promises of 'like looking through a window' and chuck them out the door; 4K is an evolution, not a revolution.

That said, the KD-55X9005A produces a stunning image from native 4K footage, though it's also being touted as the answer to the 3D 'problem'.

sony KD 55X9005A

The KD-55X9005A plays in the 'passive' 3D arena - therefore using an LG-made panel, no doubt - and ships with four pair of super-lightweight specs.

The way passive 3D tech works cuts out half of the resolution, which is a big problem on Full HD TVs; here, that sacrifice is far less noticeable. The 3D specs in question are Sony's TDG-500P, which cost an improbable £9 each, though the ones still in your coat pocket from the last 3D film you saw in the cinema will do just as well. SimulView - aka 2D dual full-screen gaming - requires Sony's TDG-SV5 specs.

sony KD 55X9005A

Ins and outs on the KD-55X9005A are generous, varied, and all on the TV's left-hand side (as you view it). A lower side panel on the rear of the corner offers two USB slots, while just above and further in is a cut-out featuring a single HDMI, a third USB, a headphones jack and a Common Interface slot. Slightly bizarrely, there's a second HDMI slot on its own near to a fourth connections panel - this time down-facing - that includes the third and fourth HDMI slots and feeds for its built-in Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners.

A fifth area sweeps-up, adding wired Ethernet LAN (Wi-Fi is also included), an optical digital audio output, component video and phono ins, and, lastly, something of a throwback; a full RGB Scart. Have we time-travelled back to the 1990s?

Sony promises that the HDMI inputs - which are all ARC- and MHL-ready - will be upgraded to the latest HDMI 2.0 spec in the near future, though we're not sure how. Firmware upgrade?

For now, the flagship technology on board is Sony's 4K X-Reality PRO engine, but can it really upscale DVDs, YouTube videos and dodgy Freeview channels to 4K-like quality? The maths involved is mind-boggling; the KD-55X9005A is going to have to use one pixel of SD to occupy 16 of its own pixels.

sony KD 55X9005A

Other circuitry includes the motion-blur-suppressing Motionflow XR 800Hz, a dynamic backlight and Reality Creation, which ups sharpnesss while keeping noise levels low. Other than that, there's not an awful lot to tweak aside from basic picture parameters such as brightness, colour and contrast.

NFC One Touch Mirroring from smartphones is a nice touch, as is the provision of the free TV SideView app, though it's the Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) that steals the smart TV headlines. It's not the best around, but it's slick and contains most of the apps most of us want; BBC iPlayer, Netflix, LoveFilm, YouTube, Skype, BBC News, BBC Sport and Sky News. It also features Sony's Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited, the former of which will soon offer 4K downloads.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-S2
Video Signal Standard4K UHDTV
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyBRAVIA X9005A
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelB
Smart TVYes
Brand NameSony
Screen Size139.7 cm (55")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)34.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
Operating Power Consumption279 W
Standby Power Consumption400 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio1,000,000:1
RMS Output Power65 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
HDMI VersionHDMI 2.0
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand778 mm
Width with Stand1463 mm
Depth with Stand405 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyPolarized
Energy Consumption per Year215 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyMotionflow XR 800
Height749 mm
Width1463 mm
Depth100 mm
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, NICAM
Product SeriesX9005A
Maximum Resolution3840 x 2160
FeaturesMobile High Definition Link (MHL), Web Browser, Ambient Lighting, Sleep Timer, Picture and Picture (PAP)
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelKD-55X9005A
Product NameX9 4K Ultra HD TV
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKD-55X9005A
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information4K Ultra HD. A revolution in resolution

Meet the next generation of picture quality - the 4K resolution TV. It's a viewing experience that's hard to describe, like your first trip to the cinema. Just let the pictures wash over you and see for yourself.

A giant leap in picture quality

With four times the detail of a Full HD TV, 4K Ultra HD TV images possess such depth and clarity it feels like you're looking through a window. The screen displays over 8 million pixels for a level of realism you'll almost want to reach out and touch.
Package Contents
  • X9 4K Ultra HD TV
  • Remote control
  • Batteries
  • AC power cable
  • 4 x 3D Glasses
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)33.10 kg