Ratings in depth

Sony KD-65X9005B design 5/5
Sony KD-65X9005B features 5/5
Sony KD-65X9005B performance 5/5
Sony KD-65X9005B usability 4.5/5
Sony KD-65X9005B value 4.5/5

Sony's 65-inch KD-65X9005B (£3600) is a statement television in every sense.

From its technical prowess to audacious design, it pushes the envelope with unapologetic zeal. The wedge shape, accommodating prominent forward facing speakers, is potentially a bit Marmite, but I love it.

Build quality and detailing, from the rolled top to the chrome side panels, is exquisite. While the flanking speaker array gives screen considerable width, the piano black finish is extremely handsome.

The only thing missing when you unpack the set are a pair of white gloves, to prevent the oh-so glossy bodywork from being smothered in fingerprints when you're wrestling it into position.

That said the set, which is also available as the 55-inch KD-55X9005B and 79-inch KD-79X9005B, actually has a low centre of gravity and so requires only a moderate amount of floorspace.

If the pedestal feet positioned either end of the set don't fit your AV furniture, there are two more central positions they can be relocated to.

Sony KD-65X9005B
If you don't have quite so much space on your TV stand you can adjust the feet of the Sony KD-65X9005B

Despite the unconventional triangular shape, the X9005B can be wall-hung using a standard Vesa mount. Spacers are provided in the box which square up the rear to the wall.

Also bundled in the box is an optional port replicator, to aid wall-mounted hook-up. This exterior connections box has its own power supply, plus satellite and RF tuner inputs along with a USB port and (three) HDMI connectivity. A single chord then runs all to an input on the back of the set.

Sony KD-65X9005B
The optional port replicator

Rear panel connections comprise four HDMI inputs (some of which are ARC and MHL compatible), plus three USBs, Ethernet, Scart and component/composite video and stereo audio inputs. There are also TV RF and dual satellite inputs, a CI card slot and a digital audio optical output. Wi-Fi is built-in.

Sony KD-65X9005B
The back is packed with ports

The X9005B is the only model in the Sony fleet to have a Skype camera actually built into the bezel (a consequence of that rolled top), so there's no clumsy camera contraption spoiling the clean lines. If the idea of an all-seeing eye staring back at you is too intrusive, a small cap is supplied to cover it up.

Features

The Sony X9005B boasts a wide range of connected functionality. The brand has significantly revamped its smart platform for 2014, although actual service and app content is largely unchanged from last season.

Niceties include screen mirroring, for use with compatible Miracast-enabled smartphones, along with a new feature called 'photo share' which allows up to ten users to share JPEGs in a single session. Cleverly you can collect and save cast pictures to any connected phone. The high resolution panel makes for a superb still image display.

Also new this year is the 'one flick discovery' bar. This sits at the bottom of the screen and recommends things to watch, from both broadcast and online sources. Given that it also supports keyword search, this is actually quite a powerful content curation tool.

Sony KD-65X9005B
There is a wide range of apps available for the Sony KD-65X9005B

While Twitter is best enjoyed on mobile devices, TV manufacturers continue to try and find ways to implement a bigger screen experience.

Here Sony has conjured up Social View, which delivers a stream of tweets across the bottom of the screen. These either relate to the TV show being broadcast at the time or specific search terms. It's an inventive idea, but perhaps somewhat distracting for those viewers not too interested in such fleeting views.

Sony KD-65X9005B
The built-in camera is nicely discreet

The set also offers a PIP Skype mode, to enable groups to join together while watching the same show/sports on TV. Inevitably there's also a football function, which engages a sound DSP mode intended to emulate a Brazilian stadium. This is apparently based on actual measurements, although you'd probably never guess.

More significantly, the X9005B incorporates an HEVC decoder fully compatible with the new Netflix 4K streaming service (fast fibre broadband connection required).