Sony kdl-46hx923

Sound quality

Perhaps because the 46HX923 has a little more depth to play with than many premium TVs, it manages to produce a well-rounded sound performance with a fairly open mid-range that makes it very comfortable indeed to listen to - at least with relatively straightforward material.

Loud action scenes expose a little shrillness at the upper end of the spectrum and a very clear limit to the TV's bass handling capabilities, but the 46HX923 overall certainly sounds much better than the flat TV average.

Value

Considering how well it's built, how many features its got, how good its 2D performance is and how relatively expensive its all-important direct LED lighting is to manufacture, the 46HX923 seems fairly priced.

In fact, its price seems considerably more than reasonable if you also factor in the current promotions Sony is running with the TV, namely: giving away two pairs of active shutter glasses for free; bundling the necessary external camera for Skype; giving you £150 cashback if you send in a claim form before January 31st 2012; and most remarkably of all, allowing you to claim a free PS3 console with Uncharted 3 and two 3D Harry Potter Blu-rays!

Please note, though, that the PS3 offer only runs until December 12th...

The only pity is that you're paying for 3D pictures that can vary between very good and merely average, depending on what's being shown.

Ease of use

Given that the 46HX923 is Sony's flagship TV, it's a touch disappointing to find that it only gets Sony's standard remote control. There's nothing wrong with this remote per se; in fact it's rather well laid out and quite comfortable to hold. But it does feel a bit lightweight and plasticky, and so doesn't seem a good fit for the more opulent build quality of the TV.

There's also work for Sony to do with its TVs' onscreen menus. The main menu system is poorly presented, with too much reliance on obscure and small icons, too much scrolling through long lists of submenus, and seemingly little discernible logic to the way the menu lists are ordered.

The Bravia Internet Video menus, meanwhile, are thankfully a big improvement over the pretty hopeless efforts of Sony's 2010 TVs. Yet they're still less intuitive, attractive and efficient than those of the latest 'Smart TV' systems from Samsung and LG - despite not being clogged up as some rival systems are by swarms of largely pointless apps...

There are some ways in which the 46HX923 is pretty easy to use, though. For a start, it's more sensible with its picture preset modes than many rivals, which will doubtless appeal to people who have no interest whatsoever in endlessly fine-tuning settings for themselves.

It also works harder than most to help you economise, particularly with its presence sensor, which can turn the screen off automatically to save power if it detects that nobody is in the room while the TV is on.

Finally, it's good to find that a reasonable selection of features - including the brilliantly fun Track ID system that automatically identifies with startling accuracy any songs that might be playing on a TV show you're watching - can be accessed directly from the remote, without you having to resort all the time to the fiddly menus.