Excellent 2D and 3D pictures
Useful online content
Great Xross interface
No 3D transmitter built in
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Sony has bolstered its line of 3D ready TVs just in time for Christmas with another handsome Monolithic Design.
The KDL-55NX813 55-inch set joins the stylish NX range at the premium end and, as such, comes loaded with built-in Wi-Fi, a Freeview HD tuner, LED backlighting and online goodies galore.
It's 3D ready, too, but you'll have to fork out again for the transmitter and glasses. It sounds like Sony playing Scrooge, but the (sound) reasoning is that not everyone wants to pay for 3D.
Without the plastic transmitter perched on top, this set certainly looks like a slick, high-end proposition. It's not as thin as Samsung and LG's flagship models, but is significantly slimmer than other bulky Bravias, while the Monolithic Design, characterised by the flush-fitting glass screen, still looks stylish. This latest model has a narrower bezel, too, so more of that black expanse translates into picture.
A smart glass pedestal stand is included in the box, but you've probably also seen the NX TVs advertised with a long aluminium plinth. The TV slots into this and reclines at an angle of 6° to suit fashionably low-slung TV tables, which is what gives this range its classic look. A new version with a powered 2.1 speaker system built in has just been released, and given the disappointing sound of the puny TV speakers, it's a logical upgrade.
So instead of 3D glasses and fancy stands, the hefty price buys you a latest generation full HD LCD panel with dynamic edge-mounted LED backlight. Unlike the 'full array' LED illumination of Sony's flagship HX903, the LEDs are deployed at the sides, but, crucially, still enable local dimming, thanks to what Sony calls dynamic backlighting. The good news is that it works and the picture quality here is in the top bracket as a result.
Jim is a seasoned expert when it comes to testing tech. From playing a prototype PlayStation One to meeting a man called Steve about a new kind of phone in 2007, he’s always hunting the next big thing at the bleeding edge of the electronics industry. After editing the tech section of Wired UK magazine, he is currently specialising in IT and voyaging in his VW camper van.
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