While effective, such processing typically introduces unwanted smudgy motion artefacts around moving objects. However, the HX853 is remarkably free of these. Indeed, I might argue that with the set’s Motionflow on Clear (interpolation with backlight blinking and backlight control) this set delivers the best, uncompromised motion clarity currently available, and it’s certainly an improvement on last year’s KDL-HX923 flagship.
Picture perfect? In two dimensions, it's getting that way
Sony has also upgraded its 3D offering, using 3D Super Resolution image processing tech. This Active Shutter 3D screen certainly pulls scads of detail from dimensionalised BDs, however, that doesn’t resolve the basic problem of crosstalk.
This may be a sprightly 200Hz panel, but it still clearly suffers from double imaging, and the viewing experience isn’t helped by 3D glasses which are extremely intolerant of viewing deviation. To cock your head left or right is to invite colour shift and ghosting. There are no 3D glasses supplied in the box, they’re an optional extra.
On the plus side, the HX853 delivers astonishingly involving 2D images; Freeview HD channels look great and Blu-rays are even better. William Hurt’s face proves to be a Google map of detail, in The Incredible Hulk, a test disc chosen for its fast moving action scenes and challenging colour palette.
The results are quite a validation of Sony’s latest image cocktail, dubbed X-Reality Pro, which are served from the powerful new XCA-7 IC. It’s not just broadcast and packaged media that looks good. This X-Reality chipset has also been optimised for low-resolution, internet delivered content, so everything from YouTube to streamed movies from Sony’s VoD service look sharper.
Contrast levels are outstanding too. A pronounced black makes short work of a 20/20 step B&W scale. However, brightness needs to dialled back to no more than 40 on the sliding scale, to keep things balanced.
Next page: Sound barrier
LED TV for £1800?
This is an LCD TV which uses LED for its backlight. When a 55inch proper LED TV is available for £1800, that will be genuinely interesting news.
Re: ... and the verdict of the User Interface jury is...
I'm not saying Sony's TV UI is perfect, I have many complaints about the 2011 models and argued about many things in their development and did fight many battles for minor improvements, some of with were won. However your specific complaints are either wrong (resolution) and/or misguided (PIP). I also believe that the Sony TVs and remotes are easier to use than at least the 2011 Samsungs or Panasonics. I haven't tried any of the companies 2012 models but I use to dislike their remote controls and find them hard to navigate.
Regarding resolution for at least the past few years there has been an aspect ratio button on Sony remote controls. TV screen with horizontal and vertical arrows across it is the symbol. This is of decreasing importance now because 14:9 is used less often and more content is correctly flagged so with the TV settings right
If you actually mean a screen resolution button I don't understand you because that isn't something the TV can change. It takes an input and displays it at the resolution of the display with whatever scaling and processing is required. During online video playback there is an option to reduce the size of the video playback to make truly dire quality footage bearable but I don't think you meant for viewing in small window in the middle of the screen.
Picture in picture is found in the options menu at least on the 2011 models but I think also many earlier ones under 'Twin Picture'. This is very much a minority feature (most people never use it and I use to have figures to prove it) and fairly accessible. 'Options', 'Down arrow' * 5, 'OK', 'OK' for Picture and picture or 'Options', 'Down arrow' * 5, 'OK', Down arrow' 'OK'
Re: Backlit - Edge or direct?
I was not involved in this generation of Sony TVs but I think that the direction was towards edge LEDs but with zonal light guides so that local dimming was still possible. The number of people prepared to pay the premium for greater arrays of truly back positioned LEDs was insufficient to justify those expensive models and they were thicker too putting more people off.
Regarding MKV support this is down to chipset selection probably about 3-4 years ago now for 2011-2012 TVs and it not being as critical at that time. However the best solution is to find DLNA server software that can unpackage the MKV file and offer the (probably supported) encoded bitstreams over the local network.
Regarding the digital bling comment - most people can't spot even quite glaring picture problems and even the most basic Sony TVs are great pictures to them. The quality of all the TVs has been increasing significantly and the gain of moving to full array backlight has been dropping as local dimming has been added to the edge lit models. Also volumes are small so the price of the full array panels has not dropped with the others so they look even less good value.
The market for pure monitor panels with separate/optional decoder units is very small (see demise of Pioneer) and the low volumes would make such a product more expensive than the equivalent TV with many functions that you don't want. Don't consider them as extra cost but a cost reducing features by increasing volumes of product sold then you won't feel so bad. If you really want to go without the TV and online features Sony also make professional panels for broadcast use and other professional scenarios although for these you are probably looking at paying triple the price.
Re: Let's get it over with now
It depends on how far away from the screen you sit. A 55" 1920x1080 screen is not made for viewing from one foot away.
Re: ... and the verdict of the User Interface jury is...
I don't have a problem with the with this set's UI in terms of usability and navigation. Unfortunately it runs in quite a sluggish manner. Hopefully a software update sorts that out.