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Sony Bravia KDL-55HX85 television

Sony KDL-55HX853 55in 3D LED TV

Flagship Bravia with the Olympics in mind

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X-Reality check

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.

Sony Bravia KDL-55HX85 television

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.

Sony Bravia KDL-55HX85 television

Freeview EPG

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.

Sony Bravia KDL-55HX85 television

Interfacing aplenty

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.

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