Design and Connections
The Sony HX753 comes with the same, smaller and lighter new remote control we saw with the HX853 with the new SEN (Sony Entertainment Network) button that takes you directly to Sony’s online offerings. Button placement is well considered but, again, we’d prefer the exit button to be bigger, better placed and more effective. If you are more than one ‘layer’ down in the menus, a press will mean you just revert to the menu above. Exit should mean getting out of the menus altogether, you already provided a RETURN Button for skipping back Sony. The 55HX873 doesn’t ship with 3D eyewear, as standard, but we were provided a set of Sony’s TDG-BR250’s for testing which we’ll discuss in the 3D section later on.
The Bravia app for mobile devices (smartphones/tablets) makes using the built-in Browser a far more palatable experience than with the conventional remote, particularly as it includes the ability to ‘catch and throw’ it between the two devices and although it’s no real substitute for using a decent Tablet or Smartphone independently, big screen browsing does have its benefits. There’s built in Wi-Fi allowing DLNA streaming but of course you can do it wired too. File support is reasonably generous but we found we needed to use a transcoding media player to get MKV’s to run. The manual lists AVCHD, MPEG2, MPEG1, MP4 (AVC), MP4 (MPEG4), DivX, WMV for video. Photo’s are limited to JPEG over the network but USB connected devices will be able to display 3D MPO files, whilst MP3, linear PCM, WMA are the possibilities for music.
Like the HX853, the 753 has the new Impulse option under the Motion Flow settings in the Picture Menu. The first thing most will notice is the immediate dimming of the picture and then it’s likely they’ll notice a major increase in flicker. We think that Sony really must only be intending for it to be used with 24p content as it uses a black frame insertion technique at 48Hz when fed a 1080p Blu-ray disc, similar to the technique used in cinema projectors; so it pulls down two frames inserts a black frame pulls down another two frames and so on, ad infinitum. With the lights down very low it works quite effectively but since, without any Motion Flow settings engaged, the HX753 copes perfectly well pulling down 4 frames at 96Hz we can’t really see the point. So whilst it’s interesting, it’s not something we’d elect to utilise ourselves, although some will like it.
Subjectively, the Sony HX753 provided a very decent gaming performance as far as we were concerned and our current diet of Dirt 3 and FIFA 12 never felt compromised by latency, although we don’t play online and, in the case of the former title especially, we don’t profess to be any great shakes! Donning the white coat for a split second and calling upon the services of the lag test device revealed a measured lag of 43.5 milliseconds which is less than a millisecond more than we measured with the 853.
The most remarkable thing here was that the HX753 seemed to use less energy in 3D mode than it did in 2D. We have no good explanation for this but the averaged 2D draw was around 80w in calibrated Cinema Mode (Backlight 5) and Cinema 3D Mode (Backlight 10) averaged nearer 60w.
Picture Quality - 2D
Though the black level is impressive, the sample supplied did suffer with some clouding problems that intruded with darker scenes, although this could be improved by utilising the control labelled Adv Contrast Enhancer. This is, in reality, the global dimming control where Low is actually the most aggressive setting, rather confusingly. Users will need to balance the use of the control with the fact that it will lose detail in very dark scenes owing to the imprecision of the system; in a perfect world we would prefer not to have used it but given the clouding issues it was preferable to lose a bit of detail rather than suffer unduly with them. While we’re on the subject of screen uniformity, the Sony 55HX753 did show up some panel banding under panning shots, especially with bright or pale colour tones but we’ve certainly seen worse examples of this with other LED TVs but (on a topical note) we did see a fair amount when Andy Carroll came on in the England Vs Italy game at Euro 2012.
Uniformity issues aside, we were generally impressed with the quality of pictures which offered a very nice sense of accuracy and no little detail. As with the 853, panel response doesn’t seem the swiftest so some may find the need to engage Motion Flow on one if its more conservative guises for fast moving action shot on video but, set up right, the Sony is a very good all-rounder.
Picture Quality - 3D
- Excellent contrast
- Rich blacks - with dynamic contrast enabled
- Very accurate colours out-of-the-box
- Reference greyscale and colour when calibrated
- Plenty of Video on Demand content
- Price is realistic
- Cloudy blacks - with contrast enhancer off
- Panel banding evident on light colours
- 3D glasses need to be kept totally level
- SEN content/apps need to be unified
Sony HX753 (KDL-55HX753) 3D LED LCD TV Review
There’s nothing fancy about the Sony 55HX753’s. It hasn’t got a distinctive stand, it’s not particularly thin and nor is the bezel of the micro variety but it does nothing to offend and the silver trim on the outer edges of the chassis gives it a hint of topicality. The remote control fits in to that category as well and is none the worse for it. Thankfully there’s less reason than ever to use the clunky XMB menus as almost everything you will need can be accessed from the OPTIONS button – for settings – and the SEN button for ‘smart’ content. That said, Sony really need to organise their features in a more consolidated way so it’s all easy to access from the same place.
Out of box colour accuracy was impressive and once we’d calibrated the greyscale, images were very convincing. The 3D presentation is a big step up from that we saw from most of the 2011 Sony’s with little in the way of crosstalk to spoil the immersion. Gamers will likely be satisfied with the HX753 too, with a measured latency in the low 40 millisecond range that puts it on a, more or less, equal footing with the best we’ve seen since using the new, more accurate testing methodology.
With some careful set-up the Sony KDL-55HX753 is capable of producing very pleasing pictures that rival those of the more costly HX853 we recently reviewed. Were it not for the more visible and frequent reminders of the shortcomings of LED TV technology – namely panel banding and clouding – we would likely be looking at a more prestigious award than the Recommended Badge awarded here. As it is, the excellent colours, more than capable video processing and very decent intra-scene contrast are enough to ensure the HX753 is another solid candidate from Sony’s 2012 Bravia line-up; although you may well need to tinker with the controls to bring out its best.
3D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
Our Review Ethos
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