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Sony HX823 (KDL-55HX823) 3D LED LCD TV Review

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<img src="http://reviews.images.static-avforums.com/reviews/251/thumb.jpg" align="right">Reviewed by Mark Hodgkinson, 31st December 2011.
Whilst the Sony KDL-55HX823 has much to admire, equally it has the ability to frustrate. On the one hand we have a beautifully crafted display capable of producing reference colours and top-notch processing to lend a hand in providing rich, convincing images. On the other, panel banding is almost ever-present and it's distracting; poor uniformity at the corners blight movie viewing and dark scenes in general.
Read the full review...
 

HaRd2BeAr

Distinguished Member
Thank you Mark for the excellent review. :smashin:

I own the 46HX823 and am loving it.

Long shot but any chance of some settings?

I am already using cinema 1 and warm 2. Everything else is off ie edge enhancer etc only things i have on are motion flow clear (although i can't really see a difference, i had it off for a while) local dimming standard and film mode auto 2. Without local dimming on i get slight corner bleed and blacks look blue so i have chosen to leave it on.

The one i am struggling with is contrast. 90 makes the picture punch and i can see more detail in dark areas even black clothes for example but then the blacks start to look slightly blue tinted. Could this be helped with the white balance controls?

My main concern is that things like contrast settings are normally up high out of the box even in cinema/movie modes. Is 90 to high and should i be turning it down?

Other than me being picky and having the crease on all four sides, i love it. No regrets here.

Thanks

Aaron.
 

HaRd2BeAr

Distinguished Member
One last thing HDMI Dynamic Range is currently on auto, is that recommended or is it better to set to full/limited? Or is it one of those things that makes no difference?

Thanks again and sorry for all the questions. :blush:

Aaron
 

TrinitronCRT

Standard Member
Spent ages on-line and in-stores, comparing 55" LED/LCD 3D HD TVs from LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony, including some Plasmas. Sony KDL-55HX823 by far the best all-round picture in 2D and 3D, so bought one last week, and software upgraded shortly afterwards.

No banding visible, no unwanted colour tones, not one instant of BR100 Glasses losing synch, and £1499.99 from local Sony store, or £1399.99 from John Lewis, with 5 year warranty. Large clear new menu system, with tons of useful features and settings, which I have mainly left to default values.

Although I originally felt the 55" picture was not as sharp as previous 46" TV, viewers have been blown away with the 2D pictures, and especially the 3D performance from DVDs and Internet streaming, as well as the many useful features and build quality.
 

offitmassive

Well-known Member
Spent ages on-line and in-stores, comparing 55" LED/LCD 3D HD TVs from LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony, including some Plasmas. Sony KDL-55HX823 by far the best all-round picture in 2D and 3D, so bought one last week, and software upgraded shortly afterwards.

No banding visible, no unwanted colour tones, not one instant of BR100 Glasses losing synch, and £1499.99 from local Sony store, or £1399.99 from John Lewis, with 5 year warranty. Large clear new menu system, with tons of useful features and settings, which I have mainly left to default values.

Although I originally felt the 55" picture was not as sharp as previous 46" TV, viewers have been blown away with the 2D pictures, and especially the 3D performance from DVDs and Internet streaming, as well as the many useful features and build quality.
good 3d performance then??? im on the verge of getting the 55hx823 and the reviewer said it was poor 3d performance ??? bit concerned now though.
 

TrinitronCRT

Standard Member
Views on this excellent web-site are somewhat personal, one person prefers test software discs, while others judge by watching actual TV, DVD, and Internet content on the unit under scrutiny, which is what most viewers will actually spend their time doing. Some will use the additional Skype camera/microphone CMU-BR100 to make free Skype voice and video calls, which can only be judged by actual use.

Having read this professional review and helpful comments, perhaps it's best for you to visit several Sony dealers, put on Sony TDG-BR100/200/250 3D active glasses and view a variety of 3D content. Posting your impressions on this review will then add more personal experience to it, to aid others.

Everyone viewing my KDL-55HX823 enjoyed the partial-depth 3D-effect on 2D HD transmissions, and were really amazed at the 3D DVD and Sony Internet 3D content, most tried to move back from the TV, due to picture content appearing to burst out the front of the screen, especially in the Sony Internet Japanese Zoo sea life experience.

The sound from the three speakers (a high range unit at each side and a bass unit in the centre) is pretty good for what they are, but most people buying a 55" TV will use a home cinema sound system instead. The Gorilla Glass provides additional safety and good looks, and at 27mm thick, this TV is ideal for those who wall mount.

I like the additional safety provided by an actual mains on/off switch, although it only saves 1 Watt of stand-by power. As we can now fully surf the Internet on the TV, we have saved space by removing an Internet PC from the living room. Some viewers found the on-board camera spooky, fears of Big Brother were mentioned by many.

So give the TV a try before you buy, your views will be very welcome here.
 

jento

Standard Member
Hello Mark,
thanks for the review. I'd like to ask your opinion on something.
On paper this TV shares many features with HX723 except for the opticontrast gorilla glass. But then results are very different, with HX723 prevailing on panel uniformity and 3d performances. The HX723 also gets a higher grade ("excellent"). They really look like two different TVs.
Now I've noticed you reviewed most sony TVs, the toshiba wl863 and samsung d8000s, while Stephen Whiters reviewed the HX723. I was wondering if you ever tried the HX723 and if you agreed with your colleague.
 

allanp

Active Member
Thank you Mark for the excellent review. :smashin:

I own the 46HX823 and am loving it.

Long shot but any chance of some settings?

I am already using cinema 1 and warm 2. Everything else is off ie edge enhancer etc only things i have on are motion flow clear (although i can't really see a difference, i had it off for a while) local dimming standard and film mode auto 2. Without local dimming on i get slight corner bleed and blacks look blue so i have chosen to leave it on.

The one i am struggling with is contrast. 90 makes the picture punch and i can see more detail in dark areas even black clothes for example but then the blacks start to look slightly blue tinted. Could this be helped with the white balance controls?

My main concern is that things like contrast settings are normally up high out of the box even in cinema/movie modes. Is 90 to high and should i be turning it down?

Other than me being picky and having the crease on all four sides, i love it. No regrets here.

Thanks

Aaron.
Can I ask what you mean when you refer to the creases? I've seen this mentioned about the nx923 as well.
 

HaRd2BeAr

Distinguished Member
Can I ask what you mean when you refer to the creases? I've seen this mentioned about the nx923 as well.
It appears as a shadow about a cm in from the edge of the screen, i have it on the top and bottom (faint) and left and right (more noticeable). Google "Sony crease issue". In my honest opinion it isn't that big a deal for me at least. ;)

Aaron
 

MahaRaja

Well-known Member
viewers have been blown away with the 2D pictures, and especially the 3D performance from DVDs and Internet streaming, as well as the many useful features and build quality.
It appears that you work for Sony Centre by your comments. Who are the viewers? I would be surprised by if the AV Forum reviewer did not view actual TV footage and not based his assessment on test discs.
 

offitmassive

Well-known Member
It seems weird that how some sites rate the TV very highly, and avf reviewer rated it poor in 3d aspects along with just average for quite a few others. Id like a full review of an actual owner who watches everyday stuff from e.g soaps, sports, documentaries to 3d content rather than 3d test discs.

trinitroncrt, if you had the money again, would you 100% pick the same tv? or would you look elsewhere at cheaper 3d plasmas from panasonic? i dont wanna end up regretting paying £1400 for an average 3d set, where i could have paid half that for a just as capable if not better plasma. im not a fan of panasonic's styling, the sony set looks smart and im hoping i wont have any regrets
 

Phil Hinton

Editor
Staff member
Views on this excellent web-site are somewhat personal, one person prefers test software discs, while others judge by watching actual TV, DVD, and Internet content on the unit under scrutiny, which is what most viewers will actually spend their time doing.
offitmassive said:
It seems weird that how some sites rate the TV very highly, and avf reviewer rated it poor in 3d aspects along with just average for quite a few others. Id like a full review of an actual owner who watches everyday stuff from e.g soaps, sports, documentaries to 3d content rather than 3d test discs.
With all due respect your comments read as if all we do is watch test discs. This is as far from the truth as you can get. Review sets are fully tested with every day use over a long period of time. It goes through around 200 set tests which every other review TV is put through and looked at by people who have a huge amount of experience not to mention the main qualifications for imaging science and calibration (all are ISF and THX certified). Our reviewers also see almost every TV available on the market which gives them an insight very few forums members have with all the new TVs available. This is also done in the best testing environments possible so that testing is in line with what end users will find useful.

3D testing, while still a little subjective, is also done in exactly the same way with quite a number of real life sources and not just test discs. Our reviewers see a vast number of different 3D TVs and projectors, more than most users of this forum and have a good amount of experience, not only from a viewing and testing stand point, but they have also been on courses about 3D film making techniques, the same that most broadcasters and film makers take (funnily enough one was hosted by Sony).

We also don't review for anyone but the AVForums members and end users; we are not here to review products for manufacturers. Every TV and projector receives a warts and all assessment which reflects the true performance capabilities. This includes hours of normal TV program watching, testing the Smart TV capabilities and testing it with a number of sources over many hours. The review TV becomes the every day TV of the reviewer while they have it. We cannot test absolutely everything because we won't be living with it for months on end, but we spend more time than the vast majority of other outlets and we are one of less than a handful of testing sites where full measurable and objective testing is done in the same way with every TV. We are the only review source where the reviewers are put through stringent testing by industry bodies so they are highly trained individuals. However, unlike almost every review site out there, our reviewers are not journalists but are forum members and enthusiasts from this website, first and foremost. They understand our readers and what they are looking for.

So, to suggest as you have that all the reviewer's do here is watch test patterns is utter rubbish and misleading.

TrinitronCRT are you an employee of a Sony Centre as suggested?

It is natural that owners of items we are perhaps critical of can be a little defensive and offer aspects of performance that they personally feel is good for them and we would never judge or pass comment on this. If someone is happy then great, if we all liked the same things it would be a pretty boring world. However, our tests are conducted in the same way for every TV we review in a repeatable and measurable way and our assessments are always fair and objective. We don't listen to sales and marketing PR and give a warts and all assessment from who are at the end of the day, complete enthusiasts the same as forum members, and who have many years of actual testing, calibrating and viewing experience. However what we do not do is tell anyone what product to buy. We provide the best information possible using experience and testing to give a warts and all assessment, but it is always down to the reader or forum member to use that as a guide and make up their own mind. We would always suggest a demo of any product they are interested in and use the review as a guide of things to check and test. If the user finds they are happy with the product after assessing it themselves; that is great and what it is all about. We are here to help and impart what knowledge and testing we do, not to tell people what they should buy without seeing it.

I had to pick up on the comments here that suggest otherwise.



most tried to move back from the TV, due to picture content appearing to burst out the front of the screen, especially in the Sony Internet Japanese Zoo sea life experience.
Great sales line, not sure it actually helps anyone though.
 

offitmassive

Well-known Member
With all due respect your comments read as if all we do is watch test discs. This is as far from the truth as you can get. Review sets are fully tested with every day use over a long period of time. It goes through around 200 set tests which every other review TV is put through and looked at by people who have a huge amount of experience not to mention the main qualifications for imaging science and calibration (all are ISF and THX certified). Our reviewers also see almost every TV available on the market which gives them an insight very few forums members have with all the new TVs available. This is also done in the best testing environments possible so that testing is in line with what end users will find useful.

3D testing, while still a little subjective, is also done in exactly the same way with quite a number of real life sources and not just test discs. Our reviewers see a vast number of different 3D TVs and projectors, more than most users of this forum and have a good amount of experience, not only from a viewing and testing stand point, but they have also been on courses about 3D film making techniques, the same that most broadcasters and film makers take (funnily enough one was hosted by Sony).

We also don't review for anyone but the AVForums members and end users; we are not here to review products for manufacturers. Every TV and projector receives a warts and all assessment which reflects the true performance capabilities. This includes hours of normal TV program watching, testing the Smart TV capabilities and testing it with a number of sources over many hours. The review TV becomes the every day TV of the reviewer while they have it. We cannot test absolutely everything because we won’t be living with it for months on end, but we spend more time than the vast majority of other outlets and we are one of less than a handful of testing sites where full measurable and objective testing is done in the same way with every TV. We are the only review source where the reviewers are put through stringent testing by industry bodies so they are highly trained individuals. However, unlike almost every review site out there, our reviewers are not journalists but are forum members and enthusiasts from this website, first and foremost. They understand our readers and what they are looking for.

So, to suggest as you have that all the reviewer’s do here is watch test patterns is utter rubbish and misleading.

TrinitronCRT are you an employee of a Sony Centre as suggested?

It is natural that owners of items we are perhaps critical of can be a little defensive and offer aspects of performance that they personally feel is good for them and we would never judge or pass comment on this. If someone is happy then great, if we all liked the same things it would be a pretty boring world. However, our tests are conducted in the same way for every TV we review in a repeatable and measurable way and our assessments are always fair and objective. We don't listen to sales and marketing PR and give a warts and all assessment from who are at the end of the day, complete enthusiasts the same as forum members, and who have many years of actual testing, calibrating and viewing experience. However what we do not do is tell anyone what product to buy. We provide the best information possible using experience and testing to give a warts and all assessment, but it is always down to the reader or forum member to use that as a guide and make up their own mind. We would always suggest a demo of any product they are interested in and use the review as a guide of things to check and test. If the user finds they are happy with the product after assessing it themselves; that is great and what it is all about. We are here to help and impart what knowledge and testing we do, not to tell people what they should buy without seeing it.

I had to pick up on the comments here that suggest otherwise.




Great sales line, not sure it actually helps anyone though.
Thats a fair comment and completely understandable but Im still confused how AVF can score the HX823 which was said by AVF was a higher spec set a lower score than the older 723. the hx723 had higher marks across 3d perspective than the higher spec 823. so which is the better 3dtv? the higher scored 723 or "higher spec" lower scored 823. Do the tv's get scored in a living room or a testing room? All i asked for was a review of the tv from an owner who will more than likely be sat in a living room watching normal day to day stuff. I meant no offence Im sure if you re read what I put you'd see what I was asking for.
 

hodg100

Distinguished Member
First paragraph of the 3D section:

We’ll admit to being a little flummoxed by the 3D performance of the HX823. After seeing improvements in this area from both the last 723’s we’ve covered, we were expecting the same or better from this more illustrious set. But it wasn’t.
I think that sums up my thoughts on it. I'm as confused as you but using the same real world material as was used on the 723 I reviewed, the 823 was clearly performing worse in SBS mode. I still haven't had chance to test it since the last software update but will try to do so tonight.

No offence taken whatsoever re the comments. Fair questions:)

Thats a fair comment and completely understandable but Im still confused how AVF can score the HX823 which was said by AVF was a higher spec set a lower score than the older 723. the hx723 had higher marks across 3d perspective than the higher spec 823. so which is the better 3dtv?
 

hodg100

Distinguished Member
The one i am struggling with is contrast. 90 makes the picture punch and i can see more detail in dark areas even black clothes for example but then the blacks start to look slightly blue tinted. Could this be helped with the white balance controls?

My main concern is that things like contrast settings are normally up high out of the box even in cinema/movie modes. Is 90 to high and should i be turning it down?
Hi Aaron

Sorry for the late reply, Xmas and all that stuff so not had chance.

In terms of contrast, I was able to push the review sample pretty hard without clippping or discolouration in the whites. If I remember rightly it's around 93 with a backlight of 6 for about 40ftL peak luminance. I didn't have that issue of creating blue blacks (they kind of are whatever you do) by using the control but you'd be best using some patterns to set both. It's possible to calibrate blue tints out, if you have an excess near black, but the Sony white balance controls are extremely coarse low down.

One last thing HDMI Dynamic Range is currently on auto, is that recommended or is it better to set to full/limited? Or is it one of those things that makes no difference?
Full is for PC levels (0-255) and limited for video (16-235) but limited will accept up to 255 (whiter than white) if sent by the source. If all your connected sources are video, stick it on that ( and vice versa) to save you ever wondering if the wrong signal is being sent.
 

HaRd2BeAr

Distinguished Member
Hi Aaron

Sorry for the late reply, Xmas and all that stuff so not had chance.

In terms of contrast, I was able to push the review sample pretty hard without clippping or discolouration in the whites. If I remember rightly it's around 93 with a backlight of 6 for about 40ftL peak luminance. I didn't have that issue of creating blue blacks (they kind of are whatever you do) by using the control but you'd be best using some patterns to set both. It's possible to calibrate blue tints out, if you have an excess near black, but the Sony white balance controls are extremely coarse low down.



Full is for PC levels (0-255) and limited for video (16-235) but limited will accept up to 255 (whiter than white) if sent by the source. If all your connected sources are video, stick it on that ( and vice versa) to save you ever wondering if the wrong signal is being sent.
No worries, Christmas is a busy time. :)

Thank you very much:smashin:, i find over 5 very bright for my eyes. Think i will have to sort out the ambient lighting in the room. Not sure where to start on that one really.

Also i have played around with brightness but keep going back to 50, higher blacks start going grey lower crushes detail. (but then this is with backlight at 2.)

Thanks again, and a happy new year. :thumbsup:

Aaron

Just to add all my content is video, so will set to limited.
 
Last edited:

offitmassive

Well-known Member
hey hard2bear, what are your opinions of the tv?? would you pick it again if given a 2nd chance??
 

offitmassive

Well-known Member
First paragraph of the 3D section:



I think that sums up my thoughts on it. I'm as confused as you but using the same real world material as was used on the 723 I reviewed, the 823 was clearly performing worse in SBS mode. I still haven't had chance to test it since the last software update but will try to do so tonight.

No offence taken whatsoever re the comments. Fair questions:)
if and when you test it with the latest firmware, please can you let us know the outcome of the result??

might head to a ps51d8000 if the sony doesnt come up trumps
 

HaRd2BeAr

Distinguished Member
Another question (sorry Mark :blush:)

What is you opinion of Super Bit Mapping?

I read through the review twice, don't think i missed anything.

I actually thought it was one of the things best left on, but it was suggested i turn it off and see what i think. Can't really say i have noticed a difference.

Thanks Aaron
 

TrinitronCRT

Standard Member
Quote: It is natural that owners of items we are perhaps critical of can be a little defensive and offer aspects of performance that they personally feel is good for them and we would never judge or pass comment on this. (Apart from accusing someone of working for a Sony Centre).

I retired some years ago now, and was in the electronics / telecommunication industry, I have never worked in a Sony Centre, and am amazed at your unpleasant comments just because I disagree with your review.

While I was in our local Sony centre purchasing more 3D Glasses and the Skype Camera / Microphone, I watched a demo of the TV in question, which impressed the customers so much, two TVs were immediately ordered.

Our house is more like a Bus or Train Station at times, with numerous family and friends visiting; this ample supply of "viewers" provides valuable and interesting impressions, and the TV in question never fails to impress, in 2D and 3D.

As commented by others, many alternative TV review sites have been very impressed by the KDL-55HX823, which makes me suspect your sample TV may have been faulty.

As mentioned before, a simple visit to a Sony retailer for a test viewing will provide all the answers. Would I purchase the same TV again ? Yes, as soon as my monthly pension arrives.
 

mcgroa

Novice Member
I got this for 1250 quid just before new years with free 5 yr sony warranty :) and a free pair of glasses. Have to say its much better than my samsung ue40c7000 that I bought only a year earlier for the same money. I dont understany why it gets slated for 3d - I compared it with samsung 55 8000 series for broadcast sport, and blu ray 3d movie and it was hands down the best. Comparing to the my samsung c series, I'd say with the 3d perspective set to +2 the sony 3d effect looks similar and a bit "exaggerated" with more crosstalk. Maybe people slate it for the normal 0 setting being a bit more subtle but I enjoyed more. The glasses do have annoying feature of reflecting the picture off the plastic inside the glasses which is REALLY annoying. For 2d I think the colour/contrast is much better - if anything my samsung looks garish no matter what settings. Last think I didnt have before that I like is the stand can tilt back up to a few degrees- great for getting the reflections off your screen at viewing height. And I do find it odd that you can in the energy saving page, call up a camera view of yourself in your room to set motion detection level, but that same camera cant be used for skype. Why go to effort of putting it in just for energy saving?
 

offitmassive

Well-known Member
I got this for 1250 quid just before new years with free 5 yr sony warranty :) and a free pair of glasses. Have to say its much better than my samsung ue40c7000 that I bought only a year earlier for the same money. I dont understany why it gets slated for 3d - I compared it with samsung 55 8000 series for broadcast sport, and blu ray 3d movie and it was hands down the best. Comparing to the my samsung c series, I'd say with the 3d perspective set to +2 the sony 3d effect looks similar and a bit "exaggerated" with more crosstalk. Maybe people slate it for the normal 0 setting being a bit more subtle but I enjoyed more. The glasses do have annoying feature of reflecting the picture off the plastic inside the glasses which is REALLY annoying. For 2d I think the colour/contrast is much better - if anything my samsung looks garish no matter what settings. Last think I didnt have before that I like is the stand can tilt back up to a few degrees- great for getting the reflections off your screen at viewing height. And I do find it odd that you can in the energy saving page, call up a camera view of yourself in your room to set motion detection level, but that same camera cant be used for skype. Why go to effort of putting it in just for energy saving?
I currently have the ue46c7000 and am not completely convinced with samsung anymore, there was loads of crosstalk, flickering on faster moving scenes, even on skysports new the scrolling bar would flicker now and again but when more action appeared whilst the scrolling text was on...thats a different story. so cheesed off at how a £1500 tv could fail to deliver especially on a normal image. where did you get the tv for 1250 with free glasses?
 

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