Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900 3D LED TV
This 3D LED television from Sony has great picture quality and Internet features
Sony's Bravia KDL-52LX900 is the company's top television — for its $5499 price tag you get a 52in 3D LED TV with some seriously extensive Internet video-on-demand features, excellent motion control and a good quality Full HD 1080p LCD panel. However, its 3D playback of movies is sometimes imperfect, and it's more expensive than its direct competitors. If you're a cashed-up sports fan who is also a sucker for stylish industrial design — hey, these people exist — this is the perfect television for you.
- Six star power rating, great Bravia Internet Video features, excellent motion control when displaying fast-moving content
- Expensive, some 3D display issues
The Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900 is a very attractive, feature-packed edge-lit LED television, but its 3D decoding does leave a little to be desired. If 3D is your thing it's outclassed by competitors from Samsung and Panasonic, but as a sports-watcher's television it's one of the best. It handles motion very well, and its picture clarity when displaying high-definition 2D content is excellent.
Price$ 5,499.00 (AUD)
Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900: Design, connectivity and setup
Sony has had an excellent track record with its television designs over the past few years, producing masterpieces like the Bravia KDL-46HX700, the Bravia KDL-40E500 and Bravia KDL-46EX1 — even though there have been missteps like the Bravia KDL-46WE5.
The Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900 looks similar to Sony's other 2010 LCD televisions with a clean and angular design that's both stylish and easy to clean. It has a borderless, glossy front not unlike the LG 55LE7500 (but thankfully it's a lot less reflective).
Four HDMI ports means a swathe of high-definition digital video products can be connected simultaneously. Older A/V devices can be connected through the side- and rear-mounted composite, component and VGA ports, while two USB 2.0 and one Ethernet ports allow multimedia streaming and playback.
Setting up the Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900 is a breeze. On-screen prompts help you through initial adjustments to picture and sound quality, and the digital television channel tuning process is completed quickly. Network configuration is easier whether via the wired Ethernet or inbuilt 802.11g wireless, and allows access to the excellent integrated Bravia Internet Video service — which has recently been updated with some new channels, making it an even more attractive feature.
Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900: Picture quality and motion control
When it comes to 2D HD content, the picture of the Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900 is excellent. You'll need to do a little image tweaking to ensure the best picture quality for your living space — while we found the Movie preset was the best overall in terms of sharpness, colour saturation and contrast, we lowered the backlight significantly and slightly reigned in the colour levels to ensure there was no oversaturation or backlight clouding. Full HD Blu-ray content looks very clear; we were consistently impressed by the TV during our viewing of Watchmen.
Contrast is good, but like almost all other edge-lit LED televisions there is a small amount of black crush and some detail lost in highlights. While you'll only be concerned by this if you watch the opening scenes of The Dark Knight over and over — leave that laborious task to us — it does mean the Sony Bravia KDL52-LX900 is technically slightly inferior to a high-end plasma or backlit LED television.
3D playback is harder to assess, because it is as reliant on the filming of the content itself as it is the quality of the television displaying it. We found the Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900 to be a mixed bag — our test 3D movie of Monsters vs. Aliens 3D displayed some crosstalk and haziness around object edges, but switching to some recorded footage of the NRL State of Origin football was much more pleasing to watch. Unlike cheaper models, Sony has integrated a 3D transmitter into the Bravia KDL-52LX900 and includes two pairs of glasses.
Where the Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900 excels is in its control over fast-moving content on screen. The State of Origin footage we watched was clear and jitter-free, even in 3D. Action movies are equally well handled, with no obvious jitter or uneven motion during panning shots or close-up motion.
Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900: Power consumption and environmental policy
The Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900 is an excellent performer when it comes to power consumption and energy efficiency. After taking readings throughout three Blu-ray movies we achieved an average power consumption figure of 215 Watts with power management settings enabled — not too far from the 185W figure quoted by Sony. The use of a physical on/off switch cuts power usage to zero when you're not using the television for an extended period, but an efficient standby mode and presence sensor (like we saw in the Bravia KDL-40EX700 and Bravia KDL-46WE5) means that the Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900 can be set up to save electricity whenever possible.
Sony's environmental policy says that the company "explores every opportunity to reduce environmental impact" and aims to operate in an environmentally responsible manner. The company's Web site details various initiatives to reduce waste.
The Sony Bravia KDL-52LX900 is a good all-round LED television, even though 3D playback could use some work. If you're looking for a super-stylish TV, or if you're into sport or video on demand, this is one of the best models to consider.
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