Sony BRAVIA KDL55XBR45

Sony's BRAVIA KDL55XBR45 vs Samsung's Series 9 LA55A950: which is a better Full HD TV? We take a look the 55in Sony BRAVIA KDL55XBR45 television and compare it to its direct rival from Samsung.

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Sony BRAVIA KDL55XBR45
  • Sony BRAVIA KDL55XBR45
  • Sony BRAVIA KDL55XBR45
  • Sony BRAVIA KDL55XBR45
  • Expert Rating

    4.75 / 5

Pros

  • Four HDMI ports, great menu system, powerful in-built speakers

Cons

  • Better streaming features can be found on the Samsung Series 9

Bottom Line

Sony's BRAVIA KDL55XBR45 Full HD LCD television is fantastic for watching content of any kind. When compared to its direct rival, the Samsung Series 9, it has a few inadequacies, but overall it is a strong performer and well worth its price tag.

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The Sony BRAVIA KDL55XBR45 LCD television is a 55in panel with LED backlighting, Full HD 1080p resolution and a striking 'floating glass' design. This is a great recipe for a class-leading LCD television, although it does have a high price-tag.

We have looked at this television series before, with the Sony BRAVIA KDL46XBR45 LCD gaining an impressive 4.5 stars when we reviewed it.

Sitting at the pinnacle of Sony’s LCD television line-up, the Sony BRAVIA KDL55XBR45 directly competes with the premium Samsung Series 9 LCD television. Samsung’s 55in LA55A950 television retails for just under $8000, while the Sony TV costs almost $1500 more.

Sony quotes the BRAVIA KDL55XBR45's contrast ratio as being 'over 1,000,000:1', whereas Samsung is more specific in saying that its Series 9 LCD television has a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1. Both these numbers are outrageously high and for all intents and purposes we believe the televisions are effectively equal on this front — they both exhibit the ability to 'disappear' in a dark room thanks to backlighting that can be completely switched off in dark movie scenes.

Both TVs have 100Hz technology for smoother motion reproduction and they both possess integrated high-definition digital television tuners. The Sony BRAVIA KDL55XBR45 edges ahead with significantly better speakers — 44W of audio power versus the Samsung Series 9 television’s 30W. An extra HDMI port also swings the battle in favour of the Sony BRAVIA KDL55XBR45.

As you would expect, these premium LCD televisions are chock full of image enhancing features. Dynamic contrast enhancement, ambient light sensing, 24p cinema mode and a whole host of picture adjustment modes are available and ensure the best possible picture. If you purchase either of these televisions you will not be disappointed with the image quality and functionality.

Network streaming is available on both the Sony and Samsung displays, with DLNA-compatible music and photo playback available through Ethernet and USB on both panels. This technology introduces a world of possibilities to your television including one-touch viewing of RSS feeds, news, weather and stock market tickers. We think that the Samsung Series 9 television wins out here with a few more features, but by and large the technology is implemented well in both cases.

When it comes to navigating through the television’s on-screen menus, we believe the Sony BRAVIA KDL55XBR45 definitely comes out on top. The smooth, stylish black-and-grey Xross Media Bar system is very user-friendly.

It is a very close competition between the two TVs when it comes to displaying high-definition and standard-definition content. These two screens have the best images we’ve ever seen, with incredibly vibrant, crisp and rich images that come into their own when presented with high-definition games and Blu-ray movies.

So which TV is better? It’s difficult to give a definitive answer — these two televisions are the best on the market at the moment and if you have the money for either you won’t be disappointed. If you value Internet connectivity and streaming features the Samsung Series 9 may win your heart, while the extra HDMI port, better speakers and functional on-screen menu make the Sony BRAVIA KDL55XBR45 a better all-in-one solution — though it is more expensive.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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