Sony BRAVIA KDL-55HX820 LED TV (preview)

Sony's second best TV for 2011

The Sony BRAVIA HX820 sits directly under the top dog BRAVIA HX925, but has most of the same electronic wizardry hidden away inside. We're hoping its position in Sony's 2011 TV line-up makes it a better value choice for anyone looking for the latest and greatest features. It concedes a few points on outright picture quality (in terms of specifications, at least) but it's otherwise equal.

Like the HX925, the Sony BRAVIA HX820 has the full range of Sony Internet TV and BRAVIA Internet Video Web features. Once you hook the Sony BRAVIA HX820 up to the Internet — which you'll be able to do via wired Ethernet or the TV's built-in 802.11n wireless connection — you'll have access to 24 streaming linear Internet TV channels, covering topics ranging from 24/7 news to V8 Supercars and AFL. Catch-up TV and video-on-demand is also well catered for with the BRAVIA Internet Video suite of archived TV libraries, including ABC iView.

The Sony BRAVIA HX820 uses edge-lighting LEDs instead of the HX925's more advanced LED backlight. The BRAVIA HX820 is still able to dim its screen locally, though — one segment of the screen can be dark while another is lit, allowing for theoretically deep (but not true) blacks alongside bright white highlights. It'll likely be able to equal or best last year's LED TV models like the Samsung Series 7 and the Sony BRAVIA HX800.

Sony's HX820 range of TVs, including the 55in KDL-55HX820 and the 46in KDL-46HX820, will be available from May 2011.

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Campbell Simpson

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