Sony KD-65X9005A review
- Incredible image definition
- Superb upscaling
- High-fidelity sound system
- There's no native 4K content
- Just one tuner
- Limited catch-up TV services
The Sony KD-65X9005A is the world's first 65-inch 4K Ultra HD TV. Potentially the harbinger of a new era of TV image quality, it combines 3840 x 2160 resolution with Smart connectivity and haute couture design. Also available is the lookalike 55-inch Sony KD-55X9005A, which sells for £3999.
Sony KD-65X9005A: Features
This spectacular 65-incher shares a common feature set with Sony's top-end Full HD W9 Series. On offer is an Internet TV portal, media file playback, 3D and NFC-enabled mobile content sharing. Of course, you don't actually need an NFC mobile, any smartphone can throw content to the screen.
Sony KD-65X9005A: Design
The design aesthetic of the X9 is sensational. Glossy black with edge-to-edge glass, it's a veritable limousine of a screen. Sony has reinstated the loudspeaker back to where it belongs, on the front of the set rather than beneath or below, cleverly integrating mid-range drivers and tweeter within the panel itself. There's a purity about the cosmetics which is downright breathtaking.
Sony KD-65X9005A: Specs
Connections comprise four HDMIs, three USBs, SCART, component/composite video and Ethernet. Wi-Fi is built in. Two remote controls are supplied, a cheapo zapper and a simplified One-Touch controller with that build in NFC chip - neither are particularly nice to use.
One of the USBs can be partnered to an external USB hard drive, which then allows you to timeshift programmes without recourse to a separate PVR; however, the TV's single tuner, rather limits usability. Unfortunately you can't just whack a fat USB for sporadic timeshifting. The capacity has to be greater than 32GB.
Sony KD-65X9005A: Performance
Thrillingly, this 4K debutant doesn't disappoint where it really counts, literally setting a new benchmark for picture quality. We first auditioned the screen with a dedicated 4K media server, packed with demo material and film clips - with no native 4K content available it was the only way to see the screen truly strut its stuff. And said stuff proves to be truly gobsmacking.
Astonishingly detailed images allow you to view up close with no pixel grid structure getting in the way. The screen's 4K X-Reality PRO engine also does a remarkable job upscaling Full HD to 3840 x 2160p. Blu-ray and broadcast TV both benefit from the smoothness that the 4K panel imparts, and colour fidelity is outstanding.
The set uses Sony's new Triluminos filtering for a wider colour gamut. Images are exceptionally dynamic, with bright peak whites and deep blacks. Shadow detail is excellent.
The set also does a fabulous job adding depth to video games. The Last of Us, delivered via PS3 looks considerably sharper here than it does on a comparably sized high performing Panasonic plasma.
Interesting, the 84-inch LG 84LM960V UHD screen introduced ruinous lag with consoles when we auditioned it. The same effect was not noted here, perhaps due to processing consolidation which has seen the upscaling process reduced from a three to two chip process.
The screen's audio performance is outstanding. Magnetic fluid speakers, with rear ported bass woofers, deliver hi-fi grade sound.
Sony KD-65X9005A: Verdict
Sony has long hankered to puts its TV business back in pole position, and with the X9 it's done just that. The set's audio visual performance is groundbreaking and the set's design is ingenious.
Sure it'll be a while before native 4K becomes available, be it via Blu-ray disc, streaming or broadcast TV, but this screen does such an outstanding job upscaling Full HD (and looks so beautiful) we have no hesitation in brandishing two thumbs skyward. One day all TVs will look this great.
Sony KD-65X9005A release date: Out now
Sony KD-65X9005A price: £5999