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Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 55in LCD TV review

John Archer

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Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

1 of 9

Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 55in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 55in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 55in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 55in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 55in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 55in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 55in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 55in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 55in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-55X4500 55in LCD TV

Summary

Our Score:

9

For a succinct snapshot of just how extreme Sony's latest TV range is, you only have to compare the entry-level KDL-37V4000 reviewed a few days ago with today's KDL-55X4500. For these two LCD TVs exist a whole £3,000 apart - a difference that's sure as hell going to take some explaining if you're trying to sell the idea of a 55X4500 to a reluctant other half. Especially as the 37V4000 is actually rather good within the context of its self-imposed limitations.

The key with the 55X4500, though, is that it doesn't really bother with boring stuff like ‘limitations'. Its £3,520 price suggests that Sony's engineers have been given room for some true ‘blue sky' thinking - with really quite amazing results.

The grandeur begins as soon as you set eyes on the 55X4500. For as well as enjoying the customary high-gloss black bezel, the 55X4500 extends outward beyond the black bezel's outer edge with two transparent glass wings, within which sit a pair of slender ‘finger' speakers. You can even choose optional Obsidian Black or Ruby Red speaker grilles if you want to up the glamour even further.

One extra touch of ‘bling' comes, too, from the way the Sony logo illuminates when the TV's turned on. Before film purists start moaning about how they don't want their viewing experience ruined by the sight of a brightly lit Sony logo floating under the picture, the illumination can be turned off if you wish!

The only slight bum note in what's otherwise a pretty extraordinary design is the TV's depth. It sticks out 144mm around its rear, making it possibly the fattest ‘flat' TV I've ever seen.

Oh well - at least that chubby butt plays host to an exemplary selection of connections. Four HDMIs, two component video inputs, and a PC jack are just the start of its charms, for it's also laden with an outstanding level of multimedia support. A LAN connection enables you to jack the TV into your PC network, for instance, so that you can play back multimedia files stored on your hard drive(s). Plus there's a Digital Media Port through which you can access pictures and audio from attached portable media players via suitable (not included) adaptors. And finally there's a USB port for direct playback of AV files stored on USB storage devices. Maybe this proves Sony has officially given up on Memory Stick? Here's hoping.

It's not the connections that provide the best excuse for the 55X4500's big rear end, though, but rather the screen technology enclosed within it. For rather crucially, the 55X4500 is Sony's very first LCD TV to use LED backlighting. Which is pretty exciting stuff when you consider how excellent other recent LED TVs have been.

Matt G Baish

February 4, 2009, 10:29 pm

Agh! Why no detachable speakers?! Anyone spending this much on a telly must be using it with a decent surround sound setup? (or have more money than sense) This is the biggest issue I have with my current TV. Ho hum - anther reason to wait.

Ahlan

February 5, 2009, 12:31 am

This is the best LCD TV on the market (as features and quality picture).

ffrankmccaffery

February 5, 2009, 3:18 am

id agree with matt above and also add that the perspex bridge look tacky to boot

basicasic

February 5, 2009, 10:25 am

Not too sure about the looks of the set but it is interesting to note that at last an LCD screen has arrived that can challenge the best of the plasmas.





I would be interested to know the power consumption of this set compared to an equivalent sized plasma.

sugob

February 5, 2009, 2:46 pm

The 'floating' speakers effect look much better in reality {i.e. setup at home} than pictures give it justice {based on my 40Z4500 which has a similar single speaker bar, but underneath the picture}. Though the speakers being on the side here might make this look too wide and suggest unstability?


A drawback of the 'Z' is that carrying TV is awkward as manual says not to lift TV by holding under the speaker which is the easiest/obvious way.





Not quite sure of the Sony model letter scheme {55'X'4500} where progressing through the alphabet used to {roughly} mean a more premium model e.g. S->U->V->W->X->Z, which made it easy {for me} to remember i.e. the 'Z' should have been the new 'X' and this X4500 the 'Z' {what's wrong with 'Y'?}.

Premfab

February 6, 2009, 12:53 am

I'm a bit upset about the 10/10 image quality rating. The only other TV on Trusted Reviews is the Pioneer Kuro range. Now, the Pioneer Kuro range does not have the image issues that this sony has.





What's going on?

errolg

March 7, 2009, 4:46 am

Although the comment in the review is presumably true for UK-released screens, technically this is not "Sony's very first LCD TV to use LED backlighting". I have owned a Sony Qualia 005 since the end of 2004, which is an LCD tv that also features LED backlighting. I can't believe it's taken 4 years for it to be added to their Bravia lineup..

Jed Peterson

July 17, 2009, 9:23 pm

Would you prefer this TV to the Samsung 7000 or 8000 on picture quality?


Samsung has the better connetivity, especially with the blockbuster deal.





Does anyone know if Sony is updating it's connectivity offering?

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