Sony KD-84X9005

Score

Sections

Pros

  • 4k pictures look simply astonishing
  • Upscaled HD pictures look great too
  • Best 3D pictures to date

Cons

  • It costs £25,000
  • Some (likely sample-specific) backlight clouding
  • Not much native 4k source material - yet...

Key Features

  • Review Price: £25000.00
  • 84in LCD TV with edge LED lighting
  • 4k native resolution
  • Passive 3D playback
  • 4K X-Reality Pro processing
  • Sony Entertainment Network online system

Introduction
Everything about Sony’s KD-84X9005 is big. Most obviously there’s its

screen: 84in from corner to corner, with a good inch of bezel wrapped

around it. Less obvious – until you switch it on, at any rate – is the

enormous number of pixels squeezed into that 84in screen: more than

eight million. For yes, the 84X9005 is only the second TV we’ve ever

tested to boast a ‘4k’ native resolution of 3840 pixels across by 2160

pixels down.

Also remarkably big are the three-way speakers Sony

ships with the 84X9005. These attach via angling brackets to the TV’s

sides, run the full height of the TV, and use every inch of that height

to cram in a seriously potent 50W speaker system that includes 10

symmetrical drivers, a sound range of 60Hz to 200kHz, aluminium

enclosures with five non-parallel walls to reduce standing wave

interference; and silk dome tweeters renowned for their wide dispersion

characteristics.

It’s all a million – no, make that a trillion – miles away from the sort of flimsy speaker system usually crammed into flat TVs.

Sony 84X9005

One

more less welcome big thing about the 84X9005 is its price. At – gulp –

£25,000 pounds it’s clearly way beyond the reach of ‘normal’ folk,

being strictly the reserve of the rich, the famous, and the Premier

League footballer (i.e. both rich and famous – Ed.). Can its combination of raw screen size and 4k

resolution really justify such a price?

Sony KD-84X9005 – Industrial style
Aesthetically

the KD-84X9005 is slightly industrial, but still oddly stylish thanks

to its slim bezel, two-poled metallic stand and unusual ‘corrugated’

finish. The speakers look a touch clumsy in the way they bolt on to the

TV’s extremities, perhaps, but overall this TV looks suitably

high-end.

In any case, it’s the 84X9005’s innards that really

count. For as well as that critical 4k pixel count, it’s also equipped

with a fearsome new image processing engine called 4k X-Reality Pro.

Specially designed for the 84X9005, this chipset’s most important job is

to upscale normal full HD and even standard definition sources to the

screen’s 4k resolution. But intriguingly it also claims to be able to

improve the appearance of even 4k material – no mean feat given how many

pixels any 4k picture processing system is going to have to handle in real time.

Sony KD-84X9005 – 4K meets passive 3D
Another potentially

brilliant feature of the 84X9005 is its combination of a 4k native

resolution with passive 3D technology. The set is the first passive 3D

TV from Sony, and the thinking is that the normal arguments against

passive – visible horizontal line structure, jagged edges and reduced

resolution when showing HD 3D sources – are all negated by the 4k

resolution, thanks to its delivery of twice as many horizontal lines.

Two

pairs of passive glasses are included with the TV – though given the

set’s price, we’d have hoped for at least twice as many. Just as well

you can pick up more passive glasses for peanuts.

Sony 84X9005

Exploring the

84X9005’s picture adjustments reveals a few points of interest. For

instance, there’s an option for turning on 4k photo playback – which of

course we set to on – and a Manual setting for the Reality Creation

system that lets you adjust such niceties as noise filtering and

resolution. More on this later.

Sony KD-84X9005 – Calibration tools could be better
Given

the 84X9005’s price and potential appeal to the custom installation

market, though, it’s a shame it doesn’t sport a truly comprehensive

calibration system. For while you get a simple gain and bias adjustment

for the white balance’s RGB elements there’s no full colour management

system.

Inevitably we couldn’t resist kicking off our tests of

the 84X9005 with the real McCoy: true 4k images, served up via a

10-minute looping video from a PC server attached via HDMI. This show

reel was impressively varied in its content, taking in everything from

shots around Spanish beaches, town squares and grand buildings to a

football match, footage of the Beliner Philharmoniker playing The Ride

Of The Valkyries, and a curious but visually amazing video of a girl

paddling on a beach. And we watched it through three times before we

managed to stop our jaws from hanging open with astonishment.