Sony KD-84X9005 - 3D Picture Performance

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The good times continue to roll when you don a pair of passive 3D

glasses, as the 84X9005 produces the single most convincing and

enjoyable 3D picture we’ve seen outside of a commercial cinema. The

thing is, its 4k panel allows it to deliver all the traditional

advantages of passive 3D – no flicker, practically no crosstalk, a more

relaxing viewing experience, more brightness, richer colours – without

the usual negatives of reduced resolution, jagged edges, and visible

horizontal line structure.

Sony KD-84X9005 – Passive 3D gets serious
Essentially,

providing double the resolution lets you watch

genuine full HD passive 3D pictures – and the results are jaw-dropping.

Everything from the 3D trailer for the latest Spiderman film to Tangled,

Avatar and the recent Titanic 3D release looked nothing short of

stunning on the 84X9005, as the combination of the huge screen,

genuinely HD flicker-free images and a superbly natural sense of depth

draw you into the action like no other 3D TV before.

Sony 84X9005

We guess

that should 4k 3D titles ever appear, then the 84X9005’s passive

approach won’t show them at their maximum resolution. But given the

problems with getting even 2D 4k content delivered into homes, the

prospect of insanely data intensive 4k 3D sources currently seems very

distant indeed.

Sony KD-84X9005 – Wherefore art thou, 4k content?
Actually,

the lack of any sort of 4k content right now clearly represents a problem for the

84X9005, especially given its enormous price. But of course, without 4k

screens, 4k content will never come. And with Sony itself being such a

major player in the TV and movie world, the more stellar 4k TVs like its

own 84X9005 appear, the more inevitable it will be that 4k content will

arrive at some point – possibly sooner than you think.

While

the 84X9005 regularly produces pictures that are simply miles ahead of

anything we’ve ever seen from any other TV, there was one notable

picture flaw with our review sample: Quite obvious backlight

inconsistencies during dark scenes, where parts of the picture look

slightly cloudy.

We reduced the impact of this issue by taking

down the backlight and making sure the set’s dynamic backlight feature

was set to Low. But we never got black levels looking as consistent as

we’d like.

Sony KD-84X9005 – Sample flaw?
However, Sony had told us

before we started our review that it wasn’t happy with the backlight

performance of our test sample (which understandably couldn’t readily be

swapped out at short notice). Also, luckily, we’d seen three other

84X9005 models running in a darkened behind-the-scenes room at the

recent IFA trade show, none of which suffered backlight clouding issues nearly as

badly as the test sample we used. So we’re willing to believe that at

least some of the backlight flaws experienced during this review are

unique to this one sample.

Sony 84X9005

Sony KD-84X9005 – Audio magic
With so much to talk about where the

84X9005’s pictures are concerned, we’ve almost forgotten those huge

speakers down each side. Which is grossly unfair, as they actually sound

crazily good compared with the flimsy ear-crud dispensed by most TVs.

The

mid-range, for instance, is extremely wide and open, helping the TV

deliver even action scenes with power and clarity to rival a half-decent

separates system. There’s far more bass than you usually hear with a

TV’s audio system too, and treble detailing is excellent and completely

free of harshness.

The only downside to the audio system is that

it has a rather small sweet spot whereby if you don’t sit in exactly the

right place, vocals distractingly sound like they’re coming from the

left or right side of the screen, rather than the correct position on

the screen.

Verdict
Thanks to its beautifully realised

4k capabilities, the 84X9005 is quite simply the best TV we’ve ever

tested. Nothing else comes close – not even the Toshiba 55ZL2 due to that

4k TV being nearly 30in smaller and not driven by Sony’s sensational

X-Reality Pro picture system. What’s even more startling about this is

that while Sony was happy for us to formally review the 84X9005 sample

we saw, the brand also believes that it will be able to improve picture

quality even more before the set finally starts to ship.

Clearly

there aren’t many people able to spend £25k on being ready for a video revolution that could still take two or three years to

bear serious home cinema fruit. Indeed, some people will even argue

that the 84X9005’s price merely underlines how far off widespread 4k in

the home remains.

Dedicated lovers of picture quality that we

are, though, we personally can only salute Sony for a) pouring so much

of its heart and soul into making its first 4k TV so outstanding and b)

making the prospect of 4k content turning up sooner rather than later

that much more likely.

Score in detail

  • Features 9
  • 3D Quality 10
  • Value 6
  • Design 8
  • 2D Quality 10
  • Sound Quality 9

Features

Size (Inch) 84in
Display Type LED
Full HD 1080p Yes (actually 4k!)
Digital Tuner Yes
Freeview HD Yes
3D Ready Yes
Refresh Rate (Hertz) 800Hz

Connectivity

HDMI 4 (v1.4)
Component 1
Composite 1
Scart 1 (RGB)
Digital Audio Out 1 (optical)
Headphone 1
Ethernet 1
WiFi Yes (built-in)
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