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Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903 review

John Archer

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Reviewed:

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Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903
  • Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903
  • Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903
  • Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903
  • Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903
  • Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903
  • Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903
  • Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903
  • Lumix DMC-TZ10 Point & Shoot Digital Camera - 12.1 Megapixel - 7.6 cm 3" Colour LCD - Black (12x Optical Zoom - 4xMicrophone)

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

It usually takes a few lines at the start of a review to properly contextualise a new TV. But with the Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903 all we need say is this: it’s Sony’s flagship TV, and it knows it is.

Everything about it shrieks 'no expense spared' - including, it has to be said, its intimidating £4,500 price tag. Its design, for instance, is the ultimate expression of Sony’s new Monolithic style: a towering black-edged, one-layer screen with surprisingly little back end, set low on its stand (if you use it) and with its monolithic presence amplified by the sheer acreage of its 60in screen.

The appearance of a sliver of silver along the bottom edge actually feels a touch incongruous in the presence of so much minimalist blackness. But make no mistake about it: this is a fine looking TV.

It’s also pleasing to find that Sony has treated the 60LX903’s design in a '360-degree' fashion. For as well as being finished almost as glossily as the fascia, the rear goes to great pains to hide as many connections as possible behind clip-off panels. What’s more, these connections are all positioned for side-entry, which is massively helpful to people wanting to wall-hang the TV.

The volume of connections available is almost as impressive as their arrangement. The increasingly inevitable four HDMIs leads the way - all built to the v1.4 standard we’d expect given that the 60LX903 carries integrated 3D playback technology. But the 60LX903 is also seriously well geared up for multimedia, with a USB port able to play the most commonly used video, photo and music file formats, plus an Ethernet port for accessing DLNA PC content, future Freeview HD interactive features, and Sony’s Bravia Internet Video online platform.

There’s also one further handy connection you can’t see: built-in Wi-Fi. It’s really refreshing not to have to stump up for an extra USB Wi-Fi dongle - and frankly no more than we would expect of a £4,500 TV.

Also built in is the set’s 3D transmitter. You don’t have to pay extra for an external transmitter kit like you do with the recently reviewed 40HX803. Happily Sony has even run to providing a couple of its standard (adult-sized) 3D active shutter glasses with the TV, complete with soft carry cases.

Turning our attention to what’s going on inside the 60LX903, we find that, as expected from the TV’s slimness, it uses edge LED lighting technology. The screen is made from one of Sony’s OptiContrast panels for filtering out reflections, too, with pictures driven by quite a heady brew of video processing.

This includes the inevitable Bravia Engine 3 (BE3) system with its particular talents for scaling and detail enhancement; Sony’s Live Colour system for producing more natural and dynamic colours; and MotionFlow 200Hz PRO, which delivers four times the number of images you’d get with a 50Hz TV plus backlight blinking to counter LCD’s traditional motion blur and judder issues. Blur, in particular, can be quite unnerving if it appears in a 3D environment, so Sony is right to focus so much effort on it with the 60LX903.

ronesh amin

August 3, 2010, 2:41 pm

hmm, £4500 for a great 2D TV just doesn't cut it anymore. Its surprising Sony are struggling so much with its 3D tech, seeing as they were the main company pushing it from all fronts, such as gaming, and blu-ray. 3D TV should become a standard feature in all TV's now; even if it doesn't fully take off for years to come; atleast consumers are reassured they have a future proof TV.





Really happy TR have decided to differentiate between 2D & 3D picture quality in their reviews now. Would like to see the comparison of this TV against Samsung's 63inch offering which retails for as little as £2700, or its 50ich plasma variant, to go against Sony's 50inch optional 3D offering.





But going back to a point John Archer made in the his previous Sony 3D TV review- ".....3D continues to be very much a premium technology."; I disagree with this- there are TV's out there which offer reasonable prices for 3D technology. As mentioned previously Samsung have their 3D Plasma range, and LG their LED range; both selling their 3D TV's for as little as £1500.

Ripsnorter

August 3, 2010, 4:50 pm

There'll be sweeter price deals than this, I'm sure, but even so, this set is way overpriced. I take it from a comment in the review that the notorious Sony problem of backlight inconsistency is still there, too.





Unlike ronesh–amin, I have no desire to see 3D become standard. I want to have the choice rather than have a technology I don't care for, let alone want, foisted on me.

Metalex

August 3, 2010, 5:10 pm

At last!! You mentioned input lag.





It's a start, but the best reviews give a figure in milliseconds. Susceptibility to input lag is a very personal thing. 30ms might be fine for a casual gamer, but be a nightmare for serious gamers playing online against others.





Simply saying that no input lag could be detected doesn't really cut it. I've read people claiming they can't detect input lag on TVs that have been measured in reviews to have 60ms of input lag. I personally find 60ms unplayable.

Tim Sutton

August 3, 2010, 5:27 pm

@ronesh





I'd think £1500 is a premium price for any TV in most peoples eyes.





There are 3D TVs available for a lot less than that, to be fair. But it's not a technology that's certain (I'd say not even likely) to be around for very long so there's not much incentive to buy.





I doubt 3D via glasses will ever be mainstream. It's an expensive, annoying and inelegant solution that as repeated Sony 3D TV reviews have shown doesn't really work very well.





Someone somewhere, probably Sharp, will be working on a glassless 3D display and that'll be when I consider buying in.

Guye0a

August 3, 2010, 6:48 pm

I have alreasy seen test systems from Philips that were native 3D without the need for glasses and that was 4 years ago at least. So this is all a method of increasing sales before the release of full 3D screens without glasses.....

AJ

August 3, 2010, 7:03 pm

I'm just annoyed that some of the very best designs (that I want) are now only being supplied on expensive 3D TV's (that I don't want). Case in point, the LG 9900.





I can only hope that in the next iteration of this technology they stop this practice. I'm certainly not shelling out hundreds of £'s so I can sit at home in the dark wearing sunglasses !

GoldenGuy

August 3, 2010, 8:15 pm

I'll take a modern television that's perfected the basics one used to expect as standard, like solid speaker quality, adequate consistent brightness and an image that keeps up with your inputs, over all these extra bells and whistles like internet connectivity and 3D. We're getting into iPod Touch territory now, where instead of earning its place as a quality media player, it just *does more stuff*. I'm not sure I want that model applied to £2000+ pieces of kit that suffer from backlight bleed, and crosstalk and input lag and crap sound, just so their marketing team have more to put on the features page.

stranded

August 3, 2010, 8:33 pm

@Metalex


Serious gamers don't play with TVs. They use only 0-20ms in.lag monitors.


TVs are only for console gamers. We all know?? only PC gamers are serious.

cliche

August 3, 2010, 10:03 pm

@metalex - still using my Sony CRT Trintron monitor for gaming - timed it as 34 ms quicker than my TFT. Even as I'm getting old, combined with my G9x mouse, func pad and CRT, I'm able to out react the younger players consistently in "twitch" shooters"


I wish input lag was a standard review criteria here

BloodyMary

August 3, 2010, 10:21 pm

there is a point that is usually forgotten with 3D: its almost totally impractical for people who wear glasses

Moggy58

August 4, 2010, 3:51 am

{quote}there is a point that is usually forgotten with 3D: its almost totally impractical for people who wear glasses{/quote}





Maybe the the laser corrective eye surgery was missed in the feature list.

Powerful

August 4, 2010, 10:12 am

Some 1 in 20 UK children suffer from some form of squint where the brain ignores the signals from one eye. Although treatments are available, many continue to see monocularly and are therefore unable to see 3DTV or 3D films. Squints in adulthood cannot normally be corrected even if the appearance of the squint can be improved.





If 3D TV's are likely to be mainstream, a significant proportion of the population will be unable to watch them.





I've yet to hear any reflection of this issue from the industry which is potentially creating a two-tier society.

Ripsnorter

August 4, 2010, 1:27 pm

@Powerful





Obviously, people with these conditions can still enjoy 2D but they should have the choice of buying a 2D set and not be forced to pay extra for a feature they cannot use. And there are other health issues involved with 3D TV, especially where young children are concerned. This is something the manufacturers are aware of and include such warnings in the user manual.

Garry 1

August 6, 2010, 8:10 pm

Which TV in the 60 inch range without 3D will come close to the Sony LX900?

starx

August 7, 2010, 1:41 am

@garry


IMO Panasonic V20

Garry 1

August 7, 2010, 7:26 am

I am interested in something that is not Plasma. I know it has a great picture but the RFI it puts off is a real problem. Looking at LED/LCD only.

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