Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903 - 2D Performance

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


Starting out with the 60LX903’s 2D pictures, we were quickly very impressed. There’s a tangible, almost touchable sense of solidity and detail with HD material, emphasised by the enormity of the 60in screen.

HD pictures are strikingly noiseless too - a fact that’s made all the more impressive when you consider how few hiding places there are for different noise types on a screen of this size.

Then there’s the screen’s colour palette, which is vibrant and dynamic, but also superbly expressive in the range of tones it can produce, and effortlessly subtle when it comes to rendering the tiniest of colour shifts. This latter point means striping around light sources and blocking over skin tones are both non-issues unless they’re already present in a poor quality source.

Another impressive achievement of the 60LX903 concerns its motion handling. Playing with the various MotionFlow settings the set reveals the full extent of Sony’s efforts in this area, with the Clear Plus setting really darkening the image down as the blinking backlight element of the system gets used to its fullest extent. Motion in this mode really does look superb: sharp, fluid but still natural. And all while generating no more visible unwanted side effects than the considerable reduction in brightness.

If you’ve got your 60LX903 set up in a blacked out room, we’d say stick with the Clear Plus Motion flow setting for much of the time. Though for most normal living room situations Clear will probably feel the better option.

Thanks in no small part to the excellent motion handling, the 60LX903 also delivers HD images with impressive clarity and pixel-level fine detailing. Even the 60LX903’s standard definition pictures don’t look at all bad, with the BE3 engine upscaling things well enough that they don’t look excessively noisy or soft despite being stretched to 60 inches.

The KDL-60LX903's remote control and its rear-mounted on/off button

The set’s black level response is pretty good, meanwhile - despite this being a common weakness of edge LED TVs. There’s more greyness over black areas and slightly more backlight inconsistency than you’d get with a direct LED screen, for sure. But provided you’re not sat off to the set’s side and you’ve got the backlight set no higher than four, these problems shouldn’t trouble you too much.

Other smallish issues are a bit of ghosting around sharply contrasted edges during standard def viewing, and some rather overt brightness 'shifts' if you set the advanced contrast tool any higher than its 'Low' setting.

One last key point is that provided you engage its Game picture preset, the 60LX903 appears to be an excellent gaming display. We detected little to no input lag during our tests, and the sharpness and dynamism of the pictures on show were a joy to behold - even with a game as dark and tough to show as Alan Wake.

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.


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.


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


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.


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.....


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 !


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.


August 3, 2010, 8:33 pm


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.


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


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


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.


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.


August 4, 2010, 1:27 pm


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?


August 7, 2010, 1:41 am


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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