Dedicated TrustedReviews readers may remember that back in May of last year, Sony launched a TV, the KDL-40WE5, with a built-in Presence Sensor. This used a combination of motion and heat detection to tell if anyone was in the room watching the TV, turning the picture off to save energy/money if it detected nobody was watching.
This gimmicky sounding but surprisingly accurate system returns in the 60LX903, but with considerable knobs on. For now, rather remarkably, it actually includes face detection technology, so that it doesn’t just know that somebody is watching the TV, but who that somebody is. Even more uncannily/unnervingly, the 60LX903 can connect your face to the sort of programmes you like watching on the Freeview HD tuner, and then make recommendations of programmes you might be interested in based on your past viewing habits!
Other tricks of the Presence Sensor system include the option to have the screen turn off and sound a warning if a child gets too close to the screen, and even a system that adjusts the picture and sound in response to your seating position relative to the screen.
Most of these features really do work, too. The programme recommendations thing was a little random at times, but we guess it would improve TIVO-style the longer we had the TV for. And the thing that adjusts the picture and sound in response to your viewing position didn’t always seem to make choices we totally agreed with. But all in all there’s some clever stuff going on here.
The only feature we had to leave off was the Distance Detection tool, which for some reason kept producing a proximity warning even when neither we nor our kids were anywhere near the screen.
One last feature we should give a little more space to before getting into the all-important performance section is Sony’s Bravia Internet Video platform. This really is an excellent feature for Sony, providing as it does the most comprehensive suite of streaming video - with very stable delivery - in the TV world right now. Highlights include LoveFilm, Demand Five, and the recently added BBC iPlayer.