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Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903
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.