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Sony KDL-46HX853 review

John Archer



  • Editors choice
Sony 46HX853


Our Score


User Score


  • Superb 2D pictures
  • Excellent 3D pictures
  • Sumptuous design


  • Some interface issues
  • SEN can be a little slow to load
  • Minor crosstalk in 3D

Review Price £1,450.00

Key Features: 46in LCD TV; Active 3D playback; Online features; MotionFlow XR800Hz; Multimedia playback/DLNA

Manufacturer: Sony

According to Sony’s relatively new CEO and President, Kazuo Hirai, TV is in Sony’s DNA. In fact, he stated during a speech on April 12th that he sees TVs as being ‘a central device for bringing Sony content to people’. Fine words. But words that come on the back of years of disastrous losses from Sony’s TV business along with what can only be described as consistently sliding Sony TV standards.

Things might just be changing, though. For starters, Sony felt bullish enough about its 2012 TVs to fly us and other key tech journalists to Japan in February for an in-depth introduction to them, during which the brand was both more honest about past failings and more savvy about the current state of TV play than we’ve ever heard it before.

As ever, though, the ultimate proof of the pudding can only be in the eating. So let’s tuck into the first of Sony’s 2012 models, the 46HX853.

Sony 46HX853

This 46in model is Sony’s new flagship 46in TV. And despite costing an impressive £400-£500 less than Samsung's equivalent model, it sets out its high-end stall right away thanks to a design that can only be described as imperious.

In essence it follows Sony’s now well-established ‘Monolithic’ design platform, but it introduces some seriously appealing new embellishments. For a start, instead of just leaving the bezel a minimal black, there’s now a very pleasant glinting metallic outer trim. The bezel is slim too - barely and inch around three sides - and the whole fascia exists on the same level thanks to a gorgeous gorilla glass top sheet.

Stand out stand

And that’s before we’ve even started on its desktop stand. This solid-looking brushed aluminium beauty not only allows you to tilt the TV back slightly for a more elegant and user-friendly profile, but also contains an enhanced speaker system. (If you don’t use the stand, the TV reverts to normal downfiring speakers.)

Connections on the 46HX853 are up to flagship speed. The four HDMIs are all built to the 3D-friendly v1.4 standard, for instance, while the set’s reasonably extensive - though not exhaustive - suite of multimedia features come courtesy of two USBs, a LAN port and built-in Wi-Fi.

Sony 46HX853

It's worth adding here, too, that we managed with minimal fuss to get the TV sharing its video with a Sony Tablet S.

Most of the provided connections are accessed from the TV’s edges to make wall hanging easier, though oddly this doesn’t apply to its component video or Scart ports, which face straight out. But then most people won’t likely use these analogue ports anyway these days.

The 46HX853’s 3D features use the full HD active system, as you would expect given its high level in Sony’s range. No pairs of Sony’s active 3D glasses are included, but at the time of writing there's an offer on whereby if you buy one pair (for around £60) you get another pair free.

X-Reality Pro goes 3D

Intriguingly, after suffering some disastrous 3D results last year, at least with its mid-range models, Sony has provided the option to apply the processing might of its X-Reality Pro video engine to the 46HX853’s 3D pictures, with a focus on increasingly their perceived resolution.

Sony 46HX853

The 46HX853 creates its pictures using an edge LED lighting system, and this year the edges used are the left and right rather than the top and bottom, giving Sony more control over how it manipulates its lighting system to improve motion handling.

In fact, the 46HX853’s ‘Motionflow XR800 Hz’ processing engine claims to deliver an 800Hz-like effect through a combination of frame interpolation, a native 200Hz panel, and LED backlight blinking (or line blinking).

Motion options

You also get a startlingly wide array of motion settings in the onscreen menus, including a brand new Impulse one. Select this option and the image frame is repeated four times (rather than new frame content being interpolated) before the backlight blinks at the very last 1/200sec of the video scanning period, as the last image on the LCD screen is at its most stable. This intriguing approach could offer a potential blurring/judder solution to anyone who hates the idea of frame interpolation processing. Obviously we’ll be checking this out.

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May 8, 2012, 12:16 am

Finally finally finally.. I love Sony tvs and this is my next tv for sure.. Sony still makes the best tv.. its a Sony.


May 8, 2012, 12:55 am

Thanks for the review. Just a couple of questions. What are the viewing angles like, and how does this latest version of the X-reality Pro engine compare with the the likes of Philips' Perfect Pixel when adding detailing to SD pictures? Thanks in advance.

A Scotland

May 9, 2012, 7:44 pm

I have often wondered what it would take to get a ten out of ten TV review from Trusted Reviews. The question remains though whether it is the quality of the television that secured the score or Sony's hospitality offensive. I suppose at least TR did disclose their trip to visit Sony, but being a bit cynical about these things I find it difficult not to believe that TR were influenced, even if only subliminally, by the Japanese charm.

Now it may be that TR receive the same treatment and in equal measure from all the TV manufacturers and I am certainly not accusing anybody of a crime here, just that it does give an appearance of a lack of independence which conflicts with the independent premise of a "trusted" review.

Food for thought more than anything and by and large TR remains one of the more trustworthy and helpful review sites in my view.

Don Kanonjii

May 10, 2012, 1:23 pm

Sounds great but 34ms response time is not to be commended. You would think that Sony of all companies (given it is a gaming company itself) would add a mode where input lag is at levels close the that of the W4000. I honestly cannot fathom why companies are struggling with this so much.


May 11, 2012, 5:20 pm

Does this TV compares to Panasonic WT50 ? is this better ?


May 12, 2012, 12:58 pm

No one else seems to point this out so I will. I and many many others will never buy a Sony TV that uses this awful stand / soundbar.

First they seem to physically tilt the TV backwards. Instant walk away.

Then what happens to them when you mount on the wall? You don't want this soundbar there too.

Finally a stand raises the TV off the item it's placed on and makes it float in space when watching. These do not. Rubbish!

So unfortunately for Sony they are still going to carry on losing billions until they sort this massive flaw out.


May 15, 2012, 1:35 pm

Hi AJ - I thought I would address your comments, as they are somewhat misleading, and I hope this helps to address your concerns :-)

1) "No one else seems to point this out so I will. I and many many others will never buy a Sony TV that uses this awful stand / soundbar.
First they seem to physically tilt the TV backwards. Instant walk away.
• This is actually a feature, and part of the Monolithic Design concept. The panel is tilted by 6 degrees backwards, which is more comfortable to watch. It also gives you the best viewing experience and optimum performance when placed on contemporary, low furniture.

"Then what happens to them when you mount on the wall? You don't want this soundbar there too."
• You can also wall-mount the TV as it also has 2 integrated speakers. In which case, you obviously don't need the stand, and you detach it.

"Finally a stand raises the TV off the item it's placed on and makes it float in space when watching. These do not. Rubbish!"
• This is more a matter of personal taste over a particular TV design. Sony are trying to be innovative by proposing a stand that makes the TV as attractive (and artistic) when it's turned On or Off - Bang & Olufsen do something similar to this too - and their TV's also look spectacular (but cost significantly more).


May 15, 2012, 4:01 pm

Unfortunately this design is proven to be not what the general market wants (certainly not me). If you say "what proof" then simply look how many of these TV's they sell. Most people choose in the shop and from design, Samsung and LG have truly taught Sony a huge lesson, but Sony still aren't listening.

Tilting back 6 degrees a feature ? Have Sony ever spoken to their customers ? I don't want my TV pointing in the air thanks, I wanting pointing straight at me.

And then if I mount it on the wall then the stand with soundbar I've paid a packet for is useless. Great design !

B&O can get away with this because they sell to a very limited part of society that has far too much money and is purely interested in the design and the badge. Sony are trying to sell to the average person, not Bill Gates.

Just watch the sales of Sony TV's this year, then tell me if I'm wrong. Until they get rid of this monolith design they are unfortunately doomed.

And not many years ago I wouldn't buy a TV unless it was a Sony...

Matt GB

October 1, 2012, 1:28 am

I wall mount my TVs so fail to see how the sound bar will benefit me or anyone else who does the same.


October 10, 2012, 5:00 pm

Although I think this telly is bloody awesome, I have to agree with the negative comments about the stand.

The inclusion of a tilted stand presupposes that you are going to place the television on the floor or, if you are placing it on a stand of average height, that you intend to watch your tv from the ceiling.

I have young kids who would wreck this telly in seconds if I placed it down at their level so I am now in a position where I am being forced to buy a wall mount because Sony didn't include a sensible horizontal stand.

Don't get me wrong - this telly is so good I'd buy it again in an instant, but the stand is going to be a complete waste of space for a lot of people. Mine is going straight up into the loft to gather dust.


December 7, 2012, 2:18 pm

Reading all the comments above they sounded pathetic at worst total bf. l brought the telly and can assure you after spending months looking for a good telly l selected this Sony TV. The sound bar for me is perfect and l like the 6degree viewing angle it's the most natural way of watching telly.


December 7, 2012, 2:24 pm

I brought this Sony TV l love it to bits the quality is awesome and the best picture ever. I would have paid an extra £500 pounds for it as well. I liked my previous trusted LG but in terms of quality and class all my friends liked it a lot. lm not sure how u get to make unchanged bold misleading claims.


December 28, 2012, 12:41 am

I have bought one of these, and the picture is,without doubt, the best that I have seen (SD and HD). I can understand the frustration of some with the stand and 6 degree angle at which the TV leans back, but as ours sits on a TV stand with the sofas slightly higher, this is actually an advantage. Though it must be said that if you like to put your TV on a TV stand and regularly alter the angle of swivel, this is not for you.

The sound through the plinth is much better than most flat screen TV's can deliver.

The store did point out that the TV can be wall mounted (fixed, tilt or tilt/swivel etc.) if the plinth is not fitted and has speakers on the main body of the TV to facilitate this, though not as good as those in the plinth.

My last TV was purchased over four years ago, and feature-wise, they have moved on. I particularly appreciate the ability to connect a hard drive to the USB and pause live TV and also record in SD/HD.

For completeness, this review must say that I haven't tried the 3D capability.

Nic Adair

July 17, 2013, 5:49 pm

How is it my Sony KV-S3412 32" CRT I purchased in February 1994 which is still going strong has better picture quality on standard definition and when playing DVDs than this current model from 2012?

And the audio from my Sony KV-S3412 makes this TV sound like a transistor radio.

And if this TV is so good why have Sony discontinued making this model already?

This review is a farce.

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