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Sony KDL-46HX853 - More Performance and Conclusions

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Editors choice
Sony 46HX853


Our Score:


Also mesmerising is how crystal clear and sharp pictures look. This is especially true with HD, naturally, but the X-Reality Pro processing engine also helps the 46HX853 produce possibly the sharpest, cleanest and most natural-looking standard definition pictures we’ve seen. Hell, even rough, highly compressed fodder from YouTube is made to look half-decent by X-Reality Pro.

Matters of movement

The terrific sharpness of the 46HX853’s pictures does not disappear, moreover, during action scenes or sports events, thanks to an exceptionally successful combination of a speedy native response time and Sony’s latest motion processing system.

Messing around with the different Motionflow options, the exciting-sounding Impulse mode turns out to be a disappointment, thanks to the high level of flicker it produces. But the Clear and Standard Motionflow settings both work well, removing practically all unnatural judder and blur without making the picture look artificial.

Sony 46HX853

Next on the excellence list are the 46HX853’s colours. Tones are vibrant and punchy, but also wonderfully natural. They’re also exceptionally subtle, delivering a dazzlingly wide range of tones with so much finesse that there’s no trace of the striping and banding you get with lesser screens. In fact, so clever is Sony’s X-Reality Pro that it even removes such striping when it’s present in a low-quality digital source.

With the 46HX853’s 2D pictures appearing almost flawless, it’s heart in mouth time as we start testing its 3D efforts - especially given previous Sony problems in this area. But while they’re not quite as perfect, they’re still very good.

3D gets good

Right away, for instance, it struck us how much brighter and more colourful 3D pictures looked than those on 2011’s Sony TVs. And those colours are startlingly natural in tone and still contain plenty of blend subtlety.

The motion handling holds up superbly with 3D too, joining with some excellent sharpness and detailing in delivering a very satisfying and natural sense of depth.

Actually, the sharpness of the 46HX853’s 3D pictures becomes arguably the best we’ve seen if you use the Reality Creation option. Toggle the feature on and off and you’ll be amazed at just how much softer 3D images look without the feature active. In sharpening the edges of objects in the 3D frame, the processing can make the 3D space look slightly more like a series of layers rather than an organic 3D space. But personally we found the processing’s strengths outweighed this weakness.

Sony 46HX853

The Sony 46HX853’s 3D pictures do suffer a little crosstalk. Before anyone gets panicky, though, the 46HX853’s crosstalk is massively reduced from the horror show witnessed on some of 2011’s Sony 3D TVs. It only appears over distant objects rather than foreground ones, and so doesn’t dominate or grab your attention. You can reduce it, too, by selecting the ‘low brightness’ setting for Sony’s 3D glasses - an option which doesn’t stop pictures from still looking punchy.

Audio dynamite

As if all the 46HX853’s picture glories weren’t exciting enough, it also sounds better than the vast majority of its peers, at least when on its speaker-containing stand. Because this fires its sound forwards rather than down, there’s more attack and dynamism to the soundstage, while the relatively large space available for the speakers versus those squeezed into a normal TV allow it to produce an unusually rich sense of bass and a relatively open-sounding, uncluttered mid-range.

The last hurdle the 46HX853 could fall at is input lag. But it sails over, delivering a figure during our tests of just 34ms, which shouldn’t affect your gaming in any significant way. Just make sure, though, that you've selected the Game option in Sony's slightly confusing Scene Select menu, and that you've turned off edge enhancement and the auto light monitor.


The word that best sums up our time with the 46HX853 can only be ‘wow’. Sony may have left it late, but just when we were seriously starting to fear for the brand’s TV future, it’s stormed back with what might honestly be the best LCD TV we’ve ever seen.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • 2D Quality 10
  • 3D Quality 9
  • Design 10
  • Features 9
  • Sound Quality 9
  • Value 9


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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