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Sony KDL-55HX853 review

John Archer



Our Score


User Score


  • Outstanding picture quality
  • Superb value for money
  • Excellent online service


  • Could be easier to use in some areas
  • SEN loads slowly
  • Occasional 3D crosstalk

Review Price £1,545.00

Key Features: 55in LCD TV; Active 3D playback; Online features; MotionFlow XR800Hz; Multimedia playback/DLNA

Manufacturer: Sony

A couple of weeks ago something really rather startling happened. We found ourselves not just really enjoying testing one of Sony’s high end TVs, but loving it.

That such an emotional connection with a TV should be inspired by a set carrying a Sony logo was genuinely hard to comprehend given the numerous troubles we’ve had with various of the Japanese giant’s TVs in recent years. But no matter how much baggage the Sony 46HX853 might have been carrying, the simple, indisputable fact of the matter was that it was a ruddy fantastic TV. So not surprisingly we’re as happy as a pig in a truffle factory to be staring today at the 46HX853’s bigger brother, the 55in Sony KDL-55HX853.

The prospect of more of the same only bigger is truly mouthwatering, so long as the superb edge LED backlighting system that wowed us on the 46in model still holds good across a markedly bigger screen area.

Sony KDL-55HX853

Let’s start at the beginning, though - with the Sony KDL-55HX853’s design. Personally we are definitely fans, appreciating the way Sony has softened the impact of its previously ‘macho’ monolithic design by slimming the bezel down and adding a cute silvery outer trim. The application of a single sheet of ultra-tough Gorilla glass over the top of the screen and bezel doesn’t exactly damage its aesthetic credentials either, while the hugely distinctive silver ‘bar’ stand the TV slots into if you don’t want to wall mount it is lovely - especially as it allows you to angle the TV back by six degrees and contains extra speakers for an enhanced audio experience.

Nicely put together

Oddly we have to say that we weren’t quite as enamoured of the design at the 55in size as we were at seeing the 46in model; it just didn’t seem to hang together quite so well for some reason. But it’s still a beautifully-built bit of kit.

Connectivity is strong too. Its four HDMIs should be enough to satisfy all but the most kit-crazed AV nutcase, and its LAN/built-in Wi-Fi facilities ensure that anyone with broadband will be able to get online with Sony’s Entertainment Network platform. Or stream video, photo and music files in from a connected computer. And, thanks to Sony’s nice new Homestream software, you can play multimedia from Macs and DLNA PCs too.

Sony KDL-55HX853

On a slightly more disappointing note, you only get two USB sockets when three might have been nice, and the USBs are a little pickier than we’d like them to be in terms of the file types they’re willing to play. The lack of MKV support is particularly surprising.

You can use one of the USBs to record from the integrated Freeview HD tuner to HDDs. However, while handy this feature makes the lack of a third USB look all the more unfortunate.

Network logic

The shift from 2011’s Bravia Internet Video online TV service to the Sony Entertainment Network, meanwhile, makes all kinds of sense, finally bringing all of Sony’s various online software ‘assets’ together. It’s a major relief, too, to discover that Sony has brought in a new interface to accompany the shift to SEN. Pressing a new SEN button on the remote brings up an attractive, graphically rich ‘hub’ for accessing online content that’s miles better than the previous tedious, list-heavy menus.

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May 28, 2012, 2:38 pm

I know that the stand angles the screen backwards at 6 degrees but can it support the TV in a bolt upright position.?

It's obviously a good value 55" screen and worth considering, but I simply could never own a TV that point in the air.

1. It's just Wrong.
2. My TV's are placed above me and LCD panels suffer from bad viewing angles (compared to my present Plasma)
3. It's just wrong.
4. 3D on LCD panels relies on being level with the set (useless if it's pointing at the ceiling)
5. It's just soooo wrong.

I'm not just writing this to pick holes, I genuinely am looking for a 55-60" TV and I used to buy nothing but Sony. Having just purchased another TV for the bedroom this morning, this isn't an urgent purchase but it's tempting to watch the Olympics on !


May 28, 2012, 11:50 pm

It's not at all surprising that the set can't play MKV's; Sony doesn't like them because it assumes they're pirated.

It's the same reason the PS3 can't play them. There are free programs that will take the audio and video from an MKV container and put it into a different type of container which the PS3 will happily play.

It only takes seconds. There's absolutely no transcoding involved; it's the MKV container Sony doesn't like not the various codecs that are used or the video.

And it's this type of attitude towards its customers that makes it a hundred times harder for Sony to get my money than any other company.


May 29, 2012, 3:42 am

I play MKV's on my PS3 almost every day.


May 30, 2012, 12:49 am



May 30, 2012, 8:24 am

I'm curious too scott, the only way i know of is either to stream it through PS3 media server or convert the file to a different container using mkv2vob as Bugblatter mentioned.


July 6, 2012, 8:58 pm

I believe he is streaming mkvs and transcoding. I use Medialink by Nullriver on my Mac to do the same thing. Fantastic app really, streams from several sources(folders, iTunes, iPhoto, Aperture, etc.). I'm running gigabit ethernet to both devices, but you can set it up to other network types to adjust for bandwidth. There are a handful of others for Mac and Windows, just do a bit of research. I recommend Medialink for Mac above all though.

Matt GB

October 1, 2012, 1:29 am

I have the previous model version 46 X803 and this is likely to be my next TV set. Good to see Sony is back on top of their game.


October 22, 2012, 5:46 pm

I have a Sony 46HX823 and a Sony BDP-S480 BLURAY PLAYER and i watch files in MKV all the time.

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