Sony KD-84X9005 Review



  • 4k pictures look simply astonishing
  • Upscaled HD pictures look great too
  • Best 3D pictures to date


  • It costs £25,000
  • Some (likely sample-specific) backlight clouding
  • Not much native 4k source material - yet...

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £25000.00
  • 84in LCD TV with edge LED lighting
  • 4k native resolution
  • Passive 3D playback
  • 4K X-Reality Pro processing
  • Sony Entertainment Network online system

Everything about Sony’s KD-84X9005 is big. Most obviously there’s its
screen: 84in from corner to corner, with a good inch of bezel wrapped
around it. Less obvious – until you switch it on, at any rate – is the
enormous number of pixels squeezed into that 84in screen: more than
eight million. For yes, the 84X9005 is only the second TV we’ve ever
tested to boast a ‘4k’ native resolution of 3840 pixels across by 2160
pixels down.

Also remarkably big are the three-way speakers Sony
ships with the 84X9005. These attach via angling brackets to the TV’s
sides, run the full height of the TV, and use every inch of that height
to cram in a seriously potent 50W speaker system that includes 10
symmetrical drivers, a sound range of 60Hz to 200kHz, aluminium
enclosures with five non-parallel walls to reduce standing wave
interference; and silk dome tweeters renowned for their wide dispersion

It’s all a million – no, make that a trillion – miles away from the sort of flimsy speaker system usually crammed into flat TVs.

Sony 84X9005

more less welcome big thing about the 84X9005 is its price. At – gulp -
£25,000 pounds it’s clearly way beyond the reach of ‘normal’ folk,
being strictly the reserve of the rich, the famous, and the Premier
League footballer (i.e. both rich and famous – Ed.). Can its combination of raw screen size and 4k
resolution really justify such a price?

Sony KD-84X9005 – Industrial style
the KD-84X9005 is slightly industrial, but still oddly stylish thanks
to its slim bezel, two-poled metallic stand and unusual ‘corrugated’
finish. The speakers look a touch clumsy in the way they bolt on to the
TV’s extremities, perhaps, but overall this TV looks suitably

In any case, it’s the 84X9005’s innards that really
count. For as well as that critical 4k pixel count, it’s also equipped
with a fearsome new image processing engine called 4k X-Reality Pro.
Specially designed for the 84X9005, this chipset’s most important job is
to upscale normal full HD and even standard definition sources to the
screen’s 4k resolution. But intriguingly it also claims to be able to
improve the appearance of even 4k material – no mean feat given how many
pixels any 4k picture processing system is going to have to handle in real time.

Sony KD-84X9005 – 4K meets passive 3D
Another potentially
brilliant feature of the 84X9005 is its combination of a 4k native
resolution with passive 3D technology. The set is the first passive 3D
TV from Sony, and the thinking is that the normal arguments against
passive – visible horizontal line structure, jagged edges and reduced
resolution when showing HD 3D sources – are all negated by the 4k
resolution, thanks to its delivery of twice as many horizontal lines.

pairs of passive glasses are included with the TV – though given the
set’s price, we’d have hoped for at least twice as many. Just as well
you can pick up more passive glasses for peanuts.

Sony 84X9005

Exploring the
84X9005’s picture adjustments reveals a few points of interest. For
instance, there’s an option for turning on 4k photo playback – which of
course we set to on – and a Manual setting for the Reality Creation
system that lets you adjust such niceties as noise filtering and
resolution. More on this later.

Sony KD-84X9005 – Calibration tools could be better
the 84X9005’s price and potential appeal to the custom installation
market, though, it’s a shame it doesn’t sport a truly comprehensive
calibration system. For while you get a simple gain and bias adjustment
for the white balance’s RGB elements there’s no full colour management

Inevitably we couldn’t resist kicking off our tests of
the 84X9005 with the real McCoy: true 4k images, served up via a
10-minute looping video from a PC server attached via HDMI. This show
reel was impressively varied in its content, taking in everything from
shots around Spanish beaches, town squares and grand buildings to a
football match, footage of the Beliner Philharmoniker playing The Ride
Of The Valkyries, and a curious but visually amazing video of a girl
paddling on a beach. And we watched it through three times before we
managed to stop our jaws from hanging open with astonishment.

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