The good times continue to roll when you don a pair of passive 3D
glasses, as the 84X9005 produces the single most convincing and
enjoyable 3D picture we’ve seen outside of a commercial cinema. The
thing is, its 4k panel allows it to deliver all the traditional
advantages of passive 3D – no flicker, practically no crosstalk, a more
relaxing viewing experience, more brightness, richer colours – without
the usual negatives of reduced resolution, jagged edges, and visible
horizontal line structure.
Sony KD-84X9005 – Passive 3D gets serious
providing double the resolution lets you watch
genuine full HD passive 3D pictures – and the results are jaw-dropping.
Everything from the 3D trailer for the latest Spiderman film to Tangled,
Avatar and the recent Titanic 3D release looked nothing short of
stunning on the 84X9005, as the combination of the huge screen,
genuinely HD flicker-free images and a superbly natural sense of depth
draw you into the action like no other 3D TV before.
that should 4k 3D titles ever appear, then the 84X9005’s passive
approach won’t show them at their maximum resolution. But given the
problems with getting even 2D 4k content delivered into homes, the
prospect of insanely data intensive 4k 3D sources currently seems very
Sony KD-84X9005 – Wherefore art thou, 4k content?
the lack of any sort of 4k content right now clearly represents a problem for the
84X9005, especially given its enormous price. But of course, without 4k
screens, 4k content will never come. And with Sony itself being such a
major player in the TV and movie world, the more stellar 4k TVs like its
own 84X9005 appear, the more inevitable it will be that 4k content will
arrive at some point – possibly sooner than you think.
the 84X9005 regularly produces pictures that are simply miles ahead of
anything we’ve ever seen from any other TV, there was one notable
picture flaw with our review sample: Quite obvious backlight
inconsistencies during dark scenes, where parts of the picture look
We reduced the impact of this issue by taking
down the backlight and making sure the set’s dynamic backlight feature
was set to Low. But we never got black levels looking as consistent as
Sony KD-84X9005 – Sample flaw?
However, Sony had told us
before we started our review that it wasn’t happy with the backlight
performance of our test sample (which understandably couldn’t readily be
swapped out at short notice). Also, luckily, we’d seen three other
84X9005 models running in a darkened behind-the-scenes room at the
recent IFA trade show, none of which suffered backlight clouding issues nearly as
badly as the test sample we used. So we’re willing to believe that at
least some of the backlight flaws experienced during this review are
unique to this one sample.
Sony KD-84X9005 – Audio magic
With so much to talk about where the
84X9005’s pictures are concerned, we’ve almost forgotten those huge
speakers down each side. Which is grossly unfair, as they actually sound
crazily good compared with the flimsy ear-crud dispensed by most TVs.
mid-range, for instance, is extremely wide and open, helping the TV
deliver even action scenes with power and clarity to rival a half-decent
separates system. There’s far more bass than you usually hear with a
TV’s audio system too, and treble detailing is excellent and completely
free of harshness.
The only downside to the audio system is that
it has a rather small sweet spot whereby if you don’t sit in exactly the
right place, vocals distractingly sound like they’re coming from the
left or right side of the screen, rather than the correct position on
Thanks to its beautifully realised
4k capabilities, the 84X9005 is quite simply the best TV we’ve ever
tested. Nothing else comes close – not even the Toshiba 55ZL2 due to that
4k TV being nearly 30in smaller and not driven by Sony’s sensational
X-Reality Pro picture system. What’s even more startling about this is
that while Sony was happy for us to formally review the 84X9005 sample
we saw, the brand also believes that it will be able to improve picture
quality even more before the set finally starts to ship.
there aren’t many people able to spend £25k on being ready for a video revolution that could still take two or three years to
bear serious home cinema fruit. Indeed, some people will even argue
that the 84X9005’s price merely underlines how far off widespread 4k in
the home remains.
Dedicated lovers of picture quality that we
are, though, we personally can only salute Sony for a) pouring so much
of its heart and soul into making its first 4k TV so outstanding and b)
making the prospect of 4k content turning up sooner rather than later
that much more likely.
Score in detail
3D Quality 10
2D Quality 10
Sound Quality 9