Sony KDL-65X9000A 4K Review

Key Specifications

  • 65-inch 3840 x 2160 panel
  • Triluminous LED backlighting
  • Magnetic fluid speakers


While all the Ultra HD/4K LCD screens at CES 2013 have

blown us away with their picture quality, none have managed to get us

quite as enthused about the prospect of a 4K future as Sony’s 65in LED

4K model, the KDL-65X9000A.

There are many reasons we say this.

The first, of course, relates to the TV’s picture quality. Sony had a

large number of 65X9000As up and running on its CES stand, showing

native 4k (3,840 x 2,160 resolution) content ranging from coverage of a

football match to nature footage, movies (The Amazing Spiderman), and

digital stills photography (rendered through the now 4K-capable version

of the PS3’s PlayMemories software). And in all cases, the resulting

pictures looked not just stunning, but perhaps slightly more stunning

than they have on the other non-OLED 4k displays in town.

Sony KDL-65X9000A – Specs and Image Quality


main reason we make this call in Sony’s favour is the remarkably

vibrant colours delivered by Sony’s new (to edge LED backlighting, at

any rate) TriLuminos technology, which introduces new RGB filters to the

edge LED system.

Also, of course, there’s the heart-melting fine

detailing in both ‘near’ and ‘far’ objects in scenes, endlessly subtle

colour tones, and stunning texturing associated with 4k screens. Sony

has additionally improved its X-Reality Pro 4K upscaling engine since we

tested the 84X9005, and wasn’t afraid to show off the seriously

impressive results in a special section of its stand.

In fact,

Sony was keen to claim that Blu-rays created using 4k masters can be

upscaled on the 65X9000A with particularly accurate results, thanks to

the processing simply being able to ‘put back in’ the resolution that

had to be removed to get the film onto a Blu-ray.
This claim sounds

hard to swallow, we’ll grant you – but we’ve seen demos that suggest

there is at least an [upscaled? – Ed.] grain of truth in what Sony is

saying. At any rate, Sony feels sufficiently confident about its claim

to have introduced a new ‘Mastered in 4K’ label to go on the boxes of

relevant Blu-ray films.
Sony KDL-65X9000A 4K

was also showing the startlingly attractive 4K server box it ships with

the 84X9005 in the US, giving us another reminder – along with Sony’s

promise to deliver 4k downloads as soon as it possibly can – that Sony,

more than any other brand right now, is trying to deliver genuine 4K

content already, rather than in some distant dream future. It’s just a

shame there still aren’t any plans to bring this 4k server/downloader to

the UK.

Rounding out the sense Sony is presenting of just how

imminent a truly 4k world could be, is the extent to which the 65X9000A

feels like a fully finished and extraordinarily well-rounded product.

Sony KDL-65X9000A SpeakersSony KDL-65X9000A – Design and Audio


starters, it looks a million dollars thanks to the way its luscious

high gloss black finish extends out far enough from the screen’s left

and right edges to incorporate a set of Sony’s extraordinary new

‘magnetic fluid’ speakers. These are designed to deliver levels of

power, clarity and bass without needing the sort of deep rears normal

speakers do.

Run in conjunction with a couple of woofers on the

TV’s rear in a dedicated CES demo room, these magnetic fluid speakers

delivered quite simply the finest sound-quality we’ve ever heard from a

TV. Honestly.


levels were extreme, the mid-range was stunningly open and expansive,

and treble detailing was reproduced with total, harshness-free

precision. The result is movie soundtracks that sounded like they were

coming out of some decently high-end separates system, and music that

can only be described as genuine hi-fi.

The icing on the cake

comes from swanky-looking – and long overdue – new operating menus and a

redesigned Smart TV engine that now includes extensive ‘SideView’

technology for enhanced communication (including NFC) and content

sharing with external tablets and mobile phones.

Final Thoughts


short, the overall impression we took away from our time with Sony’s

65X9000A was of not just a remarkably well-rounded and high-performance

TV, but also a genuine Sony 4K eco-system that’s much closer to becoming

a reality than we’d previously thought possible.