Review: Sony HX7 3D LCD TV
Sony is doing a lot of things to be seen being innovative with their 3D TV offerings and a lot of effort is also spent on the design of the 3D TVs as well. Case in point, the HX8 and HX7 TVs. The HX8 has been given a monolith design as well as a titled screen feature while the HX7 when installed in the living room gives the appearance as if it is balanced in mid air on two pieces of metal bars alone. The price that Sony has fixed for these sets are also quite low when compared to the other premium quality sets that one gets in the market today.
However, a relatively affordable price tag does not mean one has to compromise on the specs and feature offerings. Instead, the sets boast of full HD-3D capability while a high refresh rate of 400 Hz ensures more life like display. The TV can also be termed smart in that it is capable of connecting to the net while there is enough tech bits packed inside to deliver a superior viewing experience. In fact, there is more behind the screen than meets the eye.
The HX7 by design is quite different than other 3D TVs of its size. A 55 inch display makes up the front though its the thin bezel design that imparts the TV a stunning effect when the set is switched on. Another 3D TV comparable to the Sony offering is Samsung UE55ES7000 model that too boasts of a thin bezel design.
The other feature of this set that makes it unique is its thin profile when viewed sideways, which means there is a lot of space after being mounted on the wall.
The illusionary effect of the design so far as surprise to the eye goes becomes all the more evident when the set is mounted onto the wall. One can install the set either in a tilted fashion or in the conventional flat facing manner. The nuts and bolts that come with the set needs to be decided before this aspect have been decided. Once mounted in a particular fashion it seems any move would topple the set, though it is exactly here but that the illusion that the design of the set gives the eye come to the fore.
Coming to the actual TV viewing experience, the set comes with default settings which may not be the best or most appropriate setting for viewing most programs. Tuning these settings is therefore recommended to make the picture really come alive. There is the case of the true motion control feature of the set, which if turned down would give best viewing experience for football and other such fast sporting action programs. With the Motion Flow option in place, standard irritants such as picture blurs or juddering effect will be a thing of the past. One can also improve the HD content of an image by adjusting this feature.
The HX8 model is an equally powerful set and even in direct light pouring into the room one would find the display to be just as vibrant in all its color. The set also has a wide viewing angle.
To fine tune the HX7 takes some time specially so to adjust the black levels as well as color. But once that is set, the viewing experience is simply superb, which is enhanced all the more by Sony’s very own X-Reality engine.
The sets have high contrast ratio which gives a very high standard of display in either Blu-ray or 3D Blu-ray viewing. Same is the case for 3D movies such as Up! that have been shot using modern technology. Issues such as ghost images which old 3D TVs suffer from is non-existent on the Sony offering.
The smart feature of the set however has some drawbacks. Though there is Wi-Fi and other apps that allow one to do lots of other smarter stuff on the set, the overall ‘smart’ experience with the set leave some more to be desired.
For instance, the UI gets stuck at times to start with while the remote too cannot be used for searching the net for content or sending a tweet etc. Also, while the set has a very sharp display panel, when it comes to the icons on screen, they come out all blurry and unimpressive. Getting an app to run is not an easy selection process, but once running they seen to be ok. Like video streaming via YouTube is worth every penny as once the X-Reality feature initiates, the videos look really nice and every nit more watchable. Using Skype on the set also has similar good results.
Coming to the connectivity aspect of the TV, the HX7 comes with many extra ports like the USB drive port where one can directly hook in a remote drive to view directly on the set. It has its standard HDMI ports as well, with four of them being present on the HX7.
Towards the right of the set one would find all the ports, but this makes for a tight space management requirement. In addition one may feel the thin elegant look of the side spoilt due all the cables jutting out its side.
While net browsing can’t be counted to be among the TV’s strong points, browsing photographs or video from memory cards is something that can easily be performed using the remote. The memory card however has to be remembered to be pulled out after use else it locks the set.
Design and display both score very high on the HX7 set. Viewing standard Blu-ray as well as 3D Blu-ray both are an experience worth talking back home about on this set. The missing Google TV app brings down the overall rating of the set to quite an extent though the price as which the 3D TV is available at does make the the Tv one of the best 50 incher to pick up right now.