If you are in the market for an LCD television with deep black capability and name brand recognition, then the Sony KDL-HX850 series may hold something of interest to you. This line of Sony LCDs features plenty of functionality, with elements like Smart TV and heavy duty Gorilla Glass. For more details about this series, read the complete Sony KDL-HX850 series TV review below.
Although this series only offers two model choices, they are both common sizes that work well in most home theater, den or living room setups. The model choices are:
Overall, the KDL-HX850 does not quite live up to the stunning color and brightness performance of a plasma television, but for an LCD, it performs across most areas at a rating of excellent or higher. In fact, it competes with other LCD televisions from higher pricing brackets, making it an affordable option to higher end models. In order to obtain the best quality picture, you may need to calibrate the settings. Most consumer experts seem to feel the Cinema 2 setting for picture mode provides the best performance with most of the advanced settings like black corrector and auto light limiter turned off.
When compared with televisions from other brands on the same price level, the KDL-HX850 comes in a bit under average. This is mostly due to the fact that, in typical Sony fashion, the television has a difficult time with hues that walk the line between blue and green. The KDL-HX850 tends to display a bluer version of shades, although it performs well at other colors.
One of the strengths of this television is its ability to reproduce blacks at almost any level and provide distinct shadow detail without ghosting. When compared with more expensive LCD televisions in this area, the KDL-HX850 tends to come out on top. Multiple consumer magazine tests have shown the KDL-HX850 to be adept at displaying stark contrast between light and dark scenes and rendering dark-on-dark imagery with enough detail to be almost 3-D.
Overall Video Performance
Sony is known for superb video performance and is quickly making a name for itself in 3D video, so it is no surprise that both of these areas are strong points for the KDL-HX850. Sony technology makes it possible for the KDL-HK850 to deliver accurate video from a variety of sources and formats without artifacts or distractions. The television’s 3D performance is excellent and provides minimal crosstalk for an LCD. Although this may not be the best choice for someone looking for prime 3D performance on a regular basis, it is an excellent choice as a television that will need to show 3D movies on occasion.
The KDL-HX850 carries some of Sony’s recognizable design qualities, including a sheet of glass across the entire front and an elegant aluminum ring. Sony provides a bit of signature sophistication with the edge lighting on the LED panel and you have the option of local dimming. The lighting is a bit pared down from earlier models, making the set less gaudy and more attractive.
The impact-resistant Gorilla Glass front makes the television durable as well as pretty, meaning owners can worry less about wayward children or active video game fans. The television is propped on a newly designed stand that features a few curves. If you do not prefer the style of the stand, Sony offers an optional desktop stand that features a contemporary aluminum finish.
The Smart TV portion of the KDL-HX850 does not offer much in the way of new or stand out items, but it does provide full functionality and access to most of the popular apps. You can access Netflix, Amazon video, Hulu, Sony’s Video Unlimited, YouTube, Pandora, Slacker, Sony’s Music Unlimited, Yahoo, Facebook, Skype, Twitter, Flickr and Picasa, among others. You can also use Sony’s online media shop to purchase digital video and music for download. As is typical with any television browser, maneuverability via the television remote can feel backwards and slow. You probably are not going to be replacing your desktop computer, for example. However, the Sony does allow for limited control via a tablet or Smartphone if you download the control app.
The KDL-HX850 is pretty much par for the course when it comes to connectivity. The television features a standard two USB ports and four HDMI ports. Unlike some newer televisions, the Sony features ready analogue inputs, including PC, composite and component. You can use the television’s integrated wireless capability for internet connections, or connect directly to a home network via an Ethernet port.
The Sony KDL-HX850 provides a strong performance for an LCD television in its price range and also competes with several models that are more expensive. You will pay anywhere from $2,200 to $2,600 for this television on average, making it a bit pricier than comparable plasmas. However, for those who want a durable LCD screen that delivers overall accurate color and high black levels, the Sony KDL-HX850 is a great choice. It would make a perfect all-use television in a family or entertainment room, given its capability to perform on multiple video sources.