Sony Bravia KDL55NX810

The Sony Bravia KDL55NX810 is a stylish, capably performing LCD television that offers a wealth of entertainment options in addition to 3D.


8.2
CNET Rating
7.0
User Rating

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CNET Editor

Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury


Sony released its distinctive NX range early in 2010, and while we praised it for its design aesthetic and sparkling picture quality, we were mildly surprised to see it left out 3D support. Especially considering Sony's push for the format at launch time.

Fast forward six months, and the company has rectified this with the release of the NX710 and NX810 range — it only costs a little extra to add 3D, and the natty optional stands are back!

Design

The 55-inch NX810 is part of the company's "Monolithic" range and features a slim, bezel-less design. The TV is quite glossy, but not too reflective, and looks good either on or off. However, like other piano-black gadgets you will have to watch out for leaving fingerprints on the screen when manually handling the TV. This is something you might find yourself doing often if you're taking advantage of the metallic swivel stand.

The remote control is easy to use — even if some of the functions are hidden at the top, and we're still perplexed by Sony's fascination with putting a power button on the underside.

Features

The NX810 is an upgrade to the existing NX800 and Sony has not only added the 3D connector but got out the bicycle pump out and pushed the screen size up to 55 inches over the original 52. While the company has lopped AU$500 off the price, it seems the saving has been poured into the new tabletop stand with active speakers, which now costs a whopping AU$450 dollars. We'd still suggest it, though, to get the distinctive "sloped" look.

This 55-incher is a 1080p LCD panel and features edge-lit LED technology and comes with several picture-enhancing technologies including Bravia Engine 3 and the "sports-friendly" MotionFlow Pro 200Hz.

If you want to add 3D to this TV, simply buy a AU$70 adapter, which perches on top of the TV, and add as many glasses as you need (at AU$99 each).

While it's barely heard of now, IPTV is going to be big, much bigger than 3D, and Sony's Bravia Internet Video is one of the best systems available. Not only do you get catch-up content from Yahoo7, SBS and ABC's iView, but full concert films from Moshcam and dozens of other channels besides.

Finally, the NX810 boasts plenty of connectivity with both wired and wireless connections, four HDMI ports including two on the side, USB and a single component connection. On the rear of the TV you also get two composite inputs, an optical output and a PC input.

Performance

Unless something unforeseen happens in the next two months, it's likely that Sony will run away with our favourite TV of 2010. While the NX810 isn't quite as good as that television, it does share the family bloodline.

The Bravia Engine 3 (BE3) is a common element and it is very good at smoothing out a poor or noisy picture. We ran the NX810 through our usual suite of synthetic tests, and while it didn't perform as well as some competitors for Blu-ray movies or other video formats, it did very well at cleaning up DVDs.

Motion handling was very good, and movies in either Blu-ray or DVD format were smooth and free of any compression noise (blockiness). While the TV didn't perform very well at our synthetic jaggy tests it performed excellently in the real world. The opening of Chapter 11 on Mission Impossible III was without jaggies or distracting moire effects (buzzing of parallel lines).

Only on DVDs was the picture a little soft, but even then a movie like King Kong still looked simultaneously punchy and punchy. The Panasonic VT20 plasma may have better blacks, but the Sony LCD still acquits itself quite nicely in this area.

However, there is one caveat here: you will need to keep the backlight level low for decent blacks. LCDs need a separate lighting system for you to see anything at all, and in the case of the Bravia it uses a set of LEDs along the edge. Here, the default value of "5" is too high and looks poor when watched in the dark. At "1" the picture looked a lot better and without backlight clouding issues — ie, where blacks look blotchy — but we did find there was some "bloom" on white parts of the picture even at low levels.

If you like sport and hate the jerky "judder" effect of foreign TV and movies, then the Sony NX810 may just be the TV you're looking for. It features one of the best "motion compensation" engines we've seen, which helps to smooth out judder and make the fast plays of sport cleaner but without the unnatural animated effects of other TVs.

But it's IPTV where this TV is at, and we were delighted to find that web content was tarred with the same BE3 brush as other material. As music fans we were especially impressed with the Moshcam service as it included decent quality video with excellent artists. If you love music then Moshcam is almost a reason in itself to buy a Bravia. Catch-up TV is also very handy.

3D may not be a consideration just yet, but as we prefaced in the start it's a legitimate reason to choose this TV over others, and in this respect the NX810 performs tidily. Sony has one of the best 3D systems on the market and images were as free from crosstalk as we could expect. Only when we were watching 2D-to-3D conversion were images a little less convincing. This is not surprising, as we're not a fan of the technology anyway, but simulated 3D did introduce jaggies to images that weren't there before.

Last but not least, sound quality was acceptable for the Sony NX810, but we did find that it had an unusual sweetspot. Unless you sit directly in front of the Sony logo, you will only hear things come out of one side of the TV.

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SB
9
Rating
 

"Amazing LED/LCD TV"

SB posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Picture Quality

The Bad:Sound

I bought this after owning a 40inch bravia for the last 3 years. This TV looks spectular just hanging on the wall, and when you turn it on it just gets better. As with most LCD tv's Ive seen the better your input the better it looks with HD video being spectacular.

3D works well, and has as many finctions as you could need including internet TV and DLNA

The only bad thing about this TV is the sound. For watching telly like news, or basic programs they do the job, just, the best ive heard are hitachi , their TV's is amazing. For movies or something you really want some impact on you would be wise to use a surround sound system

Rick
9
Rating
 

Rick posted a review   

The Good:Excellent Pictures, 3d feature handy

The Bad:None

Excellent Tv...had no issues what so ever

Ed
1
Rating
 

Ed posted a review   

The Good:Nothing

The Bad:everything

The sound is awful. If you don't have surrond sound don't expect to hear anything with any clarity. My TV was two months old and already shot craps. Sony's customer service is the worst. Spent over two hours talking to seven different people. The only thing they could offer was send me a remanufactured TV in two weeks or send out a service tech in a nine days. So now I have a $2,000 55" brick on my wall. The very last Sony product I ever buy. DO NOT BUY

 

mm posted a comment   

not happy with this tv our free to air and foxtel pictures are not clear as expected and sport can also be poor.

 

Mickhoog posted a comment   

The Good:Look, picture quality, sound, all in one

The Bad:55 inches is too big

Glad I purchased the nx810 55 inch Sony. I recommend the decor stand with integrated 2.1. Without it the tv sounds tinny. I love the power button on the back of the remote, it falls naturally to your hand.

Love the connectivity of the tv and foxtel HD and blu rays connect easy. IPTV is great albeit a bit of a novelty at this stage. The YouTube app works extremely well. 3D is also good and that's not the reason I bought this model.

It looks great in your lounge room, nearly as good as a BV10 would.

The only negative would be that I haven't worked out with the remote to easily select your input. All I can find is you press a button and have to scroll the inputs menu. I'd rather just press say "DVD" for foxtel or whatever.

I have programmed my foxtel remote to switch the Sony on and off and increase , decrease volume. It seems you can't program the Sony remote to control the foxtel box because foxtel don't release their remote codes.

Bill
9
Rating
 

Bill posted a review   

The Good:Picture quality, monolithic design, real tight flush mount to wall, internet feature

The Bad:Sound from standard speakers

This may be the re-entrance of SONY in the TV wars with Samsung and others. Note the "natural' colors of the Bravia engine. And when calibrated by a professional, it is tough to distinguish this set from the positive aspects of a Plasma. Nice job SONY.

 

K137 posted a comment   

I love the power button on the back of the bravia remotes it makes it easy to find, i don't ever use the power button on the front anymore, so don't be perplexed people like me love it.




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User Reviews / Comments  Sony Bravia KDL55NX810

  • SB

    SB

    Rating9

    "I bought this after owning a 40inch bravia for the last 3 years. This TV looks spectular just hanging on the wall, and when you turn it on it just gets better. As with most LCD tv's Ive seen the ..."

  • Rick

    Rick

    Rating9

    "Excellent Tv...had no issues what so ever"

  • Ed

    Ed

    Rating1

    "The sound is awful. If you don't have surrond sound don't expect to hear anything with any clarity. My TV was two months old and already shot craps. Sony's customer service is the worst. Spent ..."

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