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Sony's biggest contribution to TV design in 2010 has been something it calls "monolithic" and consists of a TV with a large black screen and with or without a thin black bezel. We've always taken this moniker to mean it resembles the 2001 monolith and a large screen like the 55-inch EX710 is suitably imposing in most living spaces.
This black-on-black TV is an update on the original EX700 and the main difference appears to be a slimmer design. With a new sophisticated touch, the set features a thinner brushed metal strip along the bottom edge.
Unlike its competitors with their crystal stands, Sony has chosen minimalism in its pedestal with just a short, simple stem. Unfortunately, the angled desktop stand featured with other "monolithic" TVs isn't available for this particular model.
Remote controls: seen one you've seen 'em all right? Well, the EX710's is identical to the other handsets that Sony has shipped this year, but it's quite straightforward to use.
Sony's EX range is pitched at the budget-conscious, if that's possible for the typically high-brow Japanese company, and the 710 version is at the top of the pile. As a reflection of its pricing, the 55EX710 doesn't feature the bells and whistles of the NX or HX series — with the most obvious being 3D.
What the EX does have though is more important than a potentially 'niche' technology like 3D, and that's Bravia Internet Video. This allows you to stream on demand and catch-up video from over a dozen different sources including ABC iView and our favourite: Moshcam.com.
What you get in the box is a 55-inch LCD with an LED edge-lit panel — this means it uses LEDs inside the bezel of the television keeping the profile nice and slender. In addition it boasts, as most TVs do, a HD digital tuner and a 1080p resolution.
The TV comes with a number of picture processing doohickeys including the company's Bravia Engine 3 (BE3) for noise-free visuals and afor reduced motion blur.
Inputs are plentiful with the provision of four HDMI (2 side, 2 rear with one), two components, three AV inputs, a USB, VGA port, Ethernet and an optical digital. Wireless connectivity is available as an option.