Sony Bravia LX903 (KDL-60LX903) review: Sony Bravia LX903 (KDL-60LX903)

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Typical Price: £4,500.00
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

5 stars 1 user review

The Good SD picture quality is decent;. Blu-rays look pretty awesome;. whopping size.

The Bad 3D not as good as we had hoped;. high price;. doesn't always deliver the best picture quality.

The Bottom Line The Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903 is a sturdy performer in most areas. It does disappoint with 3D material, though, producing pictures with less depth than other models and some definite flicker in images.

7.5 Overall

There was a time when a 60-inch TV was virtually unthinkable, unless you were prepared to watch TV via a projector. Even now, a 60-inch TV is going to cost you almost double that of a 50-inch screen. The good thing is, though, it's no longer out of reach for everyone but famous footballers.

The 60-inch, LED Bravia KDL-60LX903 is one of Sony's flagship models. Featuring 3D, built-in Wi-Fi for access to Bravia Internet Video and a gigantic screen, this TV is for enthusiasts who want the biggest TV possible. At around £4,500, it's not the most affordable TV in the world, but if sheer size is your top priority, it's certainly an attractive option.

Puzzling price

Compare this 60-inch TV with Sony's own 50-inch models, and this giant telly will actually seem quite cheap -- especially given its extra features. Unlike Sony's other 3D TVs, the LX903 includes 3D glasses and built-in Wi-Fi.

The reason for its relatively low cost is that Sony has opted for an LED sidelight, rather than the much more expensive full LED backlight. In theory, this means that black levels might not be quite as impressive and there could be light bleeding in the corners. In fact, as we'll discuss later, we don't see any major downsides to this configuration.

See 3D in no time -- glasses included

Most TVs don't come with 3D glasses in the box, but the Sony LX903 does. Two pairs are included, with extras costing £100 each. The transmitter that keeps the glasses synced to the TV is also built in, so there's no clumsy external as there is with other models.

The LX903 also has a 3D button on the remote control, which enables you to switch the TV to 3D mode if you're using a source that doesn't have an HDMI 1.4a output. Sky and Virgin are both affected by this, and the TV can't detect 3D automatically unless the signal comes via the most recent HDMI standard.

The 3D button also allows you to 'convert' 2D video to 3D. Ask yourself this, though: if it were possible to turn 2D into 3D convincingly, why would we need special 3D Blu-rays? The reality is that it's impossible to convert 2D to 3D without turning everything into a complete dog's dinner. In saying that, from what we saw -- trust us, this is not a feature you can stomach playing with for long -- Sony makes a better stab at fake 3D than Samsung.

Standard-definition 2D impresses

It actually came as quite a surprise to us that this TV does such a good job with standard-definition Freeview pictures. We're not going to shock anyone with the news that Freeview looks rubbish on large-screen TVs. That's simply a fact, given the ever-decreasing bit rates on terrestrial digital -- and even the likes of Sky and Virgin have the same problem. The LX903 somehow pulls it out of the bag with crisp Freeview images and a generally good-quality picture.

Of course, this TV looks best when it's fed something with a larger bit rate. Upscaled SD on channels like 4HD and ITV HD, for example, look much better than their lower bit rate SD cousins. The lesson here is, the better the signal that goes in, the better the picture that comes out. It's not rocket science.

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