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Sony KDL-55NX723 review: Sony KDL-55NX723

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The Good Good black levels; Strong colour performance; Sharp HD pictures.

The Bad Boxy remote control; 3D performance is wanting; Weak speakers.

The Bottom Line The Sony KDL-55NX723 has many strengths, including strong 2D picture performance, a good line-up of Internet video services and stylish design. However, for a mid-range set, its unimpressive 3D pictures and weak audio performance are disappointing.

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7.5 Overall

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The NX series is Sony's line-up of mid-range screens that sit between the entry-level Bravia EX models and the higher-end HX tellies.

The KDL-55NX723 is the largest of the NX TVs. It uses LED edge-lighting, boasts a good range of Internet features and offers 3D support.

It can be bought online for around £1,500.

Menu system

Sony has given its old PS3-style menu system the heave-ho. In its place comes a new system that retains much of the feel of the old one, but tweaks several aspects of it.

For example, when you call up the main menu, it no longer takes over the whole screen. Instead it shuffles the selected programme or video feed into a large window on the top-left of the display, which is less obtrusive.

Sony KDL-55NX723 menu
The menu system no longer takes over the whole screen.

Below the video window is a row of icons that you can shuffle left or right to select features. When you choose one of the icons, a vertical sub-menu on the right-hand side of the screen populates with further options; if you select the Favourites icon, you can then vertically scroll through a list of the stored channels.

This system takes some getting used to. Although it's faster than the old approach, it's still not as immediate as the more straightforward and attractive-looking menus found on the latest Samsung and LG sets.

Thankfully you don't always have to resort to the main menu when you just want to tweak picture or audio settings. Instead you just call up a mini menu that offers quick access to these settings by pressing the Option button on the remote.

The picture controls are comprehensive, allowing you to tweak the usual colour, contrast and brightness options. They also give you control over colour hue, gamma and temperature, although there isn't a full colour management system. Nevertheless, you can play around with some of the extra processing features including the Black Corrector, Contrast Enhancer and Skin Naturalizer.

The set's electronic programme guide (EPG) is a tad drab but the traditional horizontal layout works well. Programming information is neatly laid out and easy to read. It shows eight channels' worth of data at a time but only two shows per channel. It's smooth to scroll back and forth through programmes so this isn't a problem.

Digital media and Internet features

This set makes the most of the fact that it has both Wi-Fi and Ethernet onboard by delivering a very impressive line-up of Internet video services.

As you would expect, BBC iPlayer is included, but alongside this you'll find a wealth of other services such as Demand 5, Sky News, LoveFilm and Sony's own Video Unlimited (renamed from the old Qriocity moniker) movie rental offering. In terms of available video content, it's probably the best offered on any TV at the moment.

The range of available apps isn't quite as impressive. There are widgets for Facebook and Twitter that show feeds from these social networking sites in a box while you're watching TV. In the Bravia Internet Video menu you'll find a few more apps for sites like Picasa. However, the options are limited overall. While it does have a full Internet browser, it lacks Adobe Flash support, which means it can't display video from some websites.

Sony KDL-55NX723 Twitter feeds
The set can overlay Twitter feeds onto the show you're watching.

Like a lot of Sony's previous TVs, when it comes to media playback, this model is hit and miss. On the one hand, it'll happily play a range of file formats like JPEG pictures, MP3 music tracks and Xvid and DviX files; it can do this either locally from its USB ports or by streaming them across your home network from a PC or NAS drive. However, it doesn't work with MKV files -- a format that's steadily gaining in popularity on the Internet and which is now supported on most other manufacturers' TVs.

Design and connections

The KDL-55NX723 follows the Monolith design that we've seen on other Sony TVs such as the KDL-40NX713. It looks gorgeous. Not only is it amazingly slim at just 27mm deep, but it's also got a really stylish single-sheet-of-glass look; the glass on the front covers both the bezel and the surface of the screen, blending the two seamlessly together. We're also fans of this model's thin and sleek pedestal stand, in part because of its slick brushed metal look.

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