CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide

We delve deeper into the Sony TV that, perched atop its pretty little stand, is the "one to beat" amongst this year's crop, according to its maker.

Sony's range-topping new HX850 comes in two sizes (46 inches and 55 inches). The 46-inch model we have here is sitting atop the optional brushed-metal stand. During our initial hands on, we couldn't fault the image quality, but you'll have to wait until our full review to find out how good (or not) it is.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Unlike last year's HX925, the unit "floats" above the stand, rather than sitting in a niche carved into it. Aesthetically, we prefer last year's stand.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

The HX850 uses Gorilla Glass, so its screen is incredibly sturdy. At a recent press event, Sony's Paul Colley repeatedly bashed the screen with the remote control, and the unit survived, unscathed.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

It's the same old lightweight, but relatively well-sorted, Sony TV remote.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

We say relatively well sorted, because it's all too easy to hit the Home or SEN buttons instead of down and up on the D-pad.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

There's a built-in web browser, which is handy, as you'll need it to log in to Facebook in order to use the social-media site's widget.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Entering addresses, usernames and passwords is a real chore, unless you're a world-champion T9 typist.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

After a little effort, you can treat yourself to Twitter and Facebook updates alongside a shrunk-down TV image — which is great, if you spend most of MasterChef guessing online which cliché Senor Cravat will rustle up next.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

If you want more than one status update or tweet at a time, you can choose between an expanded display mode or a ticker.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

The Sony TV interface is quick, pleasant and easy to use. The design is reminiscent of the PlayStation's cross media bar, but upside down.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Ten's catch-up service will soon join the services offered by the ABC, Seven and SBS.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

All of the catch-up TV services follow a similar format. It's nowhere close to being as nice as the Xbox catch-up TV interface, but it's better than what's offered up on the PS3.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Owners can also rent and download media from Sony's Video and Music Unlimited stores.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

In Video Unlimited, some titles are available in both SD and HD.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

The HX850 will also play video files stored on thumb drives. Unfortunately, file support is patchy — DivX files generally work, but MKVs won't work at all.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Unlike some other TVs, photos load speedily.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

Like we said, file support is patchy. Strangely, though, we got to this screen while attempting to view some JPEGs — the exact same ones that the HX850 had no problems generating previews for on the previous slide.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

On the back, there are two USB ports.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

For most people, four HDMI inputs should be sufficient.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

A D-sub VGA port is joined by an audio-in jack and a headphone port.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

The optional metal-finish TV stand has a beefier set of built-in speakers.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

The usual selection of component and composite inputs.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

The suite of ports is rounded out by a digital audio out, as well as an antenna jack and Ethernet port (not pictured). There's also built-in Wi-Fi hardware, so you don't need to shell out extra for an adapter.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia

If you want to share the HX850's 3D experience, you'll have to cough up. Only one set of active 3D glasses is included.

Caption by / Photo by Derek Fung/CNET Australia
Updated:
Up Next
Best 4K Blu-rays
20