-Gorgeous looker (even when 'off');
-Great color reproduction;
-Amazing 3D output;
-Lean & thin;
-Gorilla glass facade;
-Built in Wi-Fi;
(A wobbly stand doesn't count as con, b'coz it's meant to be wall mounted anyway!)
So it was again that time in a user life when we had to shop for another TV, the current Samsung 46" LED-TV was getting boring we guess. As usual we did our surveys and locked-on to three -- the LG 55LW6500, the Samsung UN-55D8000 and the Sony KDL-55HX820... uh, what with those mouthful numbers!
WHAT WAS BEING CONSIDERED?
1. A 55" or more screen space;
2. Got to be a 3D-TV;
3. Obviously the best in picture quality;
4. Had to have a built-in Wi-Fi;
5. Should depict premium quality, w/out costing a 'bomb';
Surely, the 'considerations' warranted the top-of-the-line models of the leading manufacturers, but alas! they were expensive by [nearly]double to their own 2nd best models. So, we decided to look at their next lineage and soon understood that either they didn't make 60"/65" ones in that profile or it'd be priced extravagantly. So, we settled for the 55-inchers.
WHY THE SONY?
Well, we had long condoned 'Plasmas', why? it's another discussion alltogether. As LEDs were to be our buy we found that the three (mentioned before) were pretty comparative in their performance & similar in their price range... it thus, had to be either of them. We were also quite 'sold-on' to the LG's 'passive glasses' (could've saved-on the after market eyewear costs), but one look at the Sony would definitely keep you dumbfounded! This piece is gorgeous to the bone. We'd've purchased it anyway even if it wasn't that much of a performer, surprisingly it is too! Worked on them side-by-side at futureshop.ca -- found that the Sony's 55" HX820 actually performs much better than the Samsung's D8000, and doles-out nearly twice the effect of the LG's 6500 [NOTE: Contrary to C|Net's opinion, don't go for the LG's 5600 models - their 6500's are much better].
Given the real-time output of the Sony's 55HX820, it'd be potent to mention that this TV beats them all, even it's own flagship model - the XBR929. Why? for one - it drives on the same X-Reality PRO engine, the similar MotionFlow XR-480 video-tech, the same Gorilla glass facia and every single feature of it's elder brother... but giving-out a tad better picture & 3D effect than it, while keeping the prices down by about 50%. Yes, the XBR is 'back-lit' while this one is 'edge-lit' and the XBR has MotionFlow XR-960, while this one has 480... but what the heck? the HX820 still outperforms the XBR and I do not see any difference in its 'deep blacks', color-rendering, motion flow etc. So why pay more? -given the fact that both kept side by side, no one would notice the difference - they both share the same form factor, while mine (the HX820) being way thinner.
MORE ON THE FORM FACTOR:
Remember, the LG, the Samsung (and all others) are typically a "LCD screen with a bezel" TV... while the Sony HX820 isn't! Ditto the XBR. This is an "all-screen" TV... no bezels / no LCD screens to safeguard for! It's a "single piece of glass" in front. What that means? it looks like a 'pictureframe', unlike any other TV, that glass is Gorilla glass, it's scratch resistant (rings any bell?), it thus looks awesome even when switched-off! Take it from me, no one, I repeat no one, who entered my house ever stopped exclaiming, "OH, MY..." (no, it's not for the Sharp 'Quattron', if you know what I mean!!!).
THE 3D EXPERIENCE:
So, I've already clogged over 1200 hrs. on this TV now (uh, am I talking about flying!)... purchased four 'active-shutter' glasses from e-Bay (Sony BR250), sad Sony didn't offer any with the TV, but no issues though, and also fetched a bag-full of 3D blu rays - "Avatar-3D" (no one in their sane mind can miss that!), "Sharks-3D", "Imax-Under the Sea" (these two are a must to experience the best & 'real' 3D effects, Final Destination-3, Transformers-3, Rio-3D, "Resident Evil: Afterlife", Pirates of the Caribbean-3D and many more... now it's my turn to say, "OH, MY...", this TV gets into your skin while watching 3D content... goose-bumps galore... I've seen many other 3D TVs in action, surely the two mentioned before, the Sony HX820 produces amazing results on 3D blu rays. The 'depth' on Avatar-3D is such that you'd feel you are 'in' the movie - living in 'Pandora'... and while watching Rio-3D, I must admit, I could almost touch the hand of Jesus (remember the scene?) - it actually 'pops-out'! And then, all those marine lives, on the Imax 3D blu rays, really float right in front of you, out of the TV. While all the time in full HD (1080p) - Beat that! The LG's 'passive 3D' couldn't (it's not that 'crisp'), neither the Samsung's (it wasn't that wholesome).
About DLNA, Wi-Fi, online apps, user interface etc. I leave them alone, b'coz my intent is to put forth an 'user review' rather than go techy... they are all well documented in every online review... u bet, those work just as fine as well.
If you are in the foray for a 'new buy' - rest assured, this TV is well worth your money. It's almost a perfect 3D-TV (I said 'almost' b'coz one never knows what's in store tomorrow), but today, if LED-3D-TV is your call - this one's better than the rest. And I've seen it all, seriously. Ditto, if you are contemplating between the Samsung D8000 or the LG 6500 or the Sony HX820 - I'd suggest take the Sony KDL-55HX820 - this one is too damn good to resist!
The Sony 55" HX820 is wall mounted, Sony PS3 & Sony BDP-BX58 are it's 3D blu ray players. Harman/Kardon HS300 is connected as its home theatre receiver, an 'optical cable' carries 5.1 channel audio between the TV & the receiver (I'm hearing the TV channel's sound thru the Harman/Kardon as well). The eyewear is Sony 3D BR250 & PS3-3D rechargeable glasses (both work absolutely fine). Rogers Cable (Set-top box with all HD channels). ACN home router for Wi-Fi internet. The distance between my TV & regular seating position is roughly 12-14 feet... yes, no issues with that distance.
Did I mention that this Sony HX820 has also a camera & is Skype enabled? And has a proximity sensor to alert you when your kids are too close to the TV?