Sony KDL55HX729 Review
55" Bravia LCD LED TV, 3D, 480Hz, X-Reality PRO Engine
The HX729 is a mid tier 3D LED TV from Sony, it contains most of the features of the higher end models but doesn't feature the trendy "Monolithic" design. It has a 1" gloss black frame and is an excellent looking TV if not as stunning as the flagship models.
Picture and Viewing Features
During recent viewing with sources from 3D Net we noted some blurring during fast motion scenes on the HX920 series. We noted the same during some Cinema 3D and Sports 3D programming. Bright lights against a dark background are particularly alarming. That said the X-Reality PRO dual chip processing engine is fantastic at processing normal 2D signals – even fast motion. The TV has a fantastic picture quality with non-3D sources with incredibly deep black levels and eye-popping definition. Colors are rich but not oversaturated.
Unlike many of Sony's competitors 240HZ rate features, we actually like Sony's. On the HX729 series the feature is called XR 480Hz. While not as strong in terms of effectiveness, it doesnt introduce lots of nasty artificial effects. Sony the MotionFlow XR 480 (manipulated 240Hz) builds on previous efforts to neutralize judder caused by camera movement as LCD and LED TVs struggle to process these movements fast enough.
The new monolithic design from last year is present on the new HX8 series. The edge lit LED LCD TV is only 1” in depth with a thin framing bezel.
Internet Applications and Connectivity
Sony was the first out with a true Internet TV this past fall of 2010 with the GT1 series, enabled with Googles Chrome browser. The HX729 does not have the Google TV application, but it does Sony's new Bravia Internet Video and Qriocity functionality which has among other premium Internet TV Apps HuluPlus, Pandora, Amazon VonD, You Tube, Slacker Internet Radio, Crackly, Hmm why am I not seeing Netflix here? Must be a typo in the specs from Sony.
Qriocity also has a highly touted (by Sony) music options service – Music Unlimited powered by... you guessed it, Qriocity. Hey, I just want it free, I want to buy this TV and it enable me to get the music I want for free! Deal!
Motionflow XR 480; a manipulated 240Hz rate which simulates 480Hz due to use of the edge lit LED backlighting.
Edge Lit LED backlighting, 3D TV ready.
The new X-Reality Pro Video Engine is a two chip processing engine rather than 1 used in the normal X-Reality engine. It is quite useful in that it upconverts and improves the picture from low resolution Internet content sources. It also optimizes high definition content, compressed HD signals, standard definition, and other sources. By utilizing a vast database of "ideal" signal patterns developed by analyzing and indexing and enormous library of film and video, the X-Reality PRO Engine compares incoming signals pixel-by-pixel with ideal scenes to display vivid and detailed images.
The embedded Skype features has increased resolution to 720p high definition to receive better images when video chatting.
4 or more HDMI inputs should be plenty on any TV. 1 rear ethernet port, 1 side USB port, 2 rear Component video inputs and 2 way RS232 port.