Power on the TV and you see the familiar Sony XMB (Crossbar) interface, which seems tweaked for a TV. The XMB is now used across a number of devices ranging from PlayStation consoles to notebooks and even televisions, so you should feel right at home if you’ve used Sony products in the past. There are 8 different menus on the home screen, most of which are for selecting inputs and choosing from the most used content sources and online content.
A very basic user interface - simple and practical
The Settings menu is extensive and offers a whole bunch of customization options that users can choose from. There’s even a detailed manual that explains all of the features of the television. But the interface leaves a lot to be desired; it’s clunky, not as quick and seamless like the Crossbar interface is on the PS3. Moving back and forth from the menu and onto the content can sometimes be painful. Of course, you won’t be doing this all the time, so it’s a minor irritant. Also, the profiles for each setting are not saved on their own, but are linked to the port from which the content is being displayed. This seems odd, because if you wanted to swap to another profile, it’s not possible, unless of course you change all the settings for that port. For a TV this expensive and impressive, it will invariably fall into the laps of videophiles and enthusiasts who are often tweaking their calibration settings to get the perfect viewing settings for a particular type of content. This in our opinion is one of the areas where this TV falls short, miserably.
The 55HX925 comes built with integrated Wi-Fi connectivity, so you don’t have to depend on optional modules. Setting up and connecting to a Wi-Fi router is no more difficult than it is with the PlayStation 3 or other Sony devices. There’s also a wired Ethernet port. Almost all smart TVs today support playing of media over the network and via USB storage devices. However, Sony being Sony, this TV is only able to read FAT32 content and it supports just a few formats. MKV and other HD containers refuse to play and are simply not recognized. This kind of codec hobbling of a near-perfect TV is quite amusing, and we know that this is very much done on purpose by Sony.
Very sleek, very slim for its size
Music playback works fine and it has all the features that you would expect on an audio player, in an HTPC, software or an HD media player. Again, our one complaint is that the interface engine does not allow you to switch back to other menus and have the music playing in the background. There are basic EQ settings and some visualization settings available too. Viewing images is equally simple and transition between images is quick. 2D to 3D conversion for images is also present.
The TV has a set of video channel presets that you can access over the net. These include YouTube, Blip.tv and a whole bunch of local streams from various channels with a presence on the web. Some of the streams are in HD as well, but there is no clear option to switch between SD and HD content on any of the streams.
Updated 21 May, 2013, 3:43 pm IST
Sony Bravia KDL-55HX925 Review
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