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Sony KD-65X9005B Test Review

Updated on December 4, 2014
The Sony KD-65X9005B delivers amazing picture quality
The Sony KD-65X9005B delivers amazing picture quality | Source

Are you planning to buy the Sony KD-65X9005B?

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After having the Sony KD-65X9005B in operation for a few weeks, we give a detailed review to simplify your decision to buy or not. The Sony KD-65X9005A is in contrast to the 55 inch model absolutely top class. Here you will find no annoying horizontal lines. Also, the panel is much better.

One would be advised to stay away from the 55-inch model. I got mine exchanged for the 65-inch model because the 55-inch model has a manufacturing defect that results in serious subduing of the HD 3D-effect.

Off the box, the following the key features of the television:

  • LCD TV 164 cm (65 inch display, 800 Hz)
  • 4K Ultra HD resolution 4K X-Reality Pro
  • Expandable to HDMI 2.0
  • Ferrofluid speakers and Triluminos display
  • Model: Sony KD-65X9005B

Sony KDL-65X9005B: Design & Features

The device has been up-scaled from a 1080p Blu-ray picture to 2160p. Sony uses an algorithm that calculates each pixel and makes it seem like it has been quadrupled. The resultant image looks sharp and natural when you consider that it is a doubling from 1080p to 2160p. The image quality is excellent and looks natural with very good black levels and without any stuttering at all.

3D playback is almost better than in the movies. The 3D images are liquid and clear with two shutter glasses provided.

The scale is a dream as even SD sources can still be viewed from a short distance. Unfortunately, there are no native 4K sources and this would have to wait for a while. The purchase is still worthwhile anyway because even full HD media are significantly better. I know of no other TV which has such a high computational capability.

I treated myself to this TV after a long think. I had my doubts because of the lack of HDCP, which I thought is a good substitute of the soon to be released Ultra HD Blu-rays. So why did I buy it anyway? Of course, I am hoping there will be a solution to the HDCP. In addition, there would be no visible difference between Full HD and Ultra HD for me. This is because the distance between my sit and the TV is so huge that the human eye cannot discern any advantage.

To be honest, I was never really a fan of 3D TV as the 3D material I had seen on TV was always disappointing. But that is not the case with the Sony KD-65X9005B TV – all I can say is Wow! I tested Avatar Avengers and Pacific Rim in 3D and what you get here is absolutely amazing. This is the best 3D I have seen and am totally flashed.

The 2D image is still very cool of course. In addition, one must not forget that the TV Full HD footage scaled to UHD resolution very effectively.

Every fan of 3D and high quality picture must get themselves this TV.

The Sony KD-65X9005B still looks classy despite its increased thickness
The Sony KD-65X9005B still looks classy despite its increased thickness | Source

Although there is currently no corresponding 4K player and currently it is still unclear how Sony will handle the missing HDCP 2.2 (which will be necessary in future 4K players probably) – recent updates are starting to show some compatibility.

The latest photos can be viewed in native 4K on the TV and proud owners of high-end PC with the appropriate 4K video card can view 4K content from the Web (for example, YouTube). The TV has an incredibly good internal upscaler which scales poor material to 4K TV resolution.

Watching current Blurays is absolutely fantastic and actually much better than on a Full HD TV. The TV also supports passive 3D and two 3D glasses are included with your purchase. These are the light glasses that you are already familiar with from the cinemas.

I dare say (and numerous tests confirm this) that this TV currently provides the best 3D image. There is no flickering or unwanted double images with this TV.

The integrated speakers of the TV make a home cinema system almost unnecessary- if you can do without real surround. A perfect complement for this TV is the Bluray Home Theatre System BDV N9100. With this system, playing the PS4 on the KD-65X9005B is just a dream for gaming lovers.

One thing I noticed is that the TV speakers are automatically activated when the AV Receiver is turned off.

The TV pushes playback to its limits given that the digital non-HD signal is already in a comparatively inferior quality from the socket. What makes the Sony KD-65X9005B TV amazing is that the picture quality is consistently good even it means scaling is applied up to four times.

HD signal in 720p looks a lot better though not as outstanding as when playing Blurays. Playing consoles such as the PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360 are just a pleasure to use on this device. With the PS3 which has most of the games in 720P, artefacts are still visible when you look closely. With the PS4 and Xbox 360 however, the gaming experience is much better at 1080p.

The 65X9005B delivers good quality sound through six front-firing speakers
The 65X9005B delivers good quality sound through six front-firing speakers | Source

Sound- nowadays, you will rarely get devices that have good in-built speakers. The KD-65X9005B delivers a high quality sound that is top notch via its six front-facing speakers (three on either side). Though this has resulted in a much thicker TV than previous versions, Sony has tastefully designed the device to look classier so as to compensate for the increased bulk.

Operation – This is the only negative comment I can make of this device. As a high-end device, you would expect that it would have an in-built processor that controls all operations satisfactorily. When the device is switched on, for about 30 seconds almost nothing is possible. Only changing volume works smoothly in this case. Changing station or operating the Smart TV functions such as apps, DLNA or cloud does not work or is unreliable during this period. Only after the device has completely powered up is it possible to operate it comfortably. For a device in this price range, it is strange that it cannot be operated immediately after switching on.

Remote – The device is supplied with two remote controls: one for normal operation and another one for minimal operations such as channel surfing (zapping). The normal remote control can only be described as average. At this price point one would have expected at least some kind of display and lighting. The smaller remote control, however, has a touch panel on which the TV can be controlled using gestures. This is a very good idea as it does away with unnecessary buttons and the remote can remain small.

The Speakers give the 65X9005B a unique pyramid shape
The Speakers give the 65X9005B a unique pyramid shape | Source

Smart TV – The device offers a wide range of apps. There are Sony’s in-house services such as Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited. There are also streaming apps like Max Cathedrals, Amazon Instant Video and more. Chromecast allows media to be played back on the YouTube app on a tablet on the TV, which is pretty nice. However, the performance of the apps can be frustrating in light of the somewhat limited computing power. While this has no effect on the eventual stream running smoothly, the apps still act quite sluggishly.

DLNA- Access to the DLNA Media Server works pretty well. The interface is very simple- though it is not possible to create playlists, the TV plays most conventional formats such as MP3, AVI and MKV. However, once you go beyond mere play and want to try more functionality with the DLNA features, there are difficulties. I tried to use my iPad as a DLNA remote control and use my Fritzbox as aDLNA server to play media on the Sony KD-65X9005B TV. It did not work properly. However, maybe the problem is not with the TV because when I replace the Fritzbox with a Windows 7 Media Server, it works. But the fact that the whole work with a cheap Sony Bluray player is a little strange. Apparently, this player goes for a quarter of the price of a better DLNA compatible which is a top model Sony.

Recording- The recording of television programs is generally possible and easy. The hard drive should not be used for other things apart from the storing TV programs- Sony has created a proprietary file structure on the hard drive. Basically, the TV can be used as a simple video recorder

Conclusion

When it comes to picture and sound quality, the Sony KD-65X9005B actually deserves 6 stars. The 1080p and 3D playback are just great. Watching Bluray on the TV and using the play console are really enjoyable.

Though the KD-65X9005B has many pluses, the below average performance during start-up and the SmartTV features should not be present in a mid-range device.

You can get the TV from Amazon for $3,600:

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