September 22, 2011
- Attractive design
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Lots of ports/connections
- Very dark black levels
- Very good 2D image quality
- No 3D glasses included
- Remote control isn't backlit
- Some minor 3D image problems
The Sony KDL-55NX720 is a 55-inch 3D LED-backlit television that has an attractive design with plenty of Internet-connected applications to suit almost everyone. It also has really good black and white levels which results in very good image quality.
The Sony KDL-55NX720 measures 50.5 x 1.1 x 30.5-inches (wdh) and weighs about 50-pounds. It has a really attractive design that features a thin bezel that frames in the Gorilla Glass display. The display has a anti-glare coating, which significantly reduces glare from a room's ambient lighting. The front face has only a power LED and an illuminated Sony logo that is dimmable to minimize distraction. The front is monolithic, which means when it is turned off, it is a uniform black front because of its one-piece design and darkened glass panel.
The TV's remote control works well and has well-placed and sized keys, but there is one thing noticeably absent: backlighting. This is really a major drawback to this TV because a backlit remote control is fairly standard, especially from Sony's line of HDTVs. There are dedicated buttons for the Netflix application, Qriocity, 3D and a few other features.
Sony's interface is relatively simple and works well. There are in-menu advertising under a "recommendations" heading, but luckily, it can be disabled. The icons that run across the bottom are not labeled unless it is selected, which can cause for some moderate confusion.
A unique feature is Sony's Presence Sensor, which automatically powers off the TV if it detects that no one is watching it and a Position Control sensor automatically adjusts the picture and sound settings by detecting the positions of the viewers relative to the TV. While these are novel and unique, the latter feature didn't seem to make any visible adjustments in our testing.
On the backside, this TV has plenty to offer considering its rather slim profile. There are four HDMI inputs, optical digital out, a connection for the dongle that supplies component video and composite inputs, coaxial cable input, PC video/audio in, two USB ports, Ethernet and a headphone jack. The only port that is missing is a RS-232 port for high-end home entertainment integration, but almost all users won't even need that anyway.
The display is a full-array LED display that uses edge-lighting and local dimming, which allows it to brighten or dim specific areas of the screen independently (Sony calls it Dynamic Edge). There is also built-in Wi-Fi, so there's no need for a separate USB Wi-Fi dongle. Disappointingly, Sony doesn't include any of their 3D glasses with this TV out of the box, so you have to purchase their IR 3D glasses separately for about $70 each.
Online applications that come with the Sony KDL-55NX720 include Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Facebook, Pandora, Twitter, Picasa, Sony Entertainment Network, a Web browser and many other smaller services. The interface for all of these applications have been fairly standardized across the board by Sony, which does result in some difficulties, especially when it comes to searching and choosing content.
Performance with the Sony KDL-55NX720 was very impressive across the board. The black and white levels with this LED TV are amazing. The blacks are definitely one of the deepest, ink-like blacks that we've seen. Color accuracy was very good with colors showing a lot of brightness and vividness. Fast-moving images were also very good with zero to minimal motion blur or pixelation.
3D picture quality was good, but not as good as 2D quality, which is still pretty much the norm among all 3D HDTVs. It was hugely disappointing that Sony does not include any pair of 3D glasses with the set. Our overall impression of the 3D imaging capabilities with this TV were good, but we did notice moderate amounts of flickering in bright areas of the screen.