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The new 2013 Sony Ultra HD 4K Television – Hands on review

New Products, Sony

2013 is turning out to be quite a year for Sony and their televisions. On the back of their awesome W8 (KDL47W805) and W9 (KDL40W905)  they’ve now released their first Ultra HD 4K TV.

4K TVs (sometimes also referred to as Ultra HD or UHD) deliver up to 4 times the picture resolution of Full HD TVs – so they represent quite a leap forward in terms of picture quality. But they are also quite a leap forward in terms of price. Or are they?

Back at #CES2013 Samsung revealed a 85 inch 4K Ultra HD TV. That is genuinely huge. At the time the Samsung S9 or UN85S9 was rumoured to have a retail price of  around $40,000 or about £26,000. But it does have a screen the size of a barn door and a wonderfully designed rotating white board frame as a stand. That stand also houses the speakers which can push out 120 watts of power. Sony also unveiled a 84 inch 4K TV at CES with the relatively low price tag of just $26,000.

Obviously these types of televisions are the mini cinema screens of the super wealthy but now Sony have brought out their 55 and 65 inch 4K televisions named the KD55X9005 and KD65X9005 respectively. In comparison these have much more affordable price tags. And we do mean in comparison because the 65 inch version is still going to set you back £5,999.

Obviously these are Sony’s flagship TVs with never seen before picture quality and they are absolutely top of the range in terms of spec, design and build quality.

Sony have incorporated the speakers into two gorgeous side panels either side of the flatscreen. Sony call these speakers “Magnetic Fluid” because they use a ferromagnetic liquid as a dampener which gives a crisper, clearer sound. Apparently this magnetic liquid was developed for the US space program. They’ve obviously been having quite a party up there in space.

As we’ve said the picture quality is amazing especially for such a large screen and you don’t have to sit 20 feet away to appreciate how good it is. Up close the picture doesn’t deteriorate. Sony have deployed their Triluminos technology to deliver the “widest and purest spectrum of colours“. Agreed. It is the best picture quality we have ever  seen.

But what has made us really excited is that Sony have only let 25 of the KD65X9005 4K TVs into the UK at the moment. And we’ve got one of them!

Now that it’s installed at our showroom, we believe it to be the only one in Norfolk (at the time of writing) that people can come along and see in action for themselves. Obviously you can buy it too and if you do, you will without question go home with the best TV in Norfolk. Fact!

But when you get it home, what will you be able to watch in 4K? You may have Sky HD but there isn’t a Sky UHD.

But 4K is definitely the future of television. Soon ALL TVs will be 4K, so will BluRay, terrestrial TV broadcasts, satellite broadcasts and cinema – in fact it’s already happening!

Will Smith’s new blockbuster After Earth was filmed in 4K using Sony cameras and it’s released in cinema’s this week in 4K format.

And there are more examples of 4K being used right now.

YouTube has supported 4K video upload and playback for a while, most of the major US studios are now filming new content in 4K and Andy Murray’s passage into the last 16 of #Wimbledon2013 this week along with Brazil’s thumping of Spain in the Confederation Cup were both actually filmed in 4K.

So true 4K content is definitely on its way and certainly in the lifetime of any new TV.

However, the real game changer today is “up-scaling”.

Up-scaling is what your Sony 4K TV does to lower quality content to give it the 4K impact. It does this on the fly and obviously it is not quite as good as pure 4K content but it’s still a huge advance on Full HD.

So if you’ve got £6K you can get 4K and you’ll be able to tell everyone you have the best telly in a hundred mile radius. Fact.

Even if you don’t have £6,000 to spend on a TV – and the vast majority of us don’t – it’s still worth a visit to our showroom to take a look at this beautiful television and the amazing picture and sound quality it delivers. Just like taking the family to the cinema only a lot cheaper.

You can see more of the KD65X9005 4K TV on our Pinterest Board dedicated to this brilliant TV.