The Bravia LCD range of television units by Sony, have an amazing range of features. Some of the models are basic no frills designs which make them affordable for most buyers. On the other end are the high-end models filled to the brim with more features than most buyers will ever need.
This review covers the Sony KDL55NX723, which is one of the feature filled models. This is one of the Internet TV models Sony is so proud to offer. This model supports Sony’s own Bravia Internet Video portal plus buyers have the capability to stream content from other sources in their home.
The Bravia KDL55NX723 is the widest of the Bravia KDL models at 55 inch. There are also Bravia-KDL models at 40 inch and 46 inch.
If the no frills KDL-55NX723 model is too pricey there are less expensive NX713 models in 40 inch and 46 inch sizes. The specifications for the NX713 models are much less expensive. The price difference between the NX713 and NX723 models highlights the fact that the KDL55NX723 is not what anyone can call inexpensive. That fact fades out of view when a prospective customer gets to experience the styling and performance of the KDL55NX723.
In the NX723 models Sony continues use of the monolithic ultra modern design. The screen has a flush surface that has no bevel. The Sony stands that match the NX723 design have a built-in subwoofer. These models look good with any decor but they fit perfectly with minimalistic modern designed rooms.
The KDL-55NX723BU is so slim some wonder how it can function. Sony uses an OptiContrast LED panel to achieve the amazing depth of only 27mm. The frame around the screen is a bottomless shiny black that looks so good near the brushed metallic finish of the stand that comes with the unit. The point is, this unit stands out in any room and is noticed by anyone entering the room.
Better yet the Bravia KDL55NX723 is much more than just good looking. This model is the ultimate in connectivity. Some may find the downward or side facing connections problematic. Some cable adapters are used component input. It’s a small price to pay for the amazingly thin depth of this model.
The Bravia KDL55NX723 has HDMI connection inputs, located, 2 each, on the side and bottom. These are for the optical digital output, PC input, Audio Return Point, Ethernet port and audio – headphone output.
Something extra nice is two USB ports. One of them is for use with portable HDD’s. That allows recording from the tuner built in to the unit. The other USB is to be for other digital media storage units. A pay TV slot is also provided. A popular feature is access to the Sony Bravia Internet Video portal. The built in Wi-Fi makes getting online exceedingly simple.
The Bravia Internet Video portal is not available everywhere yet but for those with access there is an almost unlimited variety of content available; BBCiPlayer, Eurosport, SkyNews, YouTube and much more. Most set the package as the best content selection on any television.
For music lovers an unlimited music source from Qricity plus Facebook and Twitter apps for connection to social network time are much appreciated. That means there is no need to turn on the PC or laptop.
One feature expected to be very popular is the built in Skype ability. It is necessary to buy some auxiliary equipment to allow video calling without leaving the sofa or favourite television chair.
For an Internet browser the Bravia KDL-55NX723BU uses the Opera browser. Operationally there is no difference from being on your laptop or desktop PC after you get use to controlling the browser with the remote control. For some, this takes some time.
The KDL55NX723BU processing engine is the new X-Reality from Sony. This processor has what Sony calls XR200 processing. There are electronic modifications that really improve movement smoothness. The large range of optimization tools for the television image is like having a new age video game and a lot of fun to play with. Because of the choice of tools, Sony made a brilliant decision and put the basic tools we all know on the first screen. Access to the rest of the tools is on a special menu.
The advanced image tools are for Gamma correction, black correction and contrast enhance. Plus other advanced tools for edge and detail highlighters. Photoshop junkies will love this feature on the KDL-55NX723.
The KDL-55NX723 is 3D compatible and has an IR emitter that is built-in. Glasses for 3D are not included. To avoid the cost of the real 3D we expect many users to apply simulated 3D to 2D content. The quality will surprise most users.
The KDL-55NX723 has an amazing electronic programme guide (EPG in the manual). Programmes are recorded using standard USB ports, as mentioned previously, but you need an external HDD that is not included with the television.
One amazing feature is a face recognition software driven camera sensor. This equipment activates designated functions automatically depending on the state of the room where the television is located. An empty room elicits a certain set of functions. The entry into an empty room by a human elicits a different set of functions. The Sony KDL55NX723 even sounds an alarm if anyone gets without 1 meter of the screen from more than a set length of time.
The sound system can automatically adjust depending on where you sit by changing the side speaker’s volume balance. This is all complicated but the set up menu guides you through the entire set up and visually gives examples on the screen of what is taking place.
The initial set up for the Sony KDL-55NX723BU is thankfully simple. Intuitive wizards make the setup so easy by guiding the user past the more technical and complicated sections. Even the Freeview channel tuning and other normal essential installation setups are also easy to complete.
Users will love the fact that all this set up can be done without losing sight of programmes currently on the screen in the way of content. The menu surrounds the active TV screen to accomplish this. The history and favourites section is well thought out and makes returning to frequently watched channels and shows unexpectedly simple
For video operation the Sony KDL55NX723BU plays more file types. It had no trouble streaming most available formats such as AVCHG, XiD, WMV and AVI. Video is best when played from a flash USB drive.
At this time using the text-numeric system with the remote is too much trouble and we expect most people wont take the trouble to get past the learning curve, especially when usually, the trusty laptop is so close at hand.
There is a fantastically useful i-Manual, which is much appreciated, as it describes all the features of the set in detail on the screen. You may never look at the included paper version.
The functions of the remote for watching television or playing video are good and functional. There are easy to find and use keys for the i-Manual and a good number of picture presets that are very helpful.
One of the best features is the ability to use the 3D simulator for quality 2D content. The ability to make 2D look so clear and add perspective may mean many users will not spend the money for the extra equipment necessary to watch real 3D content for some time. Many who have seen the 2D content simulated to 3D stated an appreciation to watch 3D TV without the 3D glasses.
Some of the technical problems with 3D television are conquered or masked using the Sony Bravia KDL55NX723 smooth mode. The bottom line on the television’s performance is amazingly impressive performance for both 2D and 3D content. That’s good because this is the performance you expect at the price paid for this model.
As on most ultra thin flat screen televisions, the hard to find speakers have passable sound quality. Listening to most fast action high volume scenes, especially from DVD content, you can really tell sound content quality is missing. You will need to use the Sony stand subwoofer that’s built in if you want to give a boost to Bass sounds on your content. There is a range of sound modes that do improve sound performance when matched to the acoustics of the room.
There is no getting around the fact that the Sony Bravia NX723 series are all expensive television sets and the Bravia KDL55NX723 is at the pinnacle of that group. It’s all the features built in – including the on board Wi-Fi easy connect ability, the amazing 3D simulation of 2D content plus that easy to use and important i-Manual that makes installing, using and enjoying this television set a pleasure.
As they say, you get what you pay for and, in this case, despite the high price tag, the saying remains a fact for the Sony Bravia KDL55NX723.
Share this post if you found it useful or leave your feedback in the comments section below.