Originally Posted by pactel
On Friday, the shipping company gave me a Monday delivery time of between 1pm and 5pm. I waited.. and waited.. Nothing. 5pm came and went.
I had resigned myself to the delivery not happening, then at 5:30pm, the driver called and said they'd be there at 6pm. They were on their way.
Two guys arrived toting a new, boxed 55HX85, that's what the outside of the box says. I showed them into the room with the old set. They looked quizzically at it and then asked "Where would you like the new set?"
"There, to replace the old set, it's being exchanged." "Oh, this is an exchange?" He shuffled through some paperwork, "Yep, it's an exchange."
They set up the set on its stand, oddly there was no printed instruction included in the box, nor batteries for the remote. I don't know if these were missing or just don't come with the unit any longer. The remote is a bit smaller, gone is the cool "matrix style" pull out battery cover. It's just a standard backside cover now. It's nice, but I use a Harmony One anyway, which interestingly already had a device profile for the 55HX850.
The stand is metal with a glossy plastic covering. It is much sturdier that the 55HX820's flat metal stand, but slightly less attractive in my eyes. The stand rotates, but does not tilt at all.
The 55HX850 has a thin brushed aluminum edge, all around that detracts from the monolithic design, again in my eyes. But matches pretty well with the iphone (more on that in a bit) and my sliver and black Harmony One remote. The lighted Sony logo is gone. Just a plain silver logo.
The set appears physically smaller than the 55HX820 and appears to have a smaller border around the screen, but that may be an illusion. Maybe someone could verify. The 55HX850 measures 50" x 30" and the border is 1 ¼" wide. The gorilla glass also appears thinner, but this could just be because of the aluminum trim.
Got everything hooked back up, after the delivery guys left. They offered to do the hookups for me, but were a bit ham-fisted, and I prefer doing it myself. Missing on the 55HX850 is the dongle for component and composite video. The jacks are right in the back of the set, like normal TVs. Same number of in/outputs as the 55HX820; 4 HDMI, 1 Component, 1 Composite, Ethernet, PC (with audio), 2x USB, Optical audio and Coax. There is one other I don't remember from the 55HX820, labeled "Speaker Integrated Stand."
Got the set connected to the internet; checked for, downloaded and installed a firmware update.
Watched a couple hours.. so this will be my first impression of the video quality with factory settings, as compared to my memory of the 55HX820.
The picture is beautiful out of the box, looks just like the 55HX820. The flesh tones seem a bit more natural. The 55HX820 was a bit reddish. Other than that pretty much looked the same. The viewing angle is much better on the 55HX850. The picture doesn't have white-wash when viewing from extreme angles on the side, like the 55HX820. I watch motorcycle racing, and I watched a recorded MotoGP race last night. The action seemed a little smoother on the new set. I tested the 3D for a couple of minutes, it seemed about the same, maybe a bit brighter.
Overall, the picture quality was good and comparable to the 55HX820, maybe slight improvements, but other than the viewing angle, nothing spectacular.
I noticed the absence of the proximity sensor (the feature on the HX820 that turns the set off if a child is too close to the set) and its corresponding camera. The vacation power switch on the side is gone and the side buttons seem a bit "cheaper."
New features I noticed right away include "TrackID" which attempts to identify a song playing on the TV using Gracenote. I played with it a few times, it identified dialog as two songs and failed on music in my quick test. I'll never use it again.
The second is an app that can be downloaded to your iPhone/Android that turns your phone into a full featured remote control. It's a bit laggy -- but guess it'd be handy in a pinch. Probably never use it again.
There it is .. there is probably loads more I have missed, as I said, I have only used the set for a few hours.
Was it worth the $300 I was charged over the 55HX820, nope.
Some things I like better than the 55HX820, some not.