Sony is one of the several companies that are struggling to gain dominance in people’s living rooms. Although the company is slowly shifting to mobile fronts, the Japanese giant still wants to get a chunk of the TV market. The Sony KDL-55W802A is part of Sony’s 2013 lineup of TVs and it has most of the features present in the flagship 1080p model but winds up being $800 cheaper.
The KDL-55W802A is the most affordable 55-inch display that features the new quartz-cut design. The way the display is designed really helps give this Sony display its own identity. The edge of the bezel has a translucent color that emits a green glow when light hits it adding some elegance to the display. It also has a pretty unique circular stand that allows the screen to swivel. When looking at the Sony KDL-55W802A from the front, it really looks different than other HDTV models. If you are looking for an HDTV that really stands out in the living room, the KDL-55W802A is a great candidate.
The screen was also designed in such a way to achieve better image quality. With Dynamic Edge LED backlighting the TV gets to decide which particular areas get illumination resulting to better overall contrast and impressively deep blacks when dark and night scenes are shown off.
Sony BRAVIA fans will immediately be familiar with the X-Reality PRO picture engine that has been powering BRAVIA displays for quite some time. The Sony KDL-55W802A features a refined version of this engine which can enhance the colors and contrast for any source whether it is a TV program, Blu-ray movie or YouTube clip. Visuals simply look great and match up well against other competing TV models released in 2013.
No modern mid-range or high-end HDTV is complete without some sort of motion interpolation technology that compensates motion blur. Sony’s approach is the Motionflow technology and the KDL-55W802A employs an advanced version known as Motionflow XR 480. Sports scenes get the most noticeable improvements here where the even fastest motions can be seen.
The 3D technology hype is slowly dying out but Sony continues to shoehorn the 3D features in their high-end models including the Sony KDL-55W802A. The KDL-55W802A incorporates a passive 3D technology which means that those expensive 3D glasses with batteries don’t have to be used. In fact, these passive glasses are so cheap that Sony included four pairs of these glasses so more people can enjoy those amazing 3D Blu-ray movies. Purchasing additional glasses will set you back $10 a pair but don’t forget that third-party glasses can work too.
Sony is extending this 3D technology by including SimulView support which is a technology that some PlayStation 3 games use. This technology intends to replace split screen views for local multiplayer games by projecting separate and full 2D images for each set of special SimulView glasses. You can tell if the game title supports this technology if it says SimulView.
Sony is also addressing the growing demand of “Smart TVs” by incorporating some online features to the Sony KDL-55W802A. These online features can be accessible by pressing the “SEN” button on the remote control. This will immediately bring up the “Sony Entertainment Network” interface which presents you with a bunch of tiles that represent apps. From there, you can access several online services like Facebook and Twitter as well as many popular video streaming services including Netflix, YouTube and Pandora. There are also a few apps like Skype which requires a separate Skype camera accessory so you can make a video call and see the person you are talking to on the big screen.
The KDL-55W802A also intends to make Android smartphones a deeper part of the living room by adding several connectivity options for screen mirroring. Screen mirroring is a cool feature to have because you can run your favorite app and see what it looks like on a 55-inch display. You can also view photos and videos since they scale up automatically. The HDMI ports are MHL-enabled which means that any modern smartphone or tablet supporting the standard can connect to the TV through a Mobile High Definition Link cable to mirror portable device’s screen to the TV. You may also opt for a wireless approach if the smartphone is Miracast enabled. If you have recent Xperia smartphone, you can also utilize the NFC technology to establish a quick connection to the one-touch remote accessory for one-touch mirroring. However, the one-touch remote is sold separately.
Android or iOS smartphones and tablets can also be transformed into cool remote controls through the free TV SideView app. This app not only lets you change the channel or adjust the TV controls but it can also serve as a second screen where you can discover more information regarding the content you are currently watching. For instance, using this feature on a TV show will bring up extra details on the episode and entire cast. It also provides quick access to the tweet function so you can share what you are currently watching on Twitter.
The Sony KDL-55W802A may have some extra features that can overwhelm newbies but this display counters with a refreshingly friendly interface. The simple menu system heavily borrows from the Xross Media Bar that the PS3 uses making it easy to edit settings or see what devices are connected. If you ever get lost, you can immediately read the manual right from the TV by accessing the iManual option from the menu. This manual covers all aspects to the point that the physical manual is useless.
The KDL-55W802A can be a bit pricey for what you get but Sony is definitely trying to stand out and prove that Sony displays still have some innovative tricks. Plus, the picture quality doesn’t disappoint and the design is most definitely an eye catcher. It would have been better though if wireless LAN was built in so you have one less wire to worry about.
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