For those of us who grew up with Tintin comics, the boy reporter's adventures never get old. So this was the nth time I was watching the adventures of Herge's timeless character on the big screen, in 3D. As I watched the antics of Tintin and Captain Haddock in the film helmed by Steven Spielberg, I couldn't help but remark that finally here was a TV which needn't be connected to a sound bar to enhance the experience.
The TV in question was the 55-inch Sony Bravia KD-55X9350D (Rs 2,84,900) which was in for a review. The Bravia is bigger than its Korean peers thanks to the high-resolution speakers mounted on either side of the screen. I found they were good enough to listen to intricate pieces of music at normal volumes. The other thing I noticed was the Sony remote; it wasn't the sleek and sexy ones we're used to with big-screen TVs. Rather, it was a full-fledged one, though it was quite light and could also be talked into (its another thing that voice control is still a bit of a hit-and-miss in noisy environments). The good thing is, it has buttons to launch Netflix and YouTube (using the button marked Google Play).
Well, as I said, watching movies in 3D was a rather enjoyable experience; a Blu-ray of Ben-Hur, too, was upscaled to 3D magnificently on the TV. Next, I watched Ocean Wonders in 4K, and quite liked it, but for the times my broadband played hookey and I was left with less-than-perfect resolution.
The Bravia runs Android and thus one has access to a lot of apps. Among the installed ones are many for streaming, including a native one called Serial AbTak, which is a great way to catch up on Indian daily soaps. Plus, there's a Hub from Gameloft, which gives you access to the developer's titles. But you may want to go easy on them since the TV has 8GB user memory, which is enough for apps but may not be for games. Also, things are best if you have a PS4 controller, which can be paired with the TV. I connected my PS3 and played Alien: Isolation, the survival horror game. It was always a scary game, and at night, the deep blacks and the sound only made it scarier!
While the TV's operating system has a lot of advantages, it does falter - I experienced a couple of crashes in the two weeks I used it. When Android crashes, all one can do is restart it. Sony also bundles in the Opera browser and the Opera TV Store, and it makes sense to invest in a wireless remote/mouse to effectively use the search functions.
The Sony Bravia KD-55X9350D is for those who want a good movie-watching experience out of the box without having to invest in a separate sound system. It would also appeal to cord-cutters and gamers as long as the Android crashes are fixed.