Customer Reviews: Sony KDL50EX645 50-Inch 1080p 120HZ Internet Slim LED HDTV (Black) (Old Version)
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on September 29, 2012
I just purchased this TV here on AMAZON a few days ago for $859.00 with free super saver shipping
without using the Amazon Prime 2 day shipping.(I never subscribed to it)
This TV was purchased Monday 6pm and it arrived Wednesday morning before noon VIA UPS.(Wow)

As far as the picture quality of this TV set it cannot be beat regardless of the price.

I have been shopping for a 46 inch LED TV for about a month at local retail stores only
to find that basically the main or only differences between this TV and that of the
higher priced makes and models of other 46 inch TV's has very little or nothing to do
with the overall actual picture quality but has a lot more to do with the amount of
additional features and options these smart tv's have and are available on the higher
priced makes and models of the same size.

The picture quality on this HD TV is so life like and so sharp and clear that I can
clearly see even the smallest details like a person's eyelashes, eyebrows and even
the eyeballs.

The internal audio output quality using the built-in speakers is what I would call average,
so if you are the type of person who wants theater quality audio you will need to
use an external audio amplifier and external speakers.

All the internet features and options work excellent and really look professional
just like you would see on your home computer'a monitor.
The only drawback with the internet is that you will need to find a compatible
wireless USB keyboard to use unless the remote's up/down/left/right buttons are
good enough for you while surfing the web.

The built-in Wi-Fi is so super easy to setup that it's almost automatic.

This TV has so many settings and adjustments for the picture that even if you are
very particular and a perfectionist you will have more than enough controls to get
the exact picture you want.

The "picture & picture" feature is really excellent, to use it you will need a secondary
video source like the RF 75 ohm output of your cable box or a TV antenna so that both
the TV's built-in tuner and the cable box's tuner are both connected to the TV.

Even without an HD cable or satellite box this TV has fantastic digital picture quality
and it receives many OTA (over the air) HD channels using an antenna, cable box or Tivo.

The only fault I see in this TV set is when I connect an external USB hard drive or a
USB flash-drive which contains lots of videos and or movies.

The TV plays basically all the video formats like DIVX/AVI/MPG and all other formats
really well but the user interface when using this feature leaves a lot to be desired.

It is an all black screen with tiny file and folder icons which have no graphics or text
so you cannot see the titles/names of the movies or videos contained on the USB hard
drive or the USB Flash drive.

It looks like the media player feature in this TV is something which is not fully
finished yet but something which needs to be worked on and finished by Sony with a
firmware or software upgrade.

Perhaps one of these days Sony will have a newer firmware or software version so
after upgrading the built-in media player it will have all the missing/lacking features.

I have a Western Digital USB TV Live media player which I use for my movies and it works
and looks excellent and it has all the missing features which this TV's built-in media
player is is lacking.

Another good choice for an external usb media player is the Sony SMP-N100 media player.

The remote control which comes with this TV is really excellent unless you have
additional components attached to the TV set. If so, you will need to buy an all
in one type remote. (preferably a Logitech Harmony One).

All in all I gave this TV 5 Stars due to it's truly amazing picture quality and all
the excellent features and options it has.
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on September 26, 2012
Not sure why anyone wouldn't give this a 5 star rating. So easy to use and set up, crystal clear picture if you are watching anything HD. This isn't even for sale yet here on Amazon but I bought this at a local dealer yesterday and it is perfect. Apps work great. We have amazon prime and i am watching a movie as I type. We got the 50in and could not be happier.
I shopped for a long time and here is why I got the Sony.

#1 It supports amazon instant video. (Many brands do not even if they are wi-fi enabled.)
#2 The Sales man said Sony has the best picture Quality (Samsung is 2nd but they don't support Amazon video service.) From the show room Sony looked the best.
#3 Size 50 inch is perfect not too big or small.
#4 1080p 240hz. The higher these #s the better the picture.
#5 simple, no 3-d or extras we would never use. Keeping the price affordable.
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on December 23, 2012
Introduction: We've had a Sony Trinitron SDTV for many years, using a HDTV tuner converter box since the switch to HD broadcasting. I have been waiting for an LED-backlit TV with at least a true 120Hz refresh rate to come down to a decent price. On this past Black Friday weekend I tried the Samsung UN46ES6100 and this Sony KDL46EX645, which were both priced at $799. Below are my thoughts on these two TVs.

Picture Quality: After having the Samsung TV and trying to tweak the picture settings to make it look just right, then still not being satisfied by the clarity, when I connected the Sony TV I was impressed at first sight. The sharpness of the Sony is much better, and the color balancing doesn't take much if any tweaking at all to make scenes look good. The Samsung had several white blotches in the middle are of the screen, which could've just been a defect in the model I got. (Best Buy sold it to me as "new" but it was obviously an "open box" item.) The Sony has some light "ghosting" in the corners, which is not a defect but is just the way it is for this edge-lit LED TV. This is somewhat distracting in dark scenes, but can be minimized by adjusting the backlight level.

Motion Flow: I tested several fast-moving movie scenes on my Sony BDP-S390 on both TVs without any "motion flow" enabled. The Sony was much smoother on these scenes and decoded the scenes with less pixelation. With "motion flow" enabled, I found that the Samsung was not very good at "guessing" the fill frames, making the scenes much worse. On the Sony, the "guessing" was better but I don't like the "soap opera" feel that it creates so I leave it off except for sporting events. The Sony TV has a separate "CineMotion" option for movies, I have left that on although I haven't been able to tell a difference with it on or off.

Smart TV: Sony's PlayStation experience has helped them in this area I think. The Sony Entertainment Network is quick and easy to navigate with a well-designed layout, and the TV is responsive and not bogged down when accessing it (although there is a short delay immediately after turning on the TV before you can access it). The Samsung equivalent was clunky and not designed well at all. The Sony TV also has "Internet Apps" powered by Yahoo that provides quick access to widgets like weather, stocks, and sports scores which I find very convenient. There is a decent Samsung equivalent for this, but you have to go through their Smart Hub to access it which interrupts TV viewing. On the Sony it is just one button away and shows up along the button of the screen.

Menus and Remote Control: This is another area in which Sony showed their professional side and superior design. On the Samsung, the menu system was childish and basic. On the Sony it is clean-cut, extensive and easy to navigate. The remote is easy enough to use, and with the Bravia Sync menu we can control the Sony BD player using the TV remote. The TV sends the controls through the HDMI cable. Switching back to TV control does require pressing a few buttons, and accessing some of the deeper BD player controls requires accessing a menu system, but it is convenient to have control on one remote.

TV Guide: We pickup OTA TV channels so we don't have a TV guide on a cable box. On the Samsung there was a very nice TV guide that showed us upcoming show schedules. The Sony doesn't have this feature, which is disappointing but not a deal breaker.

Conclusion: The Sony has a better picture engine and the "smart TV" features are better. The overall impression I got when comparing the two models is that the Sony was made by professionals and the Samsung was made by amateurs. We've always owned Sony equipment so maybe I am just biased, or maybe they just make really good equipment. I realize that there are various price-levels and technologies for TVs, and the more expensive plasma TVs have the best picture quality. This 46" EX645 was worth the wait for us to buy an LED HDTV.

Star Rating: I think this is a great TV overall. I'm giving it 4 stars, taking off a star for the light "ghosting" in the corners and the lack of the TV guide. I think Sony could've easy included the TV guide, which even our old converter box had, but didn't for some reason.

P.S. Sony makes great TVs and home entertainment equipment, Apple makes great computers and smartphones. Canon make great DSLR cameras. Samsung makes all these things and more, but in my experience none of them are that great.
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on February 9, 2013
The Sony KDL60EX645 60" smart HDTV displays the most natural color image of any TV I have ever viewed. However, this is dependent on the proper custom setup of the TV display (more details later). Once the picture settings have been adjusted, the TV image has great color accuracy, excellent detail and good black levels (though there is some unevenness in the display when the screen goes to black, it is better in this regard than most edge-lit HDTVs). I had no problems establishing the wireless internet connection with the TV and the various internet features it has seem to work well, though I have tried only a few of them. Netflix, for example, was easy to set up and use. This 2D smart HDTV has a sturdy, non-swivel base and looks very attractive on a TV stand. It is much less expensive than the 3D alternatives and delivers a great picture for the price.

As I mentioned, the image requires adjustments to the picture settings to get the best results. I first tried the settings recommended on CNET and by a reviewer on Amazon, but found the results less than satisfactory: the image looked like the lighting came from a setting sun - too yellow/warm. After some tweaking, I was able to produce a most satisfactory DVD & Bluray image using the following settings:

Home menu>Settings> Picture & Display

--Picture Adjustments menu--
Picture Mode: Custom
Backlight: 3
Picture: 95
Brightness: 49
Color: 43
Hue: 0
Sharpness: Min
Color Temperature: Neutral
Noise Reduction: Off
MPEG Noise Reduction: Off
Motionflow: Off
CineMotion: Auto 1

-Advanced Settings submenu-
Adv. Contrast Enhancer: Off
Black Corrector: Off
Gamma: 0
Clear White: Off
Live Color: Off
LED Motion Mode: Off
White Balance: [see below]

-White Balance submenu-
R-Gain: -5
G-Gain: 0
B-Gain: -5
R-Bias: -2
G-Bias: +2
B-Bias: +3

--Screen menu--
Wide Mode: Full
Auto Wide: Off
4:3 Default: Off [grayed out]
Auto Display Area: Off
Display Area: Full Pixel
Horizontal Center: 0 [grayed out]
Vertical Center: 0 [grayed out]

Home Menu>Settings> Preferences--

--Scene Select menu--

--Eco menu--
Power Saving: Off
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on January 25, 2013
As a professional photographer, picture quality is paramount to me, and I can't help but be very sensitive to oversharpening, posterization, blooming, lack of color fidelity, white-balance anomalies, black and white clipping, and other shortcomings in still or moving images. The short version of this long review is that with minimal tweaking, this set avoids all those problems.

Two months ago, I semi-retired my five-year-old 720p Olevia TV to a bedroom, and bought this Sony set. In that time, I've come across a bunch of quirks and head-scratchers. None that spoil the viewing experience, but let me just give them a quick mention so you'll know what to expect.

- The sound is so-so. Anemic, and a bit harsh in the mids. I was expecting this; it's hard to put decent-sized speakers into a thin frame, so proverbial corners have to be cut. It's not a problem because I play the TV through my living room surround-sound system. In other words, connect the audio output of your set to an input on your amp or receiver (or to a good soundbar) and Bob's your uncle.

- Sony's remote is pretty bad. It isn't backlit (OK, most remotes aren't). It's way too hard to distinguish top from bottom in the (semi-)dark after you pick it up. Also, the circular pad in the middle has an outer and an inner ring that are tricky to tell apart by feel, resulting in erroneous pushes. Plus, the most-used button is likely the volume control, and Sony has placed it near the very bottom. You have to do some advanced thumb acrobatics to find it, while almost losing the remote's balance. Ergonomics, anyone? On the plus side, I do like the one-touch Netflix button. Wish there were additional direct-access buttons, perhaps even ones you can program yourself.

- As TVs are becoming more complicated, and networked, they are now a little more like computers, and they're no longer instant-on. This Sony set takes about eight seconds to show a source signal after you press the power button, then will not give you access to any networked services such as Netflix or Hulu for another 15-20 seconds. That's with a direct (wired) Ethernet connection; it might be a bit longer over wifi, I haven't tried. It's only a minor annoyance however.

- Sony's built-in web browser is atrocious. In fact, I have a number of user-interface issues with this TV, starting with the asinine on-screen keyboard that mimics a telephone keypad; inputting search terms and the like is s-l-o-w. Luckily, I've only had to use it when signing into subscription services. The TV retains usernames and passwords so it's a one-time nuisance. The built-in Sony Entertainment Network is likewise hobbled by weird interface decisions and overall clunkiness. I don't use it.

- The Hulu app experienced frequent freezes and crashes. I suppose I would muddle through it if I had to, but I have a $90 Apple TV box hooked up to the Sony, and prefer accessing HuluPlus through Apple TV, where it has been rock solid.

- One final niggle: when you press the Netflix button on the Sony remote, you are taken to a screen that lets you choose between regular Netflix and Netflix for Kids. I wish I could automatically bypass this unnecessary (for me) choice. This choose-your-Netflix screen is also oddly fuzzy, probably 480p instead of the 1080p I expect from a hi-def TV. To be sure, once you're actually connected to Netflix, the picture is sharp and snappy.

Ah, that picture. It is startlingly real-looking, smooth, and sumptuous. You can lose yourself in it. It is the reason I bought this TV (and paid a little more than I would have for competitors' models).

Now, to be honest, I didn't like the image quality much right out of the box, as there was a cheap soap-opera look to everything I watched. But once I'd delved into the settings and turned off Motionflow, the picture was as rich and near-cinematic as I'd hoped. (One caveat: true black level isn't as good as you'd find on a plasma set, and I've occasionally seen posterization in the blacks from compressed sources such as Hulu's Criterion Collection.) Predictably, the (uncompressed) splendor that is Bluray really shows the TV off to its maximum benefit, but I'm overall also very pleased with the image quality I get out of Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon Instant Video, and iTunes. Even standard-def fare looks rather good.

Word of advice: Sony offers a lot of image tweaks in the settings. To get the best picture, you'd do well to go through them while playing a THX or similar test disc. (I found a nice little THX test program in the Extras menu of my DVD copy of The Incredibles, a bonus that must have been included on lots of other titles also -- check your own DVD library!)

I haven't yet gotten used to how stellar the image is, and still feel almost giddy when I turn the set on and behold what's on the screen. Despite some misses and minuses in other departments, the Sony KDL46EX645 delivers the best picture I have yet seen in any recent sub-$2,000 TV monitor.
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on January 21, 2013
I decided to purchase this model about a week before Christmas. I was hoping to have it delivered before Christmas but I knew it was going to be close to make that deadline. I was very happy when I got it on the 24th. Setup was very easy. I turned on this wonderful tv and all I can say is WOW. I did not want to leave the house until I properly bonded with this Sony HDTV. The picture is so good that I think I saw God at one point...
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on December 10, 2012
Got this in December and have had a chance to tweak it and play with the settings. Gives a great picture from Comcast Cable and DVD/BLU-RAY players. Lots of options to fine tune as I have a critical eye. Built-in speakers not great but I have it connected to a Yamaha receiver and Paradigm speakers so it's not a problem. Beautiful picture.
My one objection (and thus only 4 stars) is the picture on the internet connection. I have it hard wired from my router (high speed comcast). The only way the picture will display is with Cinemotion activated and the videos on Hulu+ and Crackle all have the dreaded "soap opera" effect and I can not get any of the settings to turn it off. Spent time with a Sony tech and any settings he tried didn't turn it off, even with all the noise reduction and motionflow and cinemotion turned off. Said the internet chip defaults to this. The picture is so annoying with that live video look that I doubt I'll be using it much for internet videos. Sony needs to come up with a software update so we can adjust the picture on the internet connection too.

Update: I figured out how to adjust the internet picture settings finally. Just hit options on the remote while watching an internet video and it brings up a picture adjustment menu. It wasn't clear at all in the instructions.
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on September 26, 2012
We ordered this newly released model from Amazon directly. The introductory price was hundreds below MRP.

It arrived on the first day of the delivery window.

Using our own f-connector (coaxial cable) got us up and running with cable TV channels. You must supply your own cables.

Set up was pretty easy, although the warning message tells you that searching for available channels may take 50+ minutes (ours took about 10 minutes).

Picture quality was good. Sound was also very good.

However, the RCA connections from a VCR were defective.
The Composite video connections from a DVD were defective.
The H15 (VGA) input from a computer was defective.

Nothing worked except for the tuner.

There are a lot of HDMI inputs and USB inputs (located at the back of the unit and along the left edge). Did not try them as the other electronics were kaput out of the box.

Sony on-line support walked me through several diagnosis operations. After about a hour the Sony tech determined that there was a serious electronic malfunction and the unit would require major repair. He gave me a number to call to find out about shipping it to a repair/service center.

Well, that would mean we paid full price for a NEW TV that would become a refurbished unit when Sony sent it back to us. Not so good.

Lucky us! We had bought through Amazon and could take advantage of the great return policy at Amazon. First time in all the years I've purchased from Amazon that I had to return anything (and it would be the biggest item I've ever ordered from them). The return instructions were straightforward. I took the TV stand apart and re-boxed everything in the original packaging and now we are waiting for the FedEx truck (see UPDATE).

We opted to replace it with the same model. It has WiFi and other features that we wanted.

I agree that the remote is designed as a cash cow for Sony. There are conveniently located, dedicated buttons for Netflix and Apps (Sony gets paid for product placement on the remote). Other commercial features are also right where your fingers naturally fall on the remote. If you want to use competitors of those brands it will be more difficult. But the buttons for volume, mute, channel up/down, and "Jump" (goes back to the previous channel) are about 1 inch from the very bottom of the controller where your fingers have trouble finding them without the controller falling off the arm of the old recliner.

One strange feature on the remote is "Wide". It provides several ways to distort the screen image. Not sure why... We only use about 20% of the remote buttons and features. The Favorites list is very useful for finding digital channels (211.1 or other five stroke addresses are available with just two or three strokes).

UPDATE: We got the new replacement TV from Amazon 24 hours after filling out the on-line return form. Amazing service! The new TV does seem to work well. VHS, DVD, Blueray, etc. can be watched. We have not used all of the many features such as Netflix, various colored buttons and HDMI ports, yet. And some interface features, though they sound cool, are really not very convenient to use.

For example, setting up a direct WiFi connection to our home LAN router was very straightforward and simple. The manual tells you that Internet is as easy as typing in the URL of the webpage you want (we've only gotten the Sony browser to connect to the Sony product shopping website, for all URLs we typed in we get the message "Cannot display that page"). But the primitive way of entering text to type in a URL is very, very slow (have to use the remote control with each number assigned three or four characters that you then have to scroll though to select). The manual does note that it is possible to connect a USB mouse and keyboard to the TV. Although Sony warns that not all USB mouses or keyboards may be compatible with the unit, it does not suggest which those are.

I connected my Mac laptop to the H15 (SXGA) port at the back of the TV so that I could mirror the computer screen on the TV. The manual only tells you that this is the connection to make. But making the display work is not without some effort and imagination on your part. After much fiddling I discovered that after the computer output is matched to the TV input resolution, you then must press "Input" on the remote controller and navigate to a screen where you can select the computer. Once you select the computer as an input device it works fine. We also were able to use the computer browser to connect to any Internet website we wanted instead of only to the Sony shopping page. The displayed computer mirror image is not viewed as a full screen image on the TV.

We had good luck with connecting a USB flash memory drive to the TV. We plugged it in, followed the manual directions, and were watching photos and home movies in no time. The clarity of the 1080p videos is stunning.

This has not been an easy TV set to figure out. Could be that we last bought a TV (a Sony) back in the 1990s and we are not familiar with the new ways of connecting to various features. If you are buying it believing that the instruction manual will guide you though figuring out all of the many features, you may be surprised.

The TV has very good picture and audio quality.

No manufacturer is perfect all of the time with every product. Eventually, we may even figure out how to navigate with the Sony Internet browser (if you know how to do that, please reply to this comment with directions). Overall, we are pleased with this product -- it is a huge improvement over the antique 27" CRT television set we previously used -- and we are very satisfied with the excellent service provided by Amazon.
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on December 4, 2012
I bought this TV over the Thanksgiving weekend. To my surprise it shipped within a day of purchase and it arrived on the first day of the delivery window. I had read reviews on various brands and settled on this Sony. To begin with the picture is great, most flat screen pictures look good and this one is no exception. Some reviewers have complained about the sound quality but for routine viewing I cant see any problem with it. If you would like better sound you can always add a sound bar. There are sufficient I/O ports to attach a computer, digital camera, etc. The setup is extremely easy and as far as the WiFi goes, it found our WiFi signal with no problem. I can not yet speak for the durability of this product but so far its delivered what I wanted and expected from a large, flat screen television.
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on August 31, 2013
I would rate model KDL50EX645 less than 1 star if I could. I purchased the KDL50EX645 on Nov. 23, 2012, Black Friday at a SONY store. I have long wanted a SONY TV and I was delighted to have finally purchased one. I gave away an eight year old, 37" Phillips, flat screen TV that was working perfectly. I just wanted a SONY. While the TV did not have as good a picture as expected, I was willing to live with the picture quality because I got what I thought was a good price. Now I know that I got less than I paid for.

On Aug. 17, 2013 the TV would not turn on; less than one year from the date of purchase. I traveled out of town for a few days and returned to contact SONY support on Aug. 25. I was told that support was unable to open a reference ticket because of an IT upgrade that did not go as expected and I should call back on Tuesday, Aug 27. On Tuesday, I called twice and was told that support still could not open a reference ticket. I was instructed to call back on Thursday, Aug. 29. Instead, I asked to escalate and was put through to Customer Relations who opened a reference ticket. I was told that the blinking red light indicated that I needed service. The part would be ordered to arrive in approximately 5 business days and a technician would be in touch to repair the TV. I indicated that I was not happy with this plan and I wanted to escalate. I was transferred to National Customer Relations (NCR). NCR stated that I would have to wait on repair and I insisted that the TV should be replaced since the TV was less than one year old. NCR finally admitted that the part needed for repair was on back order and they did not know when the part would be available. NCR then agreed to a replacement but the replacement would be with a refurbished unit and they would need my credit card number for this process. After careful consideration, I declined the refurbished unit because I purchased a new unit. My thinking is that a failed refurbished unit should be replaced with a refurbished unit. A failed new unit should be replaced with the same or similar new unit. After attempting to pressure me into accepting the refurbished unit, NCR finally agreed to a new discounted replacement because they no longer have the KDL50EX645 model in stock for replacement. I was told to chose carefully because the discounted TV from the website was my last option. I was instructed to select a TV that was 50 - 55 inches and it could not be a XBR or a 4K. There were 3 on the website that met the given criteria. I have an Internet TV and one was not an Internet TV so that left two choices. I was told that I would have to pay an additional $125 + tax for a replacement that was most comparable to mine. I would have to pay an additional $702 for an upgraded model.

Under duress, I decided to take the comparable model for an additional $125 + tax. I was fearful that if I did not, I would lose the $900 that I have already paid for the non-working unit. I am at a lost as to why I need to pay anything for a comparable replacement. But for the fact that my TV stopped working, I would not have asked anything of SONY. Even for the replacement, it is concerning to me that the part needed for repair is on back order.

I am horribly disappointed with this entire experience and have spent several hours on the phone trying to get resolution. SONY support would not respond to my email so I had no choice but to call. Each time, I had to explain my problem and troubleshooting measures before being transferred to National Customer Relations. I no longer have any level of confidence in SONY products or SONY support will not buy SONY products in the future. BTW, SONY offered to sell me an extended warranty on the new replacement.
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