Sony's latest offering in the HDTV arena has the potential to disrupt the current ways we think about entertainment. With the 55-inch KDL-55HX820 television ($3,399.99; SonyStyle.com), you may be inclined to throw out the family computer and CD collection — and cancel your cable and landline phone service — as this "wunder" 3-D HDTV could potentially replace all of those items.
One of the biggest headaches with any electronic device usually involves the initial setup and "getting to know" steps of the new gadget. Sony's addresses this problem by prompting the owner through a series of onscreen steps with the remote control once he or she turns on the TV for the first time. Setting the time, searching for channels, connecting to your home network and a list of other normally frustrating tasks are quickly achieved.
Additionally, Sony has omitted a thick paper owner's manual and replaced it with a button on the remote called, "i-Manual." Simply click the "i-Manual" button, and you are able to follow on-screen, illustrated tutorials that explain how to use each feature of the television.
3-D movies in your living room
The staple feature of this television revolves around its 3-D video capability. To take advantage of this feature, you'll need a 3-D video source (3-D-enabled Blu-ray player and 3-D DVD, or 3-D cable/satellite channel) and Sony 3-D Active glasses ($49.99, not included).
The LED backlit screen consumes less power than previous sets, and allows for an ultraslim profile of 1.125-inches thick. Also, the 1080P picture is the highest resolution available.
Do you need a computer anymore?
In the last few years, we've observed TV manufacturers blur the technology line between the online family computer and the large-screen capabilities of HDTVs. The KDL-55HX820 is no exception, as it comes ready to connect to the Internet via your wired or wireless home network. Once connected, you can use the TV's built-in Web browser to check your email and surf the Internet, just like on your PC or Mac.