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Sometimes being an eternal optimist really sucks. For I unfailingly start off every week brimming with confidence that the seven days ahead will present me with a lovely collection of uncontroversial, easy-to-recommend TVs and projectors that will give everyone - TrustedReviews readers, manufacturers, me - plenty to smile about.
But then some weeks it only takes a couple of hours on a Monday morning for all my hopes to be painfully dashed without so much as a by-your-leave. And sadly today is one of those occasions. What's more, the pain is particularly acute because it's being caused by a TV from a brand as important and widely trusted as Sony.
Not that things start out badly. The 46in Sony KDL-46W4500 actually sets a great early tone by being quite a looker in its superbly sturdy gloss black body offset by an illuminated Sony logo and a distinctive transparent section running right through the bezel beneath the screen.
It's got some seriously pleasing connections to keep me keen too, including no less than four ‘multimedia' ports: a D-Sub PC input, a USB 2.0 jack, an Ethernet jack, and Digital Media Port.
Looking at the last three of these jacks in turn, the USB 2.0 can be used to play JPEG and MP3 files from connected USB devices, the Ethernet port (which is DLNA certified) can be used for accessing files stored on a PC, and finally the Digital Media Port can be used to get portable AV devices playing their files through and onto the TV via suitable (not included) adaptors.
It's not all awesome news when it comes to connections, as there are only three HDMIs when we might have hoped for four these days. But I guess most people will probably get more benefit from the multimedia jacks than they'll miss the fourth HDMI, if you see what I mean.
You certainly can't accuse the 46W4500 of lacking much in the feature department, though. For starters, its 46in screen employs a Full HD resolution, and delivers a high claimed contrast ratio of 50,000:1 courtesy of a dynamic contrast system.
Also present are plenty of goodies in the picture processing department, most notably Sony's Bravia Engine 2 system and MotionFlow 100Hz. The first of these tools works on a whole host of image elements - colour, black level, motion control, noise suppression and fine detail - to make pictures just generally better, while the MotionFlow system doubles the PAL refresh rate and interpolates new intermediate frames of image data to make motion look more fluid and clear.
There are also separate standard and MPEG noise reduction routines, game/text/film modes, and a wide colour setting if you have a source able to supply a suitable signal. I wouldn't recommend using the wide colour mode for normal viewing, though, as this can cause some rather strange colour tones.
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