We at TrustedReviews are, of necessity, a rather cynical bunch. And so as we set about reviewing a new piece of electronics, we’re generally pretty unmoved by any hype that might surround it, no matter how cutting edge it’s meant to be. But today, as Sony’s KDL-46X2000 sits quietly on our test benches, we really are experiencing a little tingle of anticipation. In fact, scratch that: we’re itching all over to find out what it’s capable of.
Why the excitement? Three main reasons. First, it’s the biggest set to date from Sony’s so-far exceptional new Bravia range. Second, it’s the first set to emerge from Sony’s new flagship Bravia ‘X’ Series and so comes packing a notably fuller feature set. Finally and most significantly, it’s the first TV from Sony to sport a ‘full HD’ resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. Hopefully you’re now as excited as we are…
Few mainstream brands do classy looks better than Sony, and the 46X2000 is no exception, looking just peachy in its pitted inner and transparent outer frames. It feels sensationally robust, too.
The early feel-good factor continues as we peruse the set’s connections and spot two HDMI inputs. This doubles the HDMI quotient of Sony’s current S and V Bravia series, and even better, it turns out the HDMIs are both capable of taking in the new ultra high quality 1080p HD format set to become such a hot potato with the launch of Blu-ray and HD DVD.
Not that the 46X2000’s HD exploits stop there either, for very unusually the set sports two HD-capable component video jacks. Four HD connections in total? Truly Sony, you’re spoiling us. Not that we’re complaining…
Other noteworthy connections include a D-Sub PC interface, three RGB Scarts and two sockets to back up the built-in digital tuner that’s now de rigueur across Sony’s TV range: a CI slot for adding subscription digital TV services, and a digital audio output for piping digital 5.1-channel audio broadcasts to a suitable AV receiver.
In terms of other specifications, the highlight is that 1,920 x 1,080 native pixel count we mentioned earlier. But this is notably backed up by an ‘EX’ version of Sony’s Bravia Engine image processing system, which has been specially designed to cope with the different demands generated by the full HD resolution.
Key elements of the Bravia Engine EX CV include multiplying the resolution in standard definition pictures by a factor of four to adapt them to the 1,920 x 1,080 panel, producing a more expansive contrast range, eliminating video noise and processing colours to make them more vivid yet also more natural.
The 46X2000 also sports two other key new technologies found on Sony’s lower V series, namely Super Vertical Pattern Alignment for expanding the angle from which you can view the picture without it losing significant contrast or colour; and the Wide Colour Gamut backlight system with its new and improved phosphors for serving up a wider portion of the ‘real world’ colour spectrum.
The set’s contrast ratio, meanwhile, is quoted at a very respectable (for an LCD TV of this size) 1300:1, while other interesting features amid the impressively well populated and attractively presented onscreen menus include: Digital Reality Creation processing for almost infinite fine-tuning of the balance between noise reduction and sharpness; MPEG blocking reduction for smoothing out messy digital broadcasts; backlight output adjustment; and horizontal and vertical image shifting.
Enough of the small talk. Let’s finally find out if the 46X2000’s full HD set-up helps it deliver even better pictures than Sony’s other Bravia offerings.