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Sony Bravia KDL-46X4500 46in LCD TV review

John Archer

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Sony Bravia KDL-46X4500 46in LCD TV

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

A couple of months ago I found myself seriously wowed by Sony's first LED TV: the KDL-55X4500. In fact, I even dared to mention the TV in the same breath as Pioneer's KURO plasmas, and you can't say fairer than that.

However, the 55X4500's massive 55in screen size is hardly going to suit the majority of UK living rooms, and its north of £3k price tag is intimidating to say the least. So people desperate for a truly outstanding hunk of Sony quality - while we wait for the brand to sort out the recurring backlight consistency issues with its standard LCD TVs - the 46in KDL-46X4500 could be just what the doctor ordered.

Erm, not that it's particularly small or cheap, mind you! As it's name suggests, it's got a still-considerable 46in screen, and a price of £2,482.50 - still a pretty 'princely' sum when you consider that 46in TVs can now routinely be found for under a grand.

The key to the 46X4500's price, of course, is the LED acronym mentioned in the first line of this review. For the X4500 range is the first from Sony to use LED backlighting, where the traditional single, always-on LCD light source is replaced by an array of separate LED light clusters, all of which are individually controllable so that they can reproduce completely independent light levels.

In other words, one cluster of LED lights can shine forth with maximum brightness while the cluster right next to it can be switched off to deliver near-total darkness. Not surprisingly, this ability to combine extreme brightness and darkness within a single frame has the potential to massively improve contrast versus what's possible with standard LCD TVs.

What's more, the 46X4500's LED system goes the 'extra mile' versus the LED system used by many rivals. For unlike the standard black and white dimming system, the 46X4500 uses much more expensive RGB dimming. This, Sony maintains, means the 46X4500 can deliver a much truer peak white colour than you could get from a black and white-only dimming system.

The only other sets around right now using RGB dimming are Sharp's flagship XS1 models. And these start at around £9,000. Yes, that's £9,000. So I guess the 46X4500's price might not be so steep after all!

Ohmz

April 7, 2009, 7:18 pm

So I guess this is the Kuro killer then?

Geoff Richards

April 7, 2009, 8:41 pm

Actually, that doesn't imply that the Kuro is still better. It merely means that they are comparable, which is a huge compliment to anything non-Kuro.

MS

April 7, 2009, 8:44 pm

re: So I guess this is the Kuro killer then?





I think you'll find Pioneer have all ready done that. They have/will stop manufacturing them very soon :-(

Ohmz

April 7, 2009, 9:02 pm

"Actually, that doesn't imply that the Kuro is still better. It merely means that they are comparable, which is a huge compliment to anything non-Kuro."





So in other words, it looks like the competition is set to exceed the bar Pioneer set so high. Cannot wait to see the new Panasonics this year!

DaGMan79

April 7, 2009, 11:37 pm

Does anyone know if any of these 'internet enabled' TV's support BBC iPlayer or will ever support it in the future. I'm assuming they will need some form of native support and will not simply work through the browser.





Also just a comment to the Trusted Reviews team, could you mention in your reviews what type of tuners the TVs have. We're not that far away from HDTV being available of terrestrial now and from what I've read elsewhere some TVs will support MPEG4 so I'm assuming will support Freeview HDTV when it is eventually launched.

Geoff Richards

April 8, 2009, 12:13 am

@DaGMan79 - unless anyone wants to provide evidence otherwise, no TV you will buy today features a tuner capable of the yet-to-be-released Freeview HD. Of course, all HDTVs will happily playback Freeview HD via a separate set-top box, but integrated tuners are a no-go I believe.





You also need to be aware that supporting MPEG4 playback isn't the same as being able to receive Freeview HD either. Some European countries use MPEG4 right now via regular DVB-T (digital terrestrial) rather than MPEG2 since the compression is better and thus it uses less bandwidth.





The key feature you must look for is "DVB-T2" - this is what Freeview HD will use, though the launch may not be until the end of 2009, and I read it will be "only" four channels. If you can't wait, and don't want to pay for Sky HD, your other choice is Freesat HD.





Hope that helps.

Max

April 9, 2009, 2:48 pm

@John Archer:





"Really, the only preset I particularly enjoyed using was the Cinema mode."





Sony Pictures pitched in for this mode. ;)





FreesatHD is a complete waste of time and money. DVB-T2 has finally made it through the standards body and will start to be integrated into European TVs sooner rather than later. Freeview HD will probably less comprehensive in its coverage, but it will be better. SkyHD will always be king though especially since VM are so sucky these days.

G 2

April 10, 2009, 9:33 pm

So how much better is this than say the Panasonic g10?

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