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Sony Bravia KDL-46X4500 46in LCD TV - Sony Bravia KDL-46X4500

John Archer

By John Archer


  • Recommended by TR
Sony Bravia KDL-46X4500 46in LCD TV


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The 46X4500's black levels provide HD films with a perfect cinematic springboard, but are by no means the set's only strength. Also getting your attention with HD fare is the picture's extreme sharpness, as the set's Full HD resolution enables it to effortlessly pick out such picture niceties as dust on the bonnet of the Range Rover that Bond deliberately crashes in a car park in Casino Royale. This sharpness isn't forced at all, either, meaning that there's no sign of classic problems like harsh edging and excessive grittiness.

Colours are mostly excellent on the 46X4500 too, at least using the Cinema preset, with remarkably astute skin tones enhanced by stripe-free, seemingly immaculate blends, impressively believable primary colours, and that key combination of subtlety and vibrancy that frequently eludes lesser LCD TVs.

Motion also looks very good indeed on the 46X4500, provided you leave the MotionFlow system set to its Clear mode, with remarkably little evidence of either resolution loss or judder.

If I had to pick fault with the 46X4500's pictures I might point to a very subtle green undertone to one or two extremely dark scenes, even after colour calibration. Plus some of the picture presets are really pretty dire - almost deliberately designed to make colours look strange and emphasise noise. Weird. Really, the only preset I particularly enjoyed using was the Cinema mode.

I also urge caution with a) the 46X4500's noise reduction routines, since they can make the picture look a little soft; and b) the MotionFlow system, since setting this to Standard or especially Smooth rather than Clear can result in a few distracting processing glitches.

Finally, with pictures calibrated to look their sensational best, I guess the results might be just a touch low on brightness to satisfy viewers with really bright rooms. But then for me this TV is all about recreating the magic of going to the cinema, and no cinema screen I know of is made to be watched in bright light…

Given how magically cinematic the 46X4500's pictures can look, the set's audio is perhaps a touch disappointing - though only to the extent that it sounds merely like a decent telly audio performance rather than something approaching a home cinema system. But then I guess I'm probably letting my unreasonable expectations get in the way of fairness yet again!


The 46X4500 confirms in no uncertain terms that the jaw-dropping pictorial glories of the 55X4500 were no fluke. Sony really has hit the ground not just running but sprinting with its debut LED sets, delivering HD pictures so good that they actually make their premium prices look like bargains.

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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.


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 :-(


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!


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.


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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