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In an AV industry where ‘my numbers are bigger than yours' is the mantra of the day, Sony definitely scored a coup at this year's IFA show in Berlin by showing off a TV series, the Z4500s, with 200Hz processing.
In fact, so strong an impact did the 200Hz claim have, that it made me reflect on how remarkable it is why nobody has done it before. The more traditional 100Hz system for doubling the 50Hz PAL frame rate has, after all, been around since CRT TVs walked the Earth.
As its name suggests, the 200Hz system found on the KDL-46Z4500 we have before us today ups the frame rate of what you're watching by calculating three additional frames of image data for every original frame. The result, claims Sony, should be ‘the smoothest and clearest motion reproduction to be achieved by an LCD TV'.
Somehow we have a feeling that Philips at the very least might like to take issue with that statement, but we'll let it ride for now. Not least because the 46Z4500 might actually live up to that promise!
It's important to stress before we go any further that the 46Z4500's Motionflow 200Hz system doesn't just repeat the same image three times. Instead it calculates ‘missing' image data between neighbouring frames of the original source, predicting movement in all directions, so that motion can be portrayed with less blurring and judder.
As if this wasn't enough, the 46Z4500 also employs a further new image enhancement technology called Image Blur Reduction, which boosts the sharpness of the final picture by improving the original image frames BEFORE they're processed by Motionflow 200Hz.
Inevitably, given that this is a Bravia TV, the 46Z4500 rounds out its innovative picture processing suite with Bravia Engine 2: Sony's latest proprietary image processing engine. This gets involved with everything from colour reproduction to contrast, sharpness, noise reduction, scaling and fine detail, and has worked some pretty fine magic on other recent Sony screens. So we have high hopes for it here too, provided it doesn't somehow run into conflict with the 200Hz system.