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Sony Bravia KDL-46Z4500 46in LCD TV - Sony Bravia KDL-46Z4500

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Sony Bravia KDL-46Z4500 46in LCD TV


Our Score:


As you'd expect of pretty much any large LCD TV now, the 46Z4500 sports a Full HD pixel count. But it's anything but standard on the contrast front, thanks to a claimed dynamic contrast ratio of 80,000:1, which is a good few notches higher than that of most LCD TVs. Not counting the recent ones from Philips and Samsung that use LED backlighting, of course.

The 46Z4500's connections are a slightly mixed bag. On the downside you only get three HDMIs when we're really coming to expect premium TVs like the 46Z4500 to supply four. But on the upside the TV ships with a USB port, a Digital Media Port for playing stuff (via adaptors) from various portable media devices, and a DLNA-certified Ethernet port onboard so that the TV can seamlessly network with other DLNA-certified devices. This enables the 46Z4500 to play music and picture files stored on PCs or other external devices such as Sony's Giga Juke music server.

Sony's neat double-axis on-screen menus system contains a number of features that we'd strongly recommend you play around with if you want to get the best from the 46Z4500. Highlights include a backlight adjustment, standard and MPEG noise reduction routines, a Contrast Enhancer, plus a colour space adjustment that can expand the colours from a source to meet the colour capacity of the TV's LCD panel.

One little negative side note to all this talk of features is that I really didn't like the remote control used to access them. The problem is the ‘circle within a circle' arrangement at the remote's heart, which finds a number of key buttons appearing in a tight circle around the left, right, up, and down movement arrows used for menu navigation. I lost count, for instance, of how many times I accidentally pressed the ‘Home' button, thus making the on-screen menus disappear, when I meant to press the ‘down' navigation button.

The home for all the 46Z4500's fine-sounding technology is a very attractive one, thanks to a combination of the beautifully illuminated Sony logo set within a stunningly finished Midnight Sky bezel (dusted with sparkling powder, no less!), all wrapped up by Sony's trademark transparent strip along the TV's bottom edge.

Before I get down to the key business of finding out what if anything 200Hz brings to the 46Z4500's picture party, I really feel the need to start the testing part of this review by saying that, thankfully, the 46Z4500 does not suffer with the really distracting backlight pooling problems I witnessed with recent Sony W4500 models. There's a tiny bit of light spillage to the top left, but this is hardly ever noticeable under normal viewing conditions. Phew.


November 26, 2008, 7:47 pm

Well having stood in a Sony showroom last week for a good 15 minutes being unable to tell the difference between 2 46" TVs, one with and one without 100hz processing, forgive me if I don't get too excited about 200hz. Just another way of extracting another few hundred quid for the same telly if you ask me.


November 26, 2008, 7:58 pm

Does somebody need to tell Sony were currently in a credit crunch.. :) Yeah Yeah, some people with more money than sense will end up buying them I suppose.

Matt G Baish

November 26, 2008, 8:22 pm

@basicasic To be fair Sony showrooms don`t seem to be the best of places to `audition` a TV in my experience. I recently popped into the Sonycentre, Cheltenham for a butchers at the latest tech & was totally underwhelmed by it all - from the POV of picture quality my 4 year old 720p 32" Sony LCD looked better than everything they had on display! (Yes, before anyone asks, I did stand further back from the 46 inchers :))

There is a lot to be said for properly setting up a TV & they never seem to be even close at retail outlets. I am sure some of the highbrow HiFi/AV stores will be better - but I'm not paying through the nose for a TV I can get 30%+ cheaper online, nor will I pay for someone to set it up; hence why I rely on online reviews for all my AV gear. (Caveat - if I win the lottery - strike that I don`t do the lottery. If Ernie gives me a wad of cash then I may change my mind & go for a custom install :). Tho knowing my luck it would only be enough to `do the kitchen` & the missus will overrule me).

Andy Vandervell

November 26, 2008, 8:28 pm

Yeah, I'd echo Matt's views. Most LCD TVs actually have a "showroom" mode that bumps up the brightness to "make it look better". This might work on the lowest common dominator, but it rarely means seeing the the TV at its best.


November 27, 2008, 1:30 am

Just wonder why this have got TRrecommend? As u've mentioned

- it worse than almost any LED enhanced tv;

- even with "200Hz" it worse than 100 Hz Philips;

- very noisy;

- black levels are also below or around average;

the price? It's too much for such bad tv (see above). For the name 'SONY' ?


November 27, 2008, 1:31 am

Is it possible for TR to hire a reviewer with less lofty standards that allow them to review and appreciate affordable televisions/gadgets.

I understand the whole appeal of enjoying the specs of a dream gadget.."window shopping"..but it would be nice to get expert reviews on devices that cost less than half a month's pay.

Just my two pence, thanks.

Peace & Love

Geoff Richards

November 27, 2008, 2:37 am

@bazza - here is a list of all the TVs we have reviewed since January 2007, sorted by Most Affordable first :)



November 27, 2008, 2:21 pm


A lot of these tv's, along with other new tech, come down in price by about 50% within 6-12 months of being released. So I think its useful to read reviews of today's top end stuff, on the basis that it could be affordable to the man on the street in 6 months. For example, I was very taken with the Toshiba 40zf355d when that first appeared in May this year, but it cost something like ٟ,500, which I couldn't justify spending for a tv. I have been watching the price ever since, and now its going online for about 𧿘, which is much more like it!


November 27, 2008, 4:27 pm

The clouding issue with previous sony lcd 46w4500 . I have one and yes it happens but only when there is no picture on and it may bother some but the picture quality is amazing compared to my last lcd .Great tv


November 27, 2008, 6:33 pm

you know i have tested this Tv and i dont see a big diffrens, between 100hz and 200hz


January 4, 2009, 4:44 pm

What i find most interesting about this particular LCD tv and others of course, is that what ever 'independent' review one reads, they all tend to come out with varying degrees of conclusion! This set for example is resonably well reviewed by TR, however one only has to cop a sneaky read ( or indeed actually purchase!) a copy 'Home Cimema'or similar to very often find a considerable different conclusion to the same set,thus leaving the likes of myself in a quandry, as to whether to put this set on my seriously consider list of forget about it!I realise one could wait forever in an attempt to find the 'perfect' set and it still not arrive, but when one is considering spending ٟ,500+, this is pretty serious money to most people and i for one don't wish to end up with a pup! TR are you in a position to be able to offer any explanation as to why different reviews occur for the same set? Is it anything to do with differing testing equipment/environment for different testing centres?

Howard S

November 14, 2009, 4:03 pm

I bought one of these tvs on the strength of some good reviews, but although the picture quality is generally excellent, and motionflow works well, I am v disppointed by the amount of light shining onto the screen from the rear. There are pools of light clearly visible around the edges of the screen. For this amount of money I would have hoped for something better.

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