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

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

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

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

The 46Z4500's black levels are very good by normal LCD standards too. The shots of the Black Pearl when Elizabeth first discovers she's on a ghost ship suffer only very little with the customary LCD greyness, especially if you have the contrast booster set to medium and the backlight set right down to three or at most four. There's also enough shadow detail visible in dark scenes to avoid the ‘empty hole' phenomenon that can afflict dark picture segments in lesser screens.

If you're wondering why I went to the trouble of saying ‘normal LCD standards' back there, it's because we're starting to see a new breed of LCD TVs emerging that use LED array lighting rather than standard single fluorescent lamps. And these have already proved able to deliver black levels far beyond that possible even from Sony's 46Z4500.

However, given that we've found Sony's screen going for nearly £500 less than, say, the LED-sporting, 42in Philips 42PFL9803H, drawing too many comparisons between these two sets doesn't really seem entirely fair. So I'll cease and desist with immediate effect.

Some Sony TVs in the past have struggled a bit with standard definition sources. So I have to say I was worried that all the extra processing introduced with the 46Z4500 might really cause things to fall apart. But actually, while there's a slight tendency to exaggerate any MPEG processing noise that might be in a source, especially if you don't keep the contrast and brightness settings reined in, the 46Z4500 actually does a pretty capable job of upscaling standard definition sources to its Full HD pixel count.

Rather more unusual is the way the 46Z4500 can even emphasise MPEG noise in Blu-ray discs, especially in dark areas. Thankfully this problem can be considerably improved if you use the brightness-reducing Cinema mode, but please bear in mind that this mode actually reduces the brightness so much that it could be an issue if you've got a particularly bright room.

basicasic

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.

Keithe6e

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.

smx

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' ?

bazza

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 :)


http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

PGrGr

November 27, 2008, 2:21 pm

bazza,





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!

condemmedman

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

Prime

November 27, 2008, 6:33 pm

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

Mike

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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