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Sony Bravia KDL-46Z5500 46in LCD TV - Sony Bravia KDL-46Z5500

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


Regarding the 200Hz processing, meanwhile, the final Ashes match again shows how cricket has an uncanny knack of catching out motion processing systems. For on regular occasions, when the ball is crashed towards the boundary with the MotionFlow system engaged, it actually almost disappears, as if David Copperfield is on the pitch somewhere. This is especially true when the ball travels over the light-cut sections of the pitch where practice wickets lie. (Hopefully all this cricket-speak isn't going over your head if you're not a sports fan!)

As a result of this issue, I'd strongly recommend turning MotionFlow off completely when watching any sport involving a ball smaller than a football.

With this in mind, it's a relief that although not quite as crisp or judder-free, the 46Z5500's MotionFlow-free pictures are still impressively free of LCD's common motion blur issue, and so remain extremely watchable. Especially in HD.

My other main issue with the 46Z5500 is that while standard definition pictures look exceptionally sharp by Full HD LCD standards, they also seem to slightly exaggerate MPEG noise in digital broadcasts. Obviously you can reduce this issue by using the provided MPEG noise reduction. But be warned that this tends to make the picture look softer.

Turning at last to the 46Z5500's audio, it's a respectable rather than spectacular effort. In the positive corner, treble detailing is precise, and the soundstage has surprising width and depth. But bass isn't very meaty, the soundstage can't expand to any great degree to add 'oomph' to action scenes, and male voices can sound a little muffled, even during relatively quiet scenes.


There's a big part of me that wants to love the 46Z5500. For as well as looking resplendent in Sony's most appealing design for ages, the set's 200Hz processing is excellent, and its HD pictures in particular are for the vast majority of the time really quite superb.

But no matter how tempted I might be, in the end I just can't give a TrustedReviews Recommended badge to a TV costing the best part of £1650 that suffers with marked backlight inconsistencies - however rarely they might affect day-to-day viewing.


August 25, 2009, 12:40 pm

What a pity; another decent sounding Sony ruined by backlight bleed.

My 3 year old 40W2000 has the same issue and it certainly is off putting, I would have thought that Sony could have sorted out their factory/QC by now, but apparently not.

Think I'll upgrade to the Panny 50V10 plasma instead; and on that note any chance of a review of the 50" TR?

Gary 11

August 25, 2009, 1:36 pm

The only thing the review lacked was with regard to input lag.

The new W5500 range have more input lag than the previous 4000+ range, can you comment if the Z5500's input lag is worse the the Z4500 ?


August 25, 2009, 2:15 pm

what a shame still got backlight bleed their tvs were always the ones other manaufacturers aspired too thought they used samsung panels and their tvs dont have this problem although i did hear Sony were looking at using LG panels maybe they are looking at using the LG led panels in future new models which I hear are in THX approved LG sets


August 25, 2009, 4:28 pm

If motion flow has to be turned off because of a cricket ball then, in my opinion, the set is not up to standard, and should not be on the market.

After paying that kind of money for a TV set I would be sick at the idea of having to turn things on and off depending on the picture content.

What about the good old days when you set your contrast and brightness when you installed the TV and just sat back and enjoyed the content thereafter.

Just how much has technology really moved on?


August 26, 2009, 1:22 am

Oh dear ... yet another instance showing up the flaws of LCD - seems no matter how much money you throw at these panels with fancy (and expensive) processing tricks (which you will no doubt start toning down/turning off) LCD still cannot come up with a TV Experience to match Plasma.


August 26, 2009, 7:52 am

I wonder whether Sony would consider moving their entire line to HCFL (other than LED based ones) as that TV didn't suffer from inconsistent backlight issues...


February 11, 2010, 1:09 am

We bought the above model recently and found it to give a decent performance. We are not noticing any problems except lack of DivX support and bluetooth. Motionflow does work reasonably well in sports programs and racing.

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