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Sony Bravia KDL-52W4500 52in LCDTV review

John Archer

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Reviewed:

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Sony Bravia KDL-52W4500 52in LCDTV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-52W4500 52in LCDTV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-52W4500 52in LCDTV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-52W4500 52in LCDTV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-52W4500 52in LCDTV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-52W4500 52in LCDTV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-52W4500 52in LCDTV

Summary

Our Score:

8

Getting Sony to send us TVs to review these days is like pulling hen's teeth. So you can imagine our surprise when finally we opened the door to a courier last week to find him looking seriously cheesed off to be carrying not just any Sony TV, but a 52in model.

Closer investigation revealed this to be the KDL-52W4500, a new set from around the middle of Sony's range. Which is to say it doesn't use LED backlight technology or 200Hz processing, but does feature Sony's latest Bravia Engine 2 image processing system together with the brand's proprietary Motionflow 100Hz system.

It also looks stylish, thanks to the return of an old Sony design favourite, a see-through ‘window' running right through the TV's bodywork under the screen. Aside from this the bezel isn't particularly striking, I guess, with its typical gloss black colour scheme and none of the slenderness that's starting to creep into a growing number of flat TV designs. But it does at least feel very well built, and the way the Sony logo lights up from behind is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

The 52W4500's connections kick off with a slight disappointment: the presence of three HDMIs when we might have hoped for four. But these HDMIs are at least built to the latest v1.3 standard, and are supported by a plethora of rather handy multimedia goodies that include a USB 2.0 input, a DLNA Ethernet port, and a Digital Media Port.

Looking at these three multimedia jacks in turn, the USB can handle JPEGs and MP3 audio files from USB storage devices (including USB camcorders and digital cameras). The Ethernet port enables you to jack the TV into your PC network for playback of JPG and MP3 files stored on a computer. And the Digital Media Port enables you to play back audio or video files from a connected portable media player via a suitable adaptor (no adaptors are included as standard, in case you were wondering).

Arriving as it does immediately after Samsung's 50PSA756, it's a pity the 52W4500 doesn't support wireless connection with your PCs. But then at least you don't have to worry about trying to get any wireless connections to actually work!

The 52W4500 is similar to the 50PSA756 in another way, though, namely its provision of a selection of built-in paintings and photographs so that you can use the TV as an electronic ‘picture frame' when you're not watching it.

There are only nine preloaded images - considerably less than you get with the Samsung. But they're nicely varied content-wise, and you get more flexibility about how they're presented, with zooming and cropping options, adjustable slideshow speed, adjustable slideshow image transition effects, and finally the option to have music play while the slideshow takes place.

The 52W4500 is arguably better placed to work as a ‘picture frame' than the Samsung, too, on account of its use of LCD rather than plasma technology. After all, LCD doesn't suffer from any significant screen burn issues.

vinceth

October 14, 2008, 6:51 pm

Snif! I was really planning to buy this TV as the 55X4500 is far too expensive... As the W4000 was a really good one and as the W4500 came with 100Hz (the only bad point of the W4000), I was really expecting a lot from it... It was close from perfection... Why? Why? Why???? :'(

961

October 14, 2008, 8:11 pm

After waiting for the review of the 4500 for some time, I'm disappointed that you seem to have got yourself a panel with backlight leakage. (I'd be interested to know what setting you had the backlight on when you tested)





Nevertheless your comments about the pin point hd quality and the BLACK of the blacks are spot on. A stunning picture. My 46" 4500 makes my old w2000 look simply out of it but of course I seem to have managed to get a panel without either backlight bleed or clouding.





The other thing I would agree with is that if you feed a good quality sd signal to these, you'll get good pictures. If your aerial is poor, or if the transmitter is sending low signals waiting for analogue switchoff, you may be less satisfied





The only other gripe I have is that, wheras with the W2000 I could adjust the separate headphone volume control to enable me to listen at a different volume to the speakers on the set, the 4500 headphone socket simply switches the set speakers off altogether. A backward step

mudwiggle

October 15, 2008, 1:40 am

Rats! I was hoping to buy the 46' version at Christmas, but once again we are delivered a less than ideal product. Are we being strung along on purpose? Why can't manufacturers (especially the likes of Sony with their considerable resources) just deliver products that have such basic flaws sorted out? ....I'll have to cross this one off my list now and look elsewhere.

vinceth

October 15, 2008, 12:51 pm

Must I hope that this problem is not present on all W4500?


If not, is it possible that Sony will correct the problem before January?


I think that the best thing to do is to still wait a lil bit... It's difficult but it's also a lot of money so... Wait & see...

nws56

October 15, 2008, 9:13 pm

Very wary of backlighting problems since my Samsung plasma (!!!!) had white patch in corner of screen. So imagine my trepidation as the new 52 W4000 was fired up for the first time... and were there pools of light on dark scenes ? I thought so, but after a few hours I wasn't so sure. After a few weeks I can't see any unevenness, but the viewing angle remains very limited, greying over rather quickly.


So , I don't know what to make of John Archer's experience....

moonyman

October 15, 2008, 10:48 pm

I have the 40 inch version of this TV and have no backlight bleed at all. I have the Sony Blu Ray S550 player connected and the picture quality is stunning with no blurring or smearing of any sort. A classy looking TV also which is leagues ahead of my previous LCD. I live in Germany and the nice chap in a massive TV shop lined up all the screens I was interested in and ran a HD signal through them all so I could compare and this TV showed more vivid colours(not overly) bright whites and the best blacks easily out of all of them. I am surprised to hear of some of these problems, I think perhaps it might only affect the bigger screen sizes, just a thought.

John Whitehead

October 18, 2008, 12:02 am

I have had one of these for a week or so now and it is simply great. None of the issues in the review have reared their head yet and the picture quality with my Sky HD is just as it should be - crisp, clear and detailed. Recommended.

philip7b4

November 1, 2008, 1:49 am

Had 2 of this sets and both had bad clouding on them,got a refund in the end

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