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Sony KDL-46HX753 - Features and Picture Performance

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Sony 46HX753

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Sony is still going its own way where picture adjustments are concerned, and as such still hasn’t bothered seeking the endorsement of the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) for the KDL-46HX753.

Once you learn your way round Sony’s system, though, there really is a plentiful supply of adjustments at your disposal. For instance, you can adjust the picture’s gamma level, as well as the bias and gain of the red, green and blue colour elements. There’s a backlight adjustment as well as the usual contrast and brightness tweaks too, and you can muck about with almost every aspect of Sony’s latest video processing system.

Flexible friend?

To be honest, some if not many of Sony’s processing elements are best set to off; certainly we would treat the detail and edge enhancers in particular with great suspicion. But it’s good to see Sony putting so much control in the users’ hands.

Sony 46HX753

Given that the biggest problems we had with Sony’s 32HX753 materialised while watching dark content, we kicked off our tests of the 46HX753 by feeding it a selection of the darkest film scenes we could think of. And we were mightily relieved to find it handling them very well indeed.

Good black levels

For starters, the Sony KDL-46HX753 seems to be able to produce a much more consistently deep black colour than its smaller sibling. In fact, it produces one of the deepest black levels we’ve yet seen from an edge LED TV, helping dark scenes instantly look very credible. Not having a wash of nasty grey lying over dark scenes means that dark colours have a more natural tone, too.

It was also a relief to find that the 46HX753 can look excellent with dark scenes without you having to work so hard to find a settings ‘sweet spot’ as you have to with the 32HX753. Certainly you can still mess things up if you leave the backlight and brightness settings too high (the backlight, in particular, should ideally be set no higher than ‘6’ unless you’re watching in an extremely bright room). But the 32HX753’s problems with greyness and backlight clouding are much less easy to replicate on the 46HX753.

Strong shadow detailing

The 46HX753 also outguns its smaller sibling by managing to combine its deep blacks with a pretty strong shadow detail performance. In the shot early on in the final Harry Potter film where Snape is shown from behind framed against an arch with darkness to either side of him, you can see far more detail in the dark edges than you can during the same shot on the 32HX753.

The Sony KDL-46HX753’s performance during dark scenes isn’t perfect, mind you. For while backlight inconsistencies are rare, they’re not altogether invisible during extremely dark shots, with small jets of light sneaking in from the corners. Follow our earlier advice concerning the backlight settings, though, and you really shouldn’t be disturbed by these inconsistencies with any regularity.

Sony 46HX753

Black levels also drop off quite severely if you watch the screen from much of an angle down the sides, and finally, like the 32HX753, when calibrated to produce their best black levels the 46HX753’s pictures aren’t as bright as those of some rivals (including Sony’s own brilliant HX853 models).

Bigger is better

For us, though, this brightness situation is much less of a problem than it was with the relatively small 32in 32HX753, since a) the bigger screen means there’s still more total brightness on show and b) it’s much more likely that the bigger 46in TV will be used as a serious movie machine in a properly darkened environment, where brightness issues are less important than achieving a convincing black colour.

It’s also important to stress that the 46HX753 is capable of looking much punchier than the 32HX753 if you go for one of its dynamic picture settings. In other words, this TV can cater for a much wider variety of environments and usage types, making it far more likely to satisfy a wider audience.

Neil Ross

December 29, 2012, 11:39 am

Please stop comparing items to the more expensive, obviously better models. Compare with alternatives in the same price range please. Every time I read a review on this site, I have to then read the review you are comparing it with (items costing £200+ more). I've now gone from trying to buy a TV for £650 to thinking I need to spend over a grand to get a decent TV. That's not how it's supposed to work.

Lorien Akers-Jones

October 3, 2013, 6:46 pm

We purchased our Sony KDL46HX753 with stand and 3D glasses at extra cost totalling £1408.96 in the June of 2012 and here we are in oct 2013 with a TV that is beyond economical repair due to the screen being faulty according to the Sony technician that attended our call-out, we decided not to take out an extended warranty because we thought it being a Sony we would be wasting money, how wrong we were !!!! I have spoken too Sony and they are not interested in any good will gesture and said i quote "thats life". Stuff Sony

Junior

November 29, 2013, 1:01 pm

Hi thanks for the review, I have a problem of choice, the samsung ue46f8000 is what I mentally chose! However the input lag is important to me because of FPS Gaming! I than looked for tv with best minimal lag and the kdl47w805a came top! Problem is the review of that model says its average at best of other things than gaming at 900£ where as the Samsung is all bells and whistles at 1300! I do want the smart to be great and easy and picture to be awesome! But also the input lag low! What is your tv choice/model to cater for this. The 3d stuff I don't care for however it seems to be chucked in there as standard now days

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