In fine-tuning the pictures, we couldn’t help but think that a £1,700 46in TV could have run to a proper colour management system. Especially as this might have enabled Sony to seek an endorsement from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF). But the 46NX703 is colour management free.
Before we sound too negative about the options the 46NX703 has to offer, though, there are actually some interesting things tucked away in an Advanced Settings submenu, including black boosters, white balance settings, and the facility to adjust the set’s Motionflow and Film Mode processing.
Accessing all the 46NX703’s features is a bit of an aggravation in our opinion, for two reasons. First, the heart of the very attractive and comfortable remote control comprises two concentric circles of important, regularly used buttons. Yet this concentric circle configuration led to us accidentally pressing an incorrect button time after time after time. Grr.
The other issue is the TV’s onscreen menus. For while their unusual dual-axis design works with relatively uncomplicated TVs, for us it starts to get rather convoluted and confusing when there are as many features to sort through as the 46NX703 has. It doesn’t help, either, that choosing some options – including basic picture adjustments – causes a noticeable delay before the TV responds to your selection.
The 46NX703 is the first mainstream edge LED-lit LCD TV we’ve seen from Sony (the stupid-money 40ZX1 doesn’t count!), so we couldn’t help but have concerns over how well it might perform. But happily it quickly sets about putting the vast majority of these concerns to bed.
Particularly pleasing given some previous Sony failings in that department are the 46NX703’s black levels. The screen can produce one of the deepest black colours we’ve seen on an edge LED TV, providing a great foundation against which the image’s actually very bright and fully saturated flavour can shine.
There’s not quite as much shadow detail in dark areas as you get with Samsung’s lighter C8000 sets, but then the C8000s can leave black colours looking a little grey. On balance, we felt that we preferred the Sony approach.
It’s a huge relief, too, to find dark scenes only very faintly tainted on the 46NX703 by backlight inconsistencies – at least once you’ve done the sensible thing and reduced the set’s brightness and contrast from their over-high preset levels.
We’re not saying there are no patches of clouding, mind you – just that the cloudy bits are so subtle as to be invisible during the vast majority of your viewing. And even when you do see them, they’re only marginally distracting.