Now I’ve started down a negative path, I might as well add that occasionally I spotted the auto contrast feature reacting to a brightness change in the source a little slower than I’d have ideally liked. Also, with Motionflow set to high, fast moving objects can tend to appear with a slight trail behind them. And similar smearing was also sometimes visible with HD sources during particularly tricky, motion and detail-heavy footage, such as the scenes in the hallucinogenic fog towards the end of ”Batman Begins”.
Dragging my thoughts away from the mostly impressive but certainly not perfect picture situation to focus on the 46Z4500’s audio, I have to say I was a wee bit underwhelmed. There’s good definition in the soundstage, and it spreads far and wide around your room without losing cohesion. But it also lacks the raw power and dynamic range to really open up to meet the challenge of a raucous action film sequence – especially if you’re using anything other than the Dynamic audio preset.
I don’t mind saying that I really agonised over this one. Should it end up with a 9 or an 8? In the end, the quality of the 200Hz engine together with the other undeniable strengths of the picture just did enough to bring me down on the side of an overall 9/10.
My biggest concern with the 46Z4500 is ultimately its price. Sony lists the set at a phenomenal £2,340 on its own website, and even the online price of £1,654 we’ve found still looks a touch steep given that the 200Hz benefits are only pretty marginal.
In the end, it was weirdly the quality control problems with Sony’s W4500 models that persuaded me to look past my value concerns and grant the TV TrustedReviews Recommended status. For the fact is that if you fancy getting hold of the undoubted quality of Sony’s current core LCD picture technology but don’t want to bother with the lottery otherwise known as buying a W4500 (apparently a few W4500’s exist that don’t have backlight problems, if you’re lucky enough to find one!), the Z4500 range appears to be the only place to go.
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