If there is one word to describe the new Sony Bravia, it would be the word “better.” The new KDL-46XBR is one of those LCDs in the market that is well worth its asking price because of its new technology and picture quality. The TV shines with all formats – including HD DVDs.
Click to enlarge
The new KDL-46XBR still sports a clear glass frame but now favours a brushed aluminium bezel. The fascia of the screen is bare as the control buttons for the unit (like Power, Program Buttons, Volume Control, Input Select, and Menu button) can be found on the right side panel. Several connectivity ports (Headphone jack, S-Video, Composite video input, RCA stereo audio input jack, USB port, and HDMI) can be found on the unit’s left side, making it easy for users to hook up various equipments.
Sony also made sure that users can connect various equipment like gaming consoles, home theatre systems, HD DVD/ Blu-ray players, and even PCs as the KDL-46XBR has an abundance of video and audio ports at its rear. Ports include two HDMI inputs (giving the unit a total of 3 HDMI ports), PC input (D-Sub), two sets of component video input, three sets of RCA stereo audio input jack, an S-video input, a Digital Out (Optical), and a pair of RCA output jack.
The remote control is well-labelled but it may take users some time before being able to fully utilise it. Besides being able to control the screen, Sony claims that its remote control can be programmed to be used for various DVD players, Sony’s Blu-ray player, as well as its DAV Home Theatre Systems.
With various picture modes (Vivid, Standard, Cinema, Photo, and Custom) and video settings (Motion Enhancer, Cinema Drive, Game/Text Mode, Video/Photo, X.v. Colour, Photo Colour Space, Colour Matrix, RGB Dynamic Range, and Colour System), the KDL-46XBR can easily be adjusted to ones liking and preference to properly enjoy displayed photos, games from consoles or PC, and HD content.
The second generation Wide Color Gamut (WCG-CCFL), Sony’s Bravia Engine, as well as its Live Colour Creation technology did its work and made movies from DVDs and high definition discs look vibrant and detailed.
Of course a Bravia will work well with a Blu-ray player, given Sony’s exclusive support for the format – but what about an HD DVD player from its rival, Toshiba? We are happy to note that hooking up the Toshiba HD DVD player was just as easy as connecting a Blu-ray player, and the HD DVDs produced spectacular images on screen. During our HD DVD viewing of Carlito’s Way, we have found colours to be rich and balanced, with skin tones looking natural while making various indoor and outdoor scenes look vivid.
In addition to a great visual output, Sony was also able to address the problem of motion smearing with its 100Hz MotionFlow. In various action scenes, the screen was able to smooth the sequences out and remove motion smears to a certain extent.
This 46-incher was able to deeply immerse us during our HD viewing, giving us a strange feeling that we were ‘there’ with the cast. An eerie feeling, yes, but it just shows what a screen like Bravia can do when paired to a good HD DVD or Blu-ray player. In fact, when other colleagues passed by the testing room, they all commented on how the image seemed so real that it seemed to be jumping out of the screen.
Finally, the Bravia can provide a great audio output from the built-in speakers with Sony’s S-Force technology. Of course, those who will opt to purchase the Bravia will probably have a home theatre kit that one can hook up to the unit, eliminating the need to use the unit’s speakers. But nevertheless, the built-in speakers are loud and good enough to provide a working movie atmosphere.
Click to enlarge
Take what’s good from the previous Bravia series and improve on it, add several new features like a 10-bit panel with an incorporated Motionflow 100Hz, and you get a Sony Bravia LCD that is quite a charmer. A multitude of connectivity options means that one can plug in their HD player, gaming console, DVD player, and even a friend’s video camera at the same time without having to look for extra connection ports that you can hook up to. And with Full HD and other technologies at your disposal, 1080p has never been this good from Sony.
- Integrated High Definition Digital Tuner: Yes
- Native Display Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Bravia Engine: Bravia Engine Pro
- Panel Bit: 10 bit
- Viewing Angle: 178
- Screen Format: WideZoom/Nomal/Full/Zoom
- Picture Mode: Vivid/ Standard/Cinema(photo)/Custom
- Multi Picture: Yes (Picture And Picture)
- Noise Reduction: 3D Digital Comb Filter
- Brightness: 500 cd/m2
- Contrast: 2200:1 (On-Screen) 18000:1 (Dynamic)
- Response Time: 8ms
- Audio Output: Yes
- Sound Mode: Dynamic/Standerd/Custom
- Surround Mode: S-FORCE/Simulated Stereo/Off
- BBE Digital: N/A
- HDMI Input: x3
- Component In: x2
- S-Video in: x3
- Composite in: x3
- RCA in: x3
- RCA out: x1
- Headphone Out: x1
- HD15 / PC Audio Input: x1
- Power Saving Mode: Yes
- Clock: Yes
- On / Sleep Timer: Yes
- Teletext: Yes (English) 250P
- Light Sensor: Yes
- Cinema Drive: Yes
- OSD Language: English
- Swivel: No
- Tilt: No
- Power Requirement: 110-240V 50/60Hz
- Power Consumption: 300w
- Dimensions with stand (W x H x D mm): 1262x795x322
- Dimensions without stand (W x H x D mm): 1262x734x123
- Weight with stand (Kg) : 38kg
- Weight without Stand (Kg): 33kg
- Standby Power Consumption: 0.3w
Sony Bravia KDL-46XBR | $4,799 | | www.sony.com.au
For: Product design; Various connectivity ports; Customisable colour settings; Rich and vibrant colours
Against: It took us quite some time before we got used to the unit’s menu and remote control
Verdict: If you have been waiting for a great Sony Bravia unit to come along, then this 46-inch LCD screen is it.