Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX700 LCD television

Sony's FIFA World Cup television is free of some of the image quality issues of more expensive models

Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX700
  • Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX700
  • Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX700
  • Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX700
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • No backlight cloudiness, reasonable overall colour accuracy, good black levels once calibrated

Cons

  • No local-dimming dynamic contrast means high contrast scenes lack punch, CCFL back-lighting results in thick chassis

Bottom Line

Sony's BRAVIA KDL-46HX700 is the company's FIFA World Cup hero model, with a 200hz refresh rate for accurate reproduction of fast motion video. It doesn't have the backlight cloudiness that occasionally bugs Sony's edge-lit LED televisions, and decent colour reproduction adds to its repertoire. It may not have the high contrast ratio required to get the best out of difficult movie scenes, but for sports viewing we think it is a solid performer.

Would you buy this?

The Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX700 is a 46in CCFL-backlit LCD television with a 200Hz frame interpolation mode for handling fast motion video. It is slightly more expensive than the Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX700. Its design is a little less space-age than the Sony BRAVIA KDL-52NX800's, but it is a better performer in some regards. For sports watching, it is a very reasonable choice.

The chassis design of the Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX700 is a cross between the brand new Sony BRAVIA KDL-52NX800 and one of Sony's 2009 CCFL-backlit LCD models like the Sony BRAVIA KDL-32W5500. It has the same attractive and modern single-sheet glass fascia as more expensive Sony 2010 televisions, with no bezels to collect dust — although the glossy finish causes distracting reflections in bright environments. However, it is not as thin as edge-lit LED televisions and wouldn't be a good option for wall-mounting.

The Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX700 has its ports distributed between the rear and side panels, with four HDMI ports and a range of component, composite and VGA ports. Like other BRAVIA models, the side-mounted USB port allows MP3 audio, JPEG picture and DivX video files to be played back, which is useful for impromptu movie nights or slideshows. We tested the television with a Samsung BD-P3600 Blu-ray disc player connected via HDMI and a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook transmitting video over DVI.

Picture quality from the Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX700 was reminiscent of high-end LCD models from 2009. CCFL backlighting means the television doesn't have the wide colour gamut available when using LED lighting. While we thought images were slightly more subdued than the Sony BRAVIA KDL-52NX800, colour accuracy was still good with no visible bias in colour reproduction. Gradation levels were reasonably good, with no banding in bright colour gradients.

The Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX700 was free of the annoying backlight cloudiness that some edge-lit LED televisions suffer from at high brightness levels, with consistent black levels across the entire screen. After a little bit of tweaking to suit the panel to a dark viewing environment we achieved good black levels. Since the BRAVIA KDL-46HX700 isn't able to dim specific segments of its screen, video with simultaneous bright white and inky black areas loses some of its impact. If we had the choice we'd go for a more expensive LED television or plasma for movie watching.

Motion is very well controlled with Sony's MotionFlow 200Hz system. We gave the Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX700 a thorough run-through with some high-definition footage of the 2010 Olympics and past FIFA World Cup soccer (or is it football?) matches and were consistently able to follow on-screen motion without any problems. Judder was significantly reduced and there were no interpolation artefacts.

Apart from a slightly uninspiring profile — a side effect of the CCFL back-lighting's thick chassis requirements — the Sony BRAVIA KDL-46HX700 is a good television. It handles fast motion well, which is a key requirement for watching fast-paced sports like the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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