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Sony KDL-46EX620 Review

Description: 46" LED backlit LCD TV, 120Hz, Internet Options
Power Consumption: 166W
This review also applies to models: EX621

by Robert Wiley

Picture Quality Rating (HD): 7/10

We have discovered that we much prefer clear coat screens over their filtered anti-glare screen counterparts. The latter come with a few too many issues. One such is weak side viewing contrast which the EX620 suffers from. Another is lack of dark shadow detail in areas where there is glare. Another is weak dark shadow detail in dark scenes when there is light in the room. Even though this EX620 produces excellent black levels in suction cup calibration readings, it doesn't appear that way to the naked eye when there is room light. So much for high technology.

Overall, we were not overwhelmed by HD picture performance. The EX620 picture quality will perform extremely well in very dark controlled light rooms, but there are many drawbacks otherwise. Color is realistic and not over-saturated, but I would not call it vibrant either.

A shot from the Blu-Ray of Troy shows a slightly hazy image on the Sony KDL32BX330

Picture Quality Rating (SD): 7/10

The picture is much the same with Standard definition programming though I was impressed with the way the EX620 displayed some poorer 480i content through its composite input. This is counter to our processor testing results, but the eyeball is always the best judge. We did note a lot of motion lag in fast moving images and judder around image edges when scenes pan from side to side. Black levels remain inky with standard def content. As with HD, well lit brighter movies look good on this TV while darker ones fare a bit worse.

This standard definition shot from Charlies Angels (from Internet Video service Crackle) shows good flesh tones and definition but a little dimming around top corners of the picture.

Picture Categories

Black Level/Contrast/Contrast Ratio: The black bars on the top and bottom of 16:9 widescreen material look pitch black. Black levels were stout and measured .027 to .029 on the IRE scale giving the TV a high post calibration contrast ratio of 1585:1. The anti glare screen filter may interfere with perceived blacks.

Dark Shadow Detail: When there is a light source in the room we were disappointed with the way in which the TV lost its shadow detail. This is especially the case with dark content displayed on the TV. Otherwise, shadow detail is quite good.

Color Rendition/Color Accuracy: Color seems weak in today's TV world. Colors were too subdued for our taste and we would like to see more saturation and light throughput.

Viewing Angle/Off Axis Viewing: As with last years EX700 testing, contrast begins to degrade quickly at around 15 degrees off center and gradates further to more extreme angles. Side angle viewing is always a challenge for LED and LCD TVs though we have seen a few that manage to handle it well.

Motion Lag: During fast motion displays, we noted lag and judder effects. This is somewhat reduced by turning on the Cinemotion feature, however we dont recommend this action due to other unwanted effects.

Features Rating: 7/10

Features: Extra features on the EX620 include 120Hz refresh rate and full Internet suite options, but do not include web search or browser function, or 240Hz rate or 3D compaibility.

There is an included Rovi On Screen TV Guide, useful for those that do not have cable or satellite TV guides through those services.

The Bravia Internet Video home page.

Internet Options: Sony's improving Internet Suite includes Netflix, Crackle, Qriocity, Pandora, Hulu Plus, and You Tube among many others. We rate the Internet Suite on the EX620 as average.

Inputs: The EX620 has an ample input selections with 4 HDMI inputs (1 on the side), Ethernet Wireless Internet connection, One set component inputs, one set composite, and two 2 USB connections.

The EX620 is an extremely attractive TV.

Aesthetic Considerations: The piano black semi gloss finish is very attractive on the 1" bezel framing while the panel is just a bit over 1.5" in depth. The accompanying table stand is heavy, solid and well constructed and requires some light but easy assembly. This stand swivels to 20 degrees side to side and also allows for slight angle adjustment of 6 degrees. Sony gets great marks in this category.

Sony's Xross Media Bar menu system in the EX620.

Remote Control/Menu Funtionality: Though the remote control is not backlit, I like the matte finish rather than the high gloss finishes that leave many remotes marked with finger prints. There are a couple of new buttons on this years remote including Netflix and Qriocity keys for direct quick access to those Internet TV options – a nice touch. The Options button takes you to Picture, Sound and other controls and is important as scrolling through the Xross Media Bar menu is cumbersome. The EX720 retains the hot sync sensor from last year, displaying whatever signal is streaming content. The manual is included in the menu system for convenience. Picture and sound settings are discrete for each input.

The Rovi Interactive Guide screen.

Audio Output: We were not overwhelmed by the sound quality. That may be an understatement, With a 55" TV you may or may not have a home theater system hooked up. The 15W X 15W speakers produce a hollow, naked sound non-quality that didnt improve much with the Clear Voice feature. The Dynamic Mode accentuated surround sound effects in a way that only exhibits how poor the sound quality is.

see Value Rating and Overall Score on Page 2


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