Sony KDL46EX640 (KDL-46EX640) Review
46" 1080p Bravia LED Back Lit LCD TV KDL-46EX640
by Jack Burden, Reviewer
- Design is Sharp with Clean Lines and a nice matte to semi-gloss Charcoal Black finish with rounded front face and small perforated texture
- Color Rendition is somewhat less vibrant than top end TVs but is very realistic
- Contrast improvement from the Ambient light sensor
- Bravia Engine 3 does a nice job of up-converting Standard Definition Signals to 1080p
- Delivers smooth images without excessive judder
- 240Hz Frame rate feature is not intrusive and does a nice job for fast action/sports
- Blacks on top and bottom bars (with anamorphic content) are very saturated
- Sound Quality good – not great
- Some contrast loss at angles starting at 25 degrees off center due to matte screen
- Screen has more of a matte finish with more in room light glare (not reflection)
- Slight flicker from Ambient light sensor occasionally when on screen lighting changes dramatically
- Internet TV free content and web browser poor
A sharp colorful picture from the BluRay of Mama Mia on the KDLEX640
This LED backlit LCD TV succeeds the KDL46EX620 from last year which was a successful TV at its price point. Though we are not overwhelmed by the picture quality of this unit we do like the value of this 46" offering. As we review the features, we note some improvements in processing speed and the video engine chip set used. Contrast degrading at angles is another issue from the matte finish anti glare screen. It is not easily overcome so we recommend this TV for darker rooms.
Picture Quality Rating: 8.6/10
Colors do pop more on this model than on last years which is an improvement but we would still like to see more saturation. I guess that's why this is a great value model.
One thing to know about black levels on this TV is that they appear very inky and deep on the top and bottom bars in a 16:9 format mode but can be a little more washed out on the picture itself. This is also in part to the anti reflective coating on the screen, though we appreciate their depth on the bars which helps add contrast to the entire picture.
Sometimes dark shadow detail is a bit lacking in the KDL46EX640 as the screen filter on this TV causes a hazy appearance with some programming on the screen. One remedy to this problem is turning up the Brightness setting some. This will cause better definition in dark areas, but a less penetrating black level and contrast.
This gray scale ramp shown from a side viewing angle shows how colors are affected and distorted from the sides of the EX640. Note the additional color added to grays.
Features Rating: 8.5/10
The inbuilt Ambient light sensor is there for your use if you want it but may be turned off through the menu system. It introduces a slight amount of flicker that the most pure picture hearted will not want to tolerate.
The Motionflow 240 feature does do a good job in fast action scenes of reducing jerkiness and smoothing out images, but it has its negative side as well as it clarifies the background too much and takes out artistic blur with film based movie material. Aside from that, it is great with sports and other fast action.
The Smart TV function called the Sony Entertainment Network is very average in terms of offerings. It does not really deliver much value outside the key core Smart TV offerings such as Netflix, Hulu, Pandora®, HuluPlus™, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube™, Slacker® Internet Radio, Crackle and social networking through Facebook and Twitter. The Web browser is less than good, it's not even worth accessing. See our complete Sony SEN review here.
The design of the TV is very nice and quality for any setting with around a 1 inch frame which has a texture that is unusual for TVs these days. I like the design and looks. Depth is avg. at 2.4 inches.
The menu and remote function are well thought out and easy to use for the most part, though the menu is far from being our favorite.
Sony's Menu system on the EX640
Bang for the Buck Rating: 9.1/10
At $900 this Sony TV is a compelling value especially if you do not care about 3D capability. It should be a very strong seller at this price. Competition comes from the LG 47LM6200 and the Samsung UN46ES6100 to name a couple which sell for $100 more.
|Jack Burden has been reviewing and writing reviews in the consumer electronics category for 7 years with CEAG. He considers grayscale gradation, film patterned retarders, and focus field drives to be fun topics. Read more about Jack|