HDTV

Sony Bravia KDL-46X3500 46" 1920x1080p LCD HDTV

ARTICLE INDEX

 

Pixel by Pixel support is a great new feature that almost every new display has now (finally). Native rate lets you disable the internal video scaler. This is great when you have a 1080p video source (e.g., from a computer or external video processor).

SD processing on this unit is not great. 480i or 576i sources need to be scaled up by the unit, and the ratio between source pixels and display pixels is quite high – the internal scaler does not really compare well with a proper external scaler by companies like Lumagen, Pixel Magic, or Anchor Bay. This set was clearly intended for sources 1080i and higher. 720p sources look good on this set, although a good processor would improve on this as well.

Backlight control is quite quick here, and coupled with dynamic contrast (contrast stretching), it generally does a good job on most scenes. Movie mode processing, coupled with 120Hz generally works quite well here.

Colors are crisp and clear, movies are detailed. This set was made for Blu-ray and HD sources. Dark scenes, like the cave scene in Narnia, will ultimately clip blacks, but unless you’ve seen the cave scene on a display where you know that the boy’s coat should be visible, you would never have missed it.

The unit supports HDMI 1.3a with features like lipsync and deep color, but extended gamut did not seem to have any effect. Game mode on the unit seems tailor fit for high speed PS3 gaming, but the USB supports only image playback (slideshow, rotation, browsing), and there is no support for audio (MP3).

Conclusions

In short, I think this is a great display and certainly a breakthrough in price/performance. Sony is continually pushing the limit. Anyone who has sufficient HD sources and is looking for a new display should give Sony’s latest lineup a close look.