Sony Bravia KDL46WE5

Sony Australia's first crack at an "eco-conscious" LCD TV, the WE5 cuts power consumption through its new HCFL backlight and a Presence Sensor.


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CNET Editor

Former editor of CNET Australia, Pam loves being in the thick of the ever-growing love affair (well addiction, really) that Australians have with their phones, digital cameras, flat screen TVs, and all things tech.


It's an inconvenient truth that our love affair with that flat panel television in the lounge doesn't sit well with a desire to live a more environmentally responsible existence. Fortunately, TV vendors are now coming to the party with "eco-friendly" models that address bad-for-the-planet (and pocketbook) power consumption issues with the big screen beasts.

Upside

Sony's first foray into eco-consciousness comes in the form of the Bravia WE5. Available in 40- and 46-inch screen sizes (AU$3199 and AU$3799 respectively), the WE5 hits the market in May with an as-yet voluntary energy star rating of five stars (out of six) — the highest we've seen so far on the Australian market.

Much of its savings in power consumption come from its use of a Hot Cathode Fluorescent Lamp (HCFL) backlight. Sony claims its HCFL backlight panel uses up to 40 per cent less energy when compared to conventional cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) LCD TVs like the Bravia W4500 model it replaces. A marketing spiel touting that the WE5 consumes less power than two 75-Watt light bulbs — which may be more of an indictment on the inefficiencies of incandescent bulbs — is a pretty impressive ploy.

The W4500 (left) uses twice the power, but has noticeably greater contrast than the WE5 (right).
(Credit: Ty Pendlebury)

And how many households wrestle with "the TV's on, nobody's watching" issue? To combat this waste, the front of the WE5 panel incorporates a Presence Sensor that detects when there is no longer motion in the room and automatically turns the picture off (but leaves the sound on). According to Sony, this instantly reduces power consumption by 50 per cent. If motion is again detected, the picture comes back on. Alternatively, if the Presence Sensor detects no movement after a specified period of time, the set is switched off completely.

The WE5 furthers its green cred by featuring an "energy-saving switch" on the side of the set — also called an "off switch" — to minimise standby power, an Eco pre-set mode, and the use of lead-free solder and reduced packaging.

Lest you're worried about the picture quality, it's still got 1080p full HD capabilities and something missing from its much publicised US counterpart, MotionFlow 100Hz technology.

Downside

We only had a quick look at the media launch, but the contrast seemed slightly poorer than its more power-hungry forebear. Sony didn't include a contrast ratio in the spec sheet, so we'll have to see when we get this model in for testing whether the HCFL backlight actually does cause contrast ratio to suffer or not.

Of course, there's a price premium to be paid for the new HCFL technology too. It remains to be seen if consumers will be willing to fork out an extra AU$300 or so for better power efficiency.

Outlook

The WE5 is certainly one of the best performers energy-wise on the Australian market and kudos to Sony for setting the pace for others to follow. Surely these kinds of technologies and features will become more widespread down the track, but if power conservation is on your list now, this is the model to check out.

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gregman posted a comment   

Just saw this at the Sony dhop for $1699 incl 3yr warranty and bluray player

 

2bearz posted a comment   

The Good:Eco mode, presence sensor, great picture, DLNA, p[rice

The Bad:DLNA (narrow range of formats will play), conservative looks

First full HD LCD (have HD projector), replaced rear projection TV so really impressed with picture. Set up was great straight out of the box. Picked it up for $1900 with the three year Sony warranty and free PS3! What more can you ask for.

 

SJ posted a reply   

Hi
Where did you buy this model at that price? Sounds very tempting
Thanks

 

Silvergun Superman posted a comment   

The Good:looks stunning when connected to my 2.66 MacBook Pro 15

The Bad:more flexibility with the PIP feature would of been great. allowing hdmi inputs in this.

overall a very intuitive tv. very easy to get set up straight out of the box. looks stunning when connected to the foxtel HD package.

Matt
10
Rating
 

Matt posted a review   

The Good:latest Bravia Engine, Surround sound Audio, noise reduction, Cinema mode, Eco settings, Applicast, DLNA, support,...

The Bad:nothing...

Sony has made truly master piece which is perfectly suitable those who are looking for value for money and feature-packed LCD which cuts electricity bills without compromising fantastic picture quality....

DJ
10
Rating
 

DJ posted a review   

The Good:About Picture-- Live color, new BE3,Contrast ratio 100000:1, advance enhance contrast feature, white corrector, Intelligent picture....Sound-- S-Force Surround sound which is identical to all Bravia Series, Noise reduction, Voice zoom...Others User-firndly menu, ECO settings....

The Bad:Nothing at all

Best Picture settings

Picture :
Backlight : 6-7
Brightness: 40
Contrast :50
Motionflow: High
Live color: Medium

Sound: S-Force surround
Voice Zoom: Max

Jeff
9
Rating
 

Jeff posted a review   

The Good:Light sensor--not too bright in dark, Clear S-Force surround sound, Brilliant Picture with latest Bravia Engine 3

The Bad:clouding sometime seen...

Clouding can be minimize by reducing brightness....apart from this model absolutely value for money...really worth it...

Leo
9
Rating
 

Leo posted a review   

The Good:brilliant picture, S-Force surround sound, 46", Eco friendly, light sensor

The Bad:100 Hz Motion....

Value for money, this Bravia is packed with all latest technology from sony excluding 200Hz motionflow..LEDs are coming with Bravia engine 2 , this model comes with Bravia Engine 3..can watch in depth picture with excellent colours...

Brett
10
Rating
 

Brett posted a review   

The Good:Bravia Engine 3 provides crystal clear Picture and Surrond sounds makes perfect Home entertainment package, Eco settings are pretty impressive, Noise reduction and Intelligent Picture nice features, PC connectivity couldn't be better, user friendly menu style...

The Bad:100MHz Motionflow, not good picture in dark

9/10

Joshua
10
Rating
 

Joshua posted a review   

The Good:Picture quality lot more improved with Bravia Engine 3, Surround sounds makes everything perfect with voice zoom feature. Light censor adjust TV brightness in dark.

The Bad:haven't found any

Absolutely Brilliant.....


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User Reviews / Comments  Sony Bravia KDL46WE5

  • gregman

    gregman

    "Just saw this at the Sony dhop for $1699 incl 3yr warranty and bluray player"

  • 2bearz

    2bearz

    "First full HD LCD (have HD projector), replaced rear projection TV so really impressed with picture. Set up was great straight out of the box. Picked it up for $1900 with the three year Sony warran..."

  • Silvergun Superman

    Silvergun Superman

    "overall a very intuitive tv. very easy to get set up straight out of the box. looks stunning when connected to the foxtel HD package."

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