Sony's range of Bravia high-definition LCD TVs are among the best on the market. Its latest KDL-46X2000 screen sticks to that reputation and comes with full support for the 1080p full high-definition standard.
The KDL-46X2000 has been designed with Sony's usual sense of style and is finished in soft metallic silver with an elegant floating glass design. Integrated with the unit are a removable stand, two inbuilt speakers plus the all important HD tuner. The rear of the display houses most of the connectors, but there's also a fold-out panel with basic inputs up front for easy access.
The plain looking remote makes do with fewer buttons for better ease of use and matches the style of the LCD screen. The remote isn't backlit but worked well and sits comfortably in the hand - we didn't have any qualms.
The star feature of the KDL-46X2000 is the Bravia Engine EX, Sony's unique intelligent picture improvement technology. When combined with the integrated HD tuner, the KDL-46X2000 provides stunning images in full high-definition. Utilising live colour creation and the new Bravia Engine EX, the KDL-46X2000 is able to enhance image quality beyond that of its competitors. Instead of simply blowing up an image to fit the large 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, the KDL-46X2000 increases the resolution up to four times. This allows even SD viewing to have improved detail and clarity.
The screen also features the latest S-PVA (Super Vertical Pattern Alignment) technology, which provides a broader viewing angle and is quite large at 178 degrees, as well as Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) technology.
At the rear we find several important connectors including dual HDMI adaptors and the usual RCA and audio jacks. At the front there's an S-Video and RCA connection as well as several buttons for controlling the screen.
The standard speakers provide very good sound despite their size. They feature Dolby Pro Logic II Virtual Surround, which is further improved thanks to BBE Digital technology.
Setting up is a simple task. Once turned on, we ran through some basic changes to the settings. We put the backlight control level to zero and played around with the brightness and contrast settings until we were happy - something every owner should do. After several minutes of adjusting, viewers are rewarded with pleasing overall quality.
Black colours are deep and shadows show great detail, which is rare for an LCD screen. Most of the presets out of the box demand attention. Without changing these settings pictures have a dull overcast with a noticeable blue tinge. Watching the nightly news revealed lifelike images with no sign of blurring or deterioration in quality. Some screens often show some level of noise around the outlines of people on TV. Skin tones, especially Caucasian, appeared lifelike without the annoying red hues found on many screens.
Watching a DVD through the HDMI component was superb. The dark cave scene from Lord of the Rings revealed minute details such as Orcs running and crawling through the background in the shadows.
Considering the size of the inbuilt speakers, which are rated at 22 watts (11 each), the audio quality was average. Sony TVs are known for their remarkable sound representation, so this was a little disappointing. Volume was loud without distortion and the virtual surround effects did work but were hardly noticeable.
Sony offers a full 1 year warranty on its Bravia range of LCD TVs as standard with an additional 4 year extended warranty at cost. Further, contact and support is offered via the Sony website.
Note: This model is also available in two others sizes: the 52-inch KDL52X2000 (AU$9999)and the 40-inch KDL40X2000 (AU$5499).