televisions

Sony Bravia KDL-46BX420 LCD HDTV Review

46 in.

A decent budget buy that crams more performance in its 46-inch screen than many higher-priced models.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Blacks & Whites

Blacks & Whites Summary
Editorial Note: This is a review of the Sony KDL-46BX420. Test results are for this model, but should indicate the general performance of other sizes in the KDL-xxBX420 series. The KDL-xxBX420 series includes the following models: the KDL-32BX420, the KDL-40BX420 and the KDL-46BX420.  Read here for more details on series differences.
{{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-46BX420-vanity.jpg']}} • Excellent contrast ratio • Great black level • Decent gamma and peak brightness • Testing done using DisplayMate Software
{{article.attachments['tvi-prev.jpg']}} Tour & Design Page 3 of 18 Color Accuracy {{article.attachments['tvi-next.jpg']}}

Black Level*(9.99)*


As you can see from the comparison chart below, the Sony KDL-46BX420 has an excellently low black level of 0.04 cd/m2. Typically, we see this kind of performance from a plasma screen TV, but not an entry-level LCD screen. Good job Sony! (More on how we test Black Level.)

Black Level
{{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-46BX420-blacklevel.jpg']}}
Compare the Sony KDL-46BX420 to other HDTVs
{{article.attachments['Samsung-LN46D550-vanity.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Panasonic-TC-L42E30-vanity.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['LG-47LD4500-vanity.jpg']}}
Samsung LN46D550 46 inches Panasonic TC-L42E30 42 inches LG 47LD4500 47 inches

 

Peak Brightness*(8.30)*


The Sony KDL-46BX420 didn't struggle at all in displaying a bright screen, as it recorded a peak brightness of 298.64 cd/m2. Really, any TV set that can display a screen brighter than 200 cd/m2 or higher will be sufficient for viewing in a well-lit room, so don't read too much into the fact that the KDL-46BX420 doesn't have the brightest screen we've ever seen. (More on how we test Peak Brightness.)

Peak Brightness
{{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-46BX420-peakbrightness.jpg']}}

 

Contrast*(10.16)*


Due to the great black level and decently high peak brightness, the Sony KDL-46BX420 has an outstanding contrast ratio of 7466:1 which dwarfs the comparison models, and most of the competition. While you probably won't notice much of a difference between other TVs at the store, the difference becomes much more apparent when you put them side-by-side in a dark room. (More on how we test Contrast.)

Contrast
{{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-46BX420-contrast.jpg']}}

 

Tunnel Contrast*(9.91)*


Like most LCD screens, the Sony KDL-46BX420 had no trouble maintaining a consistent black level on the screen no matter how much or how little area was displayed in black or white. (More on how we test Tunnel Contrast.)

Tunnel Contrast
{{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-46BX420-tunnelcontrast.jpg']}}

White Falloff*(9.97)*


Likewise, there was no issue with white falloff either, with the Sony KDL-46BX420 maintaining a consistent brightness level no matter how much or how little area of the screen was displayed as black or white. (More on how we test White Falloff.)

White Falloff
{{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-46BX420-whitefalloff.jpg']}}

Uniformity*(7.00)*


Like many older LCD screens, the Sony KDL-46BX420 uses a CCFL backlight, which usually causes a few uniformity problems by the simple nature of how the lights are shaped versus say, how an LED array is shaped. There weren't too many glaring problems, but on a black screen you can easily see some inconsistencies in uniformity, and the corners will display a slight warming of color temperature when displaying an all-white screen. (More on how we test Uniformity.)

Greyscale Gamma*(7.29)*


The Sony KDL-46BX420 did a fair job in our greyscale gamma testing, showing no points along the range of measured signal intensity where the TV could not produce a certain shade. You'll notice though, that the score isn't perfect here, which is due to the second way in which we rate greyscale gamma performance: slope of the line.

Because every single TV is given the same exact test, we know that an ideal response from any TV we test should give us a line with a slope of 2.1 to 2.2, but we find that often this doesn't happen for one reason or another. The Sony KDL-46BX420 gave us a line with a slope of 2.65, which isn't great by any stretch of the imagination, but not horribly bad either. Chances are good that you won't notice much of an impact in detail at all, but the possibility is greater that there will be a tiny errors in shadow. (More on how we test Greyscale Gamma.)

Greyscale Gamma
{{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-46BX420-greyscalegamma.jpg']}}
Other Models in the KDL-xxBX420 Series
This is a review of the Sony KDL-46BX420. The other sizes of HDTVs in this series should be similar in terms of performance and usability. For details about any differences, click on the image to jump to the Series Comparison page.
{{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-46BX420-series32.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-46BX420-series40.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-46BX420-series46.jpg']}}
Sony KDL-32BX420 32 inches Sony KDL-40BX420 40 inches Sony KDL-46BX420 46 inches
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Performance
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Connectivity
  9. Audio & Menus
  10. Multimedia & Internet
  11. Power Consumption
  12. Vs. Samsung LN46D550
  13. Vs. Panasonic TC-L42E30
  14. Vs. LG 47LD4500
  15. Conclusion
  16. Series Comparison
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What's Your Take?

All Comments