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.

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Viewing Effects

Viewing Effects 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']}} • Exceptionally poor viewing angle • Highly reflective screen • Testing done using DisplayMate Software
{{article.attachments['tvi-prev.jpg']}} Motion Page 6 of 18 Calibration {{article.attachments['tvi-next.jpg']}}

 

Formats*(10.00)*


The Sony KDL-46BX420 has a native resolution of 1080p and can display all standard NTSC resolutions.

 

Viewing Angle*(2.09)*


If there is an Achilles' heel of LCD screens, it is the fairly universally bad viewing angle they they typically have; if there is a glaring weakness of the Sony KDL-46BX420 in particular, this would be it. While we don't expect that LCD screens will have viewing angles that rival those of a plasma screen, the viewing angle of the Sony KDL-46BX420 was particularly bad, only maintaining over 50% of its contrast ratio from 16 degrees from the center of the screen on either side. We've seen worse viewing angles, but not many. (More on how we test Viewing Angle.)

Viewing Angle
{{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-46BX420-viewingangle.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

 

Reflectance*(3.25)*


Another glaring (get it?) issue with the Sony KDL-46BX420 is the screen reflectance. Despite LCD screens typically being better at diffusing and minimizing reflected light in the screen than plasmas (which are almost mirror-like in comparison), theSony KDL-46BX420 somehow managed to make the reflectance even more annoying than the worst plasma screens we've seen. Using the same exact source of light we've used to test every other TV, the reflection pattern was huge and bright, often obscuring almost half of the screen in an even glow. If there are bright sources of light near where you are planning to put yourSony KDL-46BX420, strongly reconsider which model TV you purchase. (More on how we test Reflectance.)

Video Processing*(2.50)*


The Sony KDL-46BX420 has a handful of video processing features, some more helpful than others. Below is a summary of our impressions on each.

Setting Claimed Function Our Impression
Noise Reduction Reduces noise level in varying amounts. Does little to nothing.
MPEG NR Reduces noise in MPEG compressed videos Does nothing.
Cinemotion Improves movement in film-based content. Helps the TV handle 24fps content better.
Advanced Contrast Adjusts backlight and contrast to better suit pictures as they change Changes the backlight level on its own in darker scenes
Black Corrector Enhances black areas of the screen for improved contrast Reduces some noise in black areas of the screen
Clear White Emphasizes whites. Alters white color temp slightly
Live Color Makes colors more vivid Does very little to color.

 

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.
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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.
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