Sony LCDs are some of the best performing LCDs in the market today. The KDL-XBR4 series, represented by the 46 inch LCD (KDL-46XBR4), has 120 Hz processing which has made it a much talked about LCD in the market.
The design of the Sony KDL-46XBR4 is not extremely svelte, but it is attractive. The rectangular viewing area is bordered by a thick bezel of black, which in turn is surrounded by glass; this is then ringed by a silver strip. The illuminated Sony logo and the indicator lights within the glass make the design even more eye catching. The Sony KDL-46XBR4 along with its matching black stand measures 49.8 X 31.4 X 12.8 inches. Its dimensions without the stand are 49.8 X29 X 4.9 inches. An attractive feature of the design is that the LCDs colour can be changed by attaching a different coloured bezel and changing the cover of the stand. A wall mount kit is also available on payment.
The remote has blue backlighting behind every key and can operate three more devices like a VCR, DVD player and cable or satellite box. It is also equipped with device controls for ‘BD’ gear. It has an option key which can call out the often used sub-menus like picture and sound modes, video processing, etc very easily. This remote is extremely user friendly and efficient.
The Sony KDL-46XBR4 has a superior picture quality, which is because of its many excellent features, which are enlisted below.
It has a 1080p native resolution, i.e. 1920 X 1080 pixels and can resolve every detail of 1080i and 1080p sources. This is the highest resolution available today. It also has a 120HZ refresh rate and hence can update pictures in half the usual time and also eliminate motion blurs. The set also has a 10- bit panel to cut down false contouring. This set is also compatible with Deep Colour and HDMI 1.3 feature, which provides a wider range of colours as compared to the standard HDTV colour range.
The Contrast or Picture adjustment has four adjustable presets and these presets are independent per input. It also has four Colour Temperature presets, ten step backlight control, three noise reduction settings, two Digital Reality Control (DRC) modes and a DRC palette control. It also has advanced settings which include a four step Black corrector, a four step Advanced Contrast enhancer, a four step gamma control, a three step Clear White Control, a four step Live Colour setting, a two option Colour Space setting, a two step Detail Enhancer and a four step Edge Enhancer.
Its video options have settings for video processing, like Motion Enhancer, CineMotion, Game/Text Mode, Photo/Video Mode, xv Colour Space mode, photo colour space, Colour Matrix setting and an RGB dynamic range setting.
The Screen Menu has a selection of four aspect ratio controls for both standard-def and high-def sources. The aspect ratio choices like zoom, allows both, adjustment of horizontal and vertical position and vertical size of the image. Display area has a control to adjust overscan and its Full Pixel option allows the extreme edges of the image to be seen. Its General menu has a room lighting sensor and a three position Power Saver setting.
Sony KDL-46XBR4 has a picture- in –picture mode (PIP) which has a side-by-side option, a freeze function and tuner extras like a favourite channel list. It has a built-in ATSC tuner but a negative mark is its lack of a CableCard.
The connections the KDL-46XBR4 has, are 3 HDMI inputs (of which one is on the side), a pair of component video inputs, one AV input composite and S- video, one with only composite and a VGA – style PC input, in the back. The side panel has one more AV input with a composite and a headphone output. It also has audio outputs, which include one stereo analogue and one optical digital audio. This set has a connection for Sony’s Bravia Internet Link module.
The Sony KDL-46XBR4 can be considered the best performing flat panel LCD because of its fantastic picture quality. This magnificent picture quality is due to the deep black levels, accurate colour and strong video processing. However there is a small room for improvement where its standard – def performance is concerned. The Sony KDL-46XBR4 came out a winner when its performance as a PC monitor was analyzed. The Sony KDL-46XBR4 has hardly any drawbacks except that it is highly-priced. However for those who can afford it, it is money well spent.