Published On: October 9, 2008


Published On: October 9, 2008
Last Updated on: October 31, 2020
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The XBR tag designates the top-shelf models in Sony's LCD lineup, and this 46-inch panel comes fully loaded--with things like Motionflow 120Hz, RS-232, and three HDMI inputs. But the first thing you'll probably notice is the stylish design


  • Adrienne Maxwell is the former Managing Editor of, Home Theater Magazine, and Adrienne has also written for Wirecutter, Home Entertainment Magazine,,, and other top specialty audio/video publications. She is an ISF Level II-certified video calibrator who specializes in reviews of flat-panel HDTVs, front video projectors, video screens, video servers, and video source devices, both disc- and streaming-based.

sony_bravia_kdl_46xbr5_LCD_HDTV.gifThe KDL-46XBR5 hails from Sony's highest-end 2007 line. This TV has a 46-inch screen size and a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and it's distinguished from the step-down XBR4 model by its piano-black frame and clear acrylic border. The thorough input panel includes three HDMI, two component video, and one PC input, plus an RF input to access the internal NTSC, ATSC, and Clear-QAM tuners. The HDMI inputs accept both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24, and the inclusion of an RS-232 port lets you integrate the TV into an advanced control system. The KDL-46XBR5 features Sony's Motionflow 120Hz technology, and the back-panel DMeX port allows you add modules like Sony's Internet Video Link.

Additional Resources
• Read more LCD HDTV reviews by's staff.
• Explore Blu-ray options in our Blu-ray Player Review section.

In addition to five picture modes and four color-temperature settings, the menu includes a ton of advanced image adjustments, including white-balance and gamma controls, plus two color-space options--one for more accurate colors and one for more saturated colors. There are four aspect-ratio options, and the TV can display 1080i/1080p signals with no overscan.

The two speakers blend subtly into the TV's side panels, and the audio menu includes treble, bass, and balance controls, as well as S-FORCE surround processing, Voice Zoom to improve dialogue clarity, Sound Booster to create a fuller sound, and Steady Sound to minimize level variations.

High Points
• The KDL-46XBR5 can be very bright, and it produces solidly deep blacks for a traditional LCD TV. The resulting image has nice depth and contrast.
• The TV offers natural color and excellent detail with high-definition sources.
• Motionflow 120Hz technology effectively reduces motion blur and judder in film sources, and it can render very smooth motion.

Low Points
• Motionflow isn't as effective with fast-moving scenes, and it can make film sources look unnaturally smooth, an effect that some people do not like.
• While the Sony's black level and black detail are good, they're not quite as deep as the best high-end panels on the market.

The KDL-46XBR5 is an all-around good performer that can deliver a very attractive image in either a bright or dark viewing environment. Plus, it has an elegant design and a healthy connection panel.

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