Published On: September 22, 2009

Sony KDL-46VE5 LCD HDTV Reviewed

Published On: September 22, 2009
Last Updated on: October 31, 2020
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Sony KDL-46VE5 LCD HDTV Reviewed

If you're torn between your love of big-screen TV and your desire to do right by the environment, Sony wants you to know about its new KDL-46VE5. This 46-inch LCD is a more energy-efficient alternative to Sony's other LCD models, with a Presence Sensor and Energy Saving Switch.

Sony KDL-46VE5 LCD HDTV Reviewed

  • 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's VE5 Series, also dubbed the Eco Series, incorporates some energy-saving features not found in other Sony LCD lines. The VE5 Series falls in the middle of Sony's line, price-wise, and includes screen sizes of 40, 46, and 52 inches. We have not performed a hands-on review of the KDL-46VE5, but here is an overview of the TV's features. This 46-inch, 1080p LCD uses Sony's BRAVIA Engine 2 processor and a fluorescent backlight, as opposed to the LED backlighting found in some of Sony's higher-end lines. According to Sony, the VE5 models use a new micro-tubular Hot Cathode Fluorescent Lamp (HCFL) that helps reduce power consumption by almost 40 percent compared with other Sony models. This TV also features Motionflow 120Hz technology to reduce motion blur and minimize the appearance of judder in film sources. The KDL-46VE5 does not support direct access to the BRAVIA Internet Video platform for Web-based content. Eco features include EnergyStar 3.0 certification and a new Energy Saving Switch that eliminates power consumption when the TV is in standby mode. Like other Sony models, this one has a light sensor that can automatically reduce the panel's brightness based on ambient room lighting, but the KDL-46VE5 adds a presence sensor that turns off the TV if there's no movement in the room for a certain length of time and turns it back on when someone enters. You can also turn off the backlight completely if you're listening to an audio-only source, like a digital music channel.

Additional Resources
• Read more LED HDTV reviews from the staff at
• Find a Blu-ray player to get the most out of the KDL-46VE5's picture.

The KDL-46VE5 has a thorough connection panel that includes four HDMI, two component video, one PC, and one RF input to access the internal ATSC and Clear-QAM tuners. The HDMI inputs accept both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals, and three of the four HDMI inputs are located on the side panel for easy access, as is the PC input. This model does not have the comprehensive set of digital-media connections you'll find on other Sony TVs. There's no Ethernet port for media streaming or accessing the BRAVIA Internet Video platform. You do get a side-panel USB port that supports JPEG/MP3 playback, but not video. The KDL-46VE5 lacks an RS-232 or IR port for integration into an advanced control system.

The setup menu includes a solid assortment of A/V adjustments but lacks a few advanced options you'll find in higher-end models. The video setup menu includes four picture modes for video content (vivid, standard, cinema, and custom) and two modes specifically for PC viewing. You get three color-temperature options (cool, neutral, and warm), noise reduction, basic gamma adjustment, and an adjustable backlight. The advanced menu includes a game mode and precise white balance. The Motionflow 120Hz menu has three options: off, standard, and high. The off mode creates 120Hz by duplicating frames, while the standard and high modes offer varying degrees of motion interpolation to produce smoother movement with film sources. The KDL-46VE5 offers four aspect ratios for SD content and four for HD content, including a Full Pixel mode to display 720p/1080i/1080p sources at their native resolution.

The audio setup menu has four sound modes (standard, dynamic, clear voice, and custom), equalizer settings, SRS TruSurroundXT processing, and treble, bass, and balance controls. You also get Steady Sound and Volume Offset to reduce volume discrepancies between sources and inputs.

Read about the high points and low points of the KDL-46VE5 on Page 2.


High Points
• Motionflow 120Hz technology effectively reduces motion blur and offers multiple settings to tailor the smoothing effect to your liking.
• This TV has a 1080p resolution and will accept 24p sources via its HDMI inputs.
• The KDL-46VE5 has eco-friendly features not found in other TVs, like a presence sensor and Energy Saving Switch.
• The screen is not reflective, and the TV is capable of a lot of light output, which makes it a good fit for a well-lit room. 
• The TV has solid connection options and picture adjustments.

Low Points
• This TV does not use the LED backlighting or 240Hz technology found in higher-end Sony lines.
• The 120Hz function doesn't offer separate modes for blur reduction and film judder, so you have to accept Motionflow's smoothing effect if you want to eliminate motion blur.
• There's no Ethernet port to access BRAVIA Internet Video features.
• LCD viewing angles are only average.
• The KDL-46VE5 lacks an IR or RS-232 port.

Kudos to Sony for pushing the Eco TV concept to the next stage. The KDL-46VE5 adds unique energy-saving options that will appeal to the eco-minded shopper, but it also has desirable HDTV features like a 1080p resolution, Motionflow 120Hz, USB media playback, and four HDMI inputs.

Additional Resources
• Read more LED HDTV reviews from the staff at
• Find a Blu-ray player to get the most out of the KDL-46VE5's picture.

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