Sony KDL-46XBR8 LCD HDTV Reviewed

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Sony_KDL-46XBR8_LCD_HDTV.gifSony's XBR8 Series is its current top-shelf line and features two screen sizes: 46 and 55 inches. This is the first Sony line to utilize LED backlighting, as opposed to the traditional fluorescent backlight found in most LCDs, and it also features Sony's Motionflow 120Hz Pro technology. We have not done a hands-on review of the KDL-46XBR8, but here is an overview of the TV's features. This 46-inch, 1080p LCD employs Sony's Triluminous RGB Dynamic LED backlighting system, which uses clusters of red, green, and blue LEDs (as opposed to the basic white LEDs found in other LED-based LCDs) to render purer colors. Its local-dimming design allows the LEDs to respond dynamically to the content onscreen, turning off certain LEDs to create deeper blacks in areas of the picture that call for it. Local dimming is more successful than a standard backlight at allowing black areas to look black while still letting bright areas remain bright, which gives the picture excellent contrast. LEDs also lack the mercury found in fluorescents, which makes this a more environmentally friendly TV. Meanwhile, Sony's 120Hz implementation is one of the better examples of the technology; Motionflow 120Hz Pro technology combines a 120Hz frame rate with sequential scanning technology designed to reduce motion blur with faster-moving content. Motionflow can also minimize the appearance of judder in film sources and render super-smooth motion, for those who like that effect.

Additional Resources
• Read more LCD HDTV reviews from's staff.
• Find a Blu-ray player to get the most out of the KDL-46XBR8.

Not surprisingly, since it hails from the company's highest end line, this TV has a well-endowed connection panel that includes four HDMI, two component video, one PC, and one RF input to access the internal NTSC, ATSC, and Clear-QAM tuners. The HDMI inputs accept both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals, and one HDMI input is located on the side panel for easy access. The TV Guide on Screen program guide and picture-in-picture functionality are available. The KDL-46XBR8 also sports a lot of connection options for the digital media fan: A side-panel USB port supports JPEG/MP3 playback, and the back panel features a DMPort for connecting digital media devices, an Ethernet port for streaming photos (not music) from a PC or DLNA-certified server (and for easy firmware upgrades), and a DMeX port to attach one of Sony's Bravia Link devices: the Internet Video Link, Wireless Link, DVD Link, or Input Link. The TV also features an RS-232 port for easier integration into an advanced control system.

The KDL-46XBR8 boasts an excellent assortment of picture adjustments, beginning with four picture modes for video content (vivid, standard, cinema, and custom) and four modes specifically for photo viewing. You get four color temperatures (cool, neutral, warm 1, and warm 2), noise reduction, an adjustable backlight, and a light sensor that can automatically tailor the TV's light output to suit your viewing environment. The menu also includes white balance and gamma controls, as well as two color spaces. Compared with the basic Motionflow 120Hz menu that includes three setup options, Motionflow 120Hz Pro adds a fourth choice (Clear) that employs the sequential scanning of the LED backlights to reduce motion blur without adding frame interpolation. Multiple setup options give you the flexibility to tailor the 120Hz effect to your personal preference, which is a plus. The KDL-46XBR8 offers four aspect ratios for SD content and five for HD content, and you can set up the TV to display 1080i/1080p sources with no overscan.

Read about the high points and the low points of the KDL-46XBR8 on Page 2.

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