Published On: October 27, 2008

Sony KDL-46Z4100 LCD HDTV Reviewed

Published On: October 27, 2008
Last Updated on: October 31, 2020
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Sony KDL-46Z4100 LCD HDTV Reviewed

Sony has decided to add its popular Motionflow 120Hz technology to lower-priced models in its LCD line. This 46-inch member of the Z Series uses a traditional CCFL backlight, but it offers a well-rounded connection panel with lots of digital-media-friendly connections

Sony KDL-46Z4100 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.


In our experience, Sony's Motionflow 120Hz technology is one of the better implementations of 120Hz on the market. Until recently, Motionflow was only available in the company's high-end XBR Series of LCDs, but this year Sony decided to start incorporating 120Hz technology into less-expensive step-down lines, such as the Z Series. Z Series models, like the KDL-46Z4100, cost a few hundred dollars less than similarly sized XBR models but offer many of the advanced technologies, features, and connection options you'll find in those pricier TVs. This 46-inch LCD has a 1080p resolution and uses a traditional florescent backlight (as opposed to the LED backlighting found in Sony's highest-end XBR8 models). 

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

The KDL-46Z4100's generous connection panel 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 Daily program guide and picture-in-picture functionality are available. A side-panel USB port supports JPEG/MP3 playback, while the back panel features three ports that digital-media fans will appreciate: a DMPort for connecting digital media devices, an Ethernet port for streaming photos from a PC or DLNA-compliant server (and for easy firmware upgrades), and a DMeX port, which allows you to attach one of Sony's Bravia Link devices: the Internet Video Link, Wireless Link, DVD Link, or Input Link.

While this TV doesn't have quite as many advanced picture adjustments as the higher-end XBR models, it still includes a lot of worthy options, starting with four picture modes (vivid, standard, cinema, and custom) and four color temperatures (cool, neutral, warm 1, and warm 2). In addition to an adjustable backlight, this model features 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. The menu includes three Motionflow settings: off, standard, and high. The off mode creates 120Hz by duplicating frames, while the standard and high modes offer varying degrees of frame interpolation to produce smoother movement with film sources. The KDL-46Z4100 offers four aspect ratios for SD content and four for HD content, and you can set up the TV to display 1080i/1080p sources with no overscan. Automatic aspect-ratio detection is available.

Read about the high points and the low points of the KDL-46Z4100 on Page 2.

sony-kdl-46z4100.jpgThe TV is available in a gloss black or brushed metal finish and
features a horizontal speaker bar along the bottom. The audio setup
menu includes three preset sound modes (standard, dynamic, and clear
voice), S-FORCE surround processing, and treble, bass, and balance
controls. Other features include Voice Zoom to adjust vocal clarity,
Sound Booster to improve bass and treble response, and Steady Sound to
reduce volume discrepancies.

Highs Points
• The
KDL-46Z4100's great detail, color, and light output combine to produce
an attractive high-definition image, especially in a brighter viewing
environment. The TV also does a solid job upconverting SD sources to
its native 1080p resolution.
• Motionflow 120Hz technology
successfully reduces motion blur and film judder. It can be set up to
produce very smooth movement with film sources or to produce a more
film-like image.
• The TV has lots of connection options.

Low Points

The KDL-46Z4100's black level and viewing angle are only average. In a
darkened room, the picture quality is good, but not as rich and
three-dimensional as you'll see from the best panels on the market.
Blacks look a bit gray.
• The TV's streaming-media function only supports photo streaming; you can't stream digital music and videos.

KDL-46Z4100 a well-rounded performer that does a nice job displaying
both HD and SD sources. It offers many of the perks found in Sony's
higher-end lines for less money.

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