Sony XBR 3D TV 46 Inch
Having done a “range” review of the Sony XBR series, it was about time we sent out one of our roving viewers to have a look at one the range in anger! And so it was that we came to take an in depth look at the Sony 3D TV – Bravia XBR46HX929 – and it didn’t disappoint!
Sony 3D TV – Bravia XBR
I think the first thing to talk about is some people felt the blacks on the previous XBR9 range were a little disappointing. I’ve heard comments like “you can see the edge lighting shining down thru the blacks”, “you can sometimes see light “splodges” in black areas”. I can’t say that I had noticed this and have watched a lot of Sony 3D TV sets. However, if there was an issue it has certainly been cured with the 929s.
The set does have the now famous local dimming feature and this is a feature most advanced sets now contain. If you’re not aware of it, it simplistic terms, this is where the set actually turns the screen lighting off in black areas. As I’m sure you can imagine this leads to extremely deep blacks and stunning contrasts. All this goes to make a picture that looks amazing. Of course to allow local dimming the set has to be “full-array” LED (which means the LED lighting extends across the full area of the screen rather than just around the edge). This also helps produce an image brightness just not found on non full-array sets.
Sony 3D TV – But Not Cinema
This is also a 3D TV, and Sony have employed some pretty cool technology to deliver one of the best 3D images I’ve seen. This Sony 3D TV, though, is not a cinema TV so you will need active shutter glasses for 3D pictures. Sony claim that their latest technology makes the glasses more comfortable to wear and has minimized crosstalk (3D image blur). And I have to agree the 3D image is crisp and clean. Crosstalk was still there, but to be fair, I am used to looking for it, and it was at an absolute minimum.
The set also boasts Sony Motionflow 960 which is technology designed to keep the image crisp and clear even during hectic action and fast-paced sports. Most manufacturers have their own versions of this technology, and I think it helps with fast sequences. I watched a pre-season football match and even with quick fire passes drilled underneath the football remained perfectly in focus. Very cool.
Intuitive Menu System
I watched native 3D from cable and BluRay and both were exceptional. If you’re a Sony fan or have a Playstation 3 the remote will be familiar to you as will then menu system which is much more intuitive on the new range and even contains Blu-Ray controls as well. Everything on the screen flows nicely and it is very easy to access any content you might want.
Which brings me nicely to connectivity. The XBR46HX929 has everything you could need for connectivity including built-in Wi-Fi (which now seems, thankfully, to be standard on most new TV sets). The main connectivity you are likely to use is on the side of the TV, so three HDMI inputs, USB, VGA and SVid and Composite. Sadly the Ethernet is on the back so a bit awkward if you wall mount, but if you have Wi-Fi, it’s not an issue. There is some useful alternative connectivity on the back including DVI to HMDI and 1080i inputs.
Great Internet Content
Finally, the Internet content is pretty good once you get hooked up. Sony have partnered with a number of providers including NetFlix and Amazon as well as Crackle and Movies on Demand for movies, TV shows come from Hulu Plus and Pandora for (free) Internet radio. There is also direct access to YouTube as well, so a great variety of alternative entertainment at the touch of a button.
I guess, though, the bottom line is that you would buy a new 3D or LED TV for the picture. Certainly image technology has moved on from even two years ago. In my opinion the Sony 3D TV Bravia XBR46HX929 does offer a truly superb viewing experience. I love sport and action movies and both show outstandingly well on this TV. Colors are brilliant and deep contrasts make for a brilliant picture and that’s what we want! Yes, Sony are a little more expensive than some of the upcoming brands, but you simply cannot go wrong with a Sony 3D TV if you have the budget. Highly recommended.