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Sony KDL-46XBR2 LCD HDTV Print E-mail
Monday, 01 January 2007
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The Downside
Although black level performance is certainly better than on most LCD panels I have tested, it still remains an issue of performance, as it is definitely not as good as the best plasmas in this regard. I also discovered that it floats black slightly, which means that the black level actually changes depending on the brightness of the content of the picture. So, in extremely bright scenes, for example, from Ice Age (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment), blacks will get crushed instead of remaining where they should. As stated earlier, the video processing leaves a little bit to be desired, but this can mostly be gotten around with HD sources, from satellite and cable TV and also with one of the two or both HD DVD formats.

Having lived with the Sony KDL-46XBR2 for several weeks before taking pen to paper, I must say that for an LCD, its performance is impressive indeed. The one area where I still have problems with its performance is the blacks. Although better than just about any LCD panel I have ever seen in this regard, really dark material both on SD DVD and HD sources suffers from some visible noise and a slight lack of depth and richness. Color accuracy and clarity are undoubtedly the XBR2’s main strengths. In fact, I would venture to say that it is more accurate in terms of color fidelity than any LCD flat panel I have tested so far to date. If you are in the market for a big-screen LCD flat panel and getting the absolute best picture performance is a priority for you, then this Sony should be on your shopping list. You’ll be happy to know that, since the introduction of the XBR2 late last summer, the price has also dropped over $500 to a more palatable $3,799.

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