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Sony KDL-46HX923 review

Sony goes for broke with its latest flagship LCD TV

Sony kdl 46hx923

The single biggest selling point of the 46HX923, at least where AV enthusiasts are concerned, is its direct LED lighting. Positioning the LED lights behind the screen rather than around its edges and then providing the processing power to separately control the light output of individual LED clusters should allow the set to deliver a 'real' contrast range streets ahead of anything possible using edge LED lights. And so far as most movie lovers are concerned, contrast is definitely king.

The 46HX923's design will also be a major selling point to a lot of people. Its direct LED system means it's not the thinnest TV ever, but it benefits from Sony's 'Monolithic' design, which finds the screen and its black bezel sharing the same single 'plane' and opulent glinting finish. It's less showy than some rival 'designer' TVs, but we suspect this will enhance rather than hinder its appeal to more conservative households.

Spinning the set round uncovers a more than satisfactory collection of connections. There are four HDMIs - a number that seems to have become pretty much standard in the upper echelons of the TV market - with other highlights of two USB ports, a D-Sub PC port, a LAN port and, best of all, built-in wi-fi.

Multimedia agogo

The USBs support recording of material from the built-in Freeview HD tuner and playback of a good selection of multimedia file formats, while the fact that the 46HX923 can be added to a PC or broadband network means you can use it to either stream in multimedia files from your PC or access Sony's Bravia Internet Video service.

The variety of file formats the TV can support is pretty robust, but the real star of the multimedia show has to be the Bravia Internet Video service. This is arguably the best online TV platform around, at least to the extent that it delivers so much of the sort of video content that appears best-suited to an 'Internet on your TV' experience.

Highlights include the BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 catch-up services, a Sky News video headline 'app', Sony's Qriocity movie database, a Sony TV 'archive', and LoveFilm. Even the pretty expansive raft of more 'b-list'/minority interest video services have more gems tucked away in them than you find with rival online video services.

Add in Skype, Facebook, Twitter, the music 'arm' of Qriocity and an open Web browser, and the 46HX923 really does offer an awful lot of 'extra-curricular' activities to keep you busy. Though this does also create a couple of usability problems, covered later in the Ease of Use section.

3D and video processing

The 46HX923 inevitably carries 3D playback capabilities. And as Sony has yet to jump aboard the passive 3D bandwagon, the 46HX923's 3D talents are of the active, full HD variety, with two pairs of Sony's chunky but actually reasonably comfortable glasses thrown in for 'free'.

Furthermore, unlike some of Sony's 2010 3D sets, the 46HX923's 3D transmitter is built into the main TV body, rather than being an optional external extra.

Another sign of the 46HX923's flagship status comes from its video processing. For it boasts both X-Reality Pro (the top tier of Sony's new X-Reality engine) and MotionFlow 800Hz, which uses a combination of a 200Hz panel, a scanning backlight and frame interpolation processing to deliver an 800Hz-like effect.

The Pro bit of X-Reality Pro refers to an extra bit of processing power especially designed to work its magic on internet video sources.

Sony doesn't trouble itself to seek the endorsement of any third party picture 'authorities' such as the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) or THX. But this doesn't mean that the 46HX923 isn't well equipped with calibration tools - even if some of them (particularly the 'colour management' system) are rather non-standard in their presentation.

There's certainly enough setting flexibility to get pictures looking either very close to the key video standards if that's the way you like things, or very dynamic and punchy if you prefer to go that way. Or both if you like different settings for different types of viewing.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyBRAVIA HX923
Brand NameSony
Screen Size116.8 cm (46")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)24 kg
Backlight TechnologyIntelligent Peak LED
Operating Power Consumption149 W
Standby Power Consumption250 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand692 mm
Width with Stand1081 mm
Depth with Stand258 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyMotionflow XR 800
Enhanced Refresh Rate200 Hz
Height660 mm
Width1081 mm
Depth38 mm
ColourBlack
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse
Product SeriesHX923
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesSleep Timer, Web Browser, Picture in Picture, Picture and Picture (PAP), Favorite Channel Selection
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelKDL-46HX923
Product NameBRAVIA KDL-46HX923 LED-LCD TV
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKDL-46HX923
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Redefine your TV experience
Enjoy flawless detail and lifelike action in 2D and 3D on a high contrast LED screen. Stream on-demand videos from the Internet and make free Skype video calls from your sofa. Home entertainment is about to get a lot more exciting.

Package Contents
  • BRAVIA KDL-46HX923 LED-LCD TV
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • AC Power Cable
  • 2 x 3D Glasses
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)19.40 kg