In addition, the 46-inch KDL-46HX820 features a 1920x1080 (1080p) native pixel resolution, , 4 HDMI inputs, and two side mounted USB ports for accessing audio, video, and still image files stored on flash drives. The Sony Bravia KDL-46HX820 is definitely a feature-packed TV, but is it the right TV for you? Keep reading to find out. Afterwards, also check out a Photo Profile and a sampling of Video Performance Tests.
2. 1080p video upscaling/processing for all non-1080p input sources as well as native 1080p input capability.
4. Standard Definition-Only Inputs: One Composite video input (via adapter cable).
5. One set of analog stereo inputs and one stereo analog audio output that can be also be used for connecting a pair of headphones.
6. One RF coaxial cable input connection and built-in ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuners for reception of over-the-air high definition and unscrambled high definition/standard definition digital cable signals.
7. 10 watts x 3 (2.1 channels) sound system. One Digital Optical output for connection to external home theater receiver, stereo receiver, or amplifier.
8. 2 USB ports for access to audio, video, and still image files stored on flash drives, camcorders, portable digital media players, as well as for charging the optional Sony TDG-BR250/B Active Shutter Rechargeable 3D Glasses.
9. DLNA certification allows access to audio, video, and still image content stored on network connected devices, such as a PC or media server.
10. On-board Ethernet port for wired internet/home Internet connection. WiFi connection option via supplied USB Wi-Fi Adapter.
11. Access to internet based content provided by the Sony Entertainment Network.
12. Skype-enabled (optional Sony-compatible webcam required).
13. Link for remote control via HDMI of multiple HDMI-CEC compatible devices.
14. Wireless Infrared Remote Control included.
15. User Manual (iManual) accessible online via PC or directly from the TV, if connected to the Internet.
For a closer look at the features and functions of the Sony Bravia KDL-46HX820, check out my supplementary Photo Profile
Additional Components Used In This Review
Blu-ray Disc Player (Both 2D and 3D compatible): OPPO BDP-93
DVD Player: OPPO DV-980H.
Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 1 (5.1 channels): EMP Tek E5Ci center channel speaker, four E5Bi compact bookshelf speakers for left and right main and surrounds, and an ES10i 100 watt powered subwoofer.
Loudspeaker/Subwoofer System 2 (5.1 Channels) Orb Audio People's Choice (on review loan)
Additional Audio System: Vizio VHR215 Powered Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer (on review loan)
DVDO EDGE Video Scaler used for baseline video upscaling comparisons.
Standard DVDs: The Cave, House of the Flying Daggers, Kill Bill - Vol 1/2, Kingdom of Heaven (Director's Cut), Lord of Rings Trilogy, Master and Commander, Outlander, U571, and V For Vendetta.
Getting back to other aspects of the picture, the KDL-46HX820, via its X-Reality Pro Engine, does an excellent job of rendering detail, and does particular well with enhancing detail, contrast, and color as well as reducing video noise from standard definition and internet-based video sources. Internet video sources present an added challenge, due to variations in streaming speed and resolution, both of which can add to undesirable video artifacts, such as jagged edges and video noise.
In addition, the TV's 240Hz Screen Refresh Rate and added processing provides a smooth motion look to displayed images, be they from film, video, or internet sources. This is especially desirable when viewing 3D content.
However, the fast refresh rate and processing also results in what is referred to as the "Soap Opera Effect". For those that are not used to this, film-based material can take on live video look rather than a film look, which can be annoying. However, the refresh rate and added processing can be adjusted or disabled. On the other side of the equation, if you disable the refresh rate enhancement and added motion processing, the image can also take on a flickering look, which is very noticeable if watching 3D content.
For an added look at the video processing capabilities of the Sony KDL-46HX820, refer to my supplementary Video Performance Test Profile.
3D Viewing Performance
When viewing 3D material, I found that it was best to use the Standard or Vivid setting, as the maximization of Backlight level and Contrast made the 3D images more defined and compensated well for loss of brightness when viewing through 3D glasses.
When viewing 3D content, I thought that the depth rendering was very good, and I did not encounter any significant flicker or motion lag that can be known to occur when viewing 3D using active shutter glasses. However, unlike TVs that use the Passive Glasses system, or DLP TVs and video projectors that also use the Active Glasses system, I did encounter some intermittent haloing, mostly on dark or low contrast scenes.
Some 3D Blu-ray discs that I thought provided a good viewing experience were Avatar, Puss In Boots, and The Adventures of Tintin, but I did notice some intermittent haloing in Hugo and the Immortals. For information on other 3D films I use in my 3D product reviews, refer to my listing of Best 3D Blu-ray Discs.
However, although 3D viewing overall was good, there are some factors to take into consideration with the Active Glasses viewing system. First is the need for power. Since the glasses require the movement of shutters, glasses need to be battery powered, which means that the batteries either need to be replaced after every few movies, or need to be recharged.
A plus for Sony, the glasses that were supplied to me for the review, and sold as optional accessories on their site, are rechargeable, with recharging done merely by connecting the glasses to one of the TV's USB ports.
Another factor to take into consideration is the need for the active shutter glasses to synch up with the rate at which the 3D images are displayed on the screen. This can result in visible flickering for some viewers, as well as more sensitivity to haloing effects. Also, if you have a tendency to move a lot in your seat when viewing TV you may notice a slight color shift in the image and 3D synch loss if you move your viewing angle too far horizontally or vertically.
Taking the above factors into consideration, I will say that the KDL-46HX820 did deliver an over all good 3D viewing experience, but it certainly was not the best I have seen. As a result, more refinement to prevent haloing (especially when the competing passive glasses 3D TVs and DLP video projectors using active glasses do not have this issue) would be in order.
The final word on 3D in this review that I wanted to mention is that this set also provides real time 2D-to-3D conversion. This conversion process does add depth to a 2D source image, but the depth perspective is not always accurate. Sometimes portions of the image appear "folded", and objects can seem out place in the scene. A setting is provided that allows adjustment of the 2D-to-3D conversion effect that can help minimize some visual problems, but the fact remains that viewing a native 3D signal source provides the best viewing option.
My suggestion is to limit the use of the 2D-to-3D feature to sporting events or live concert performance broadcasts. On the other side of the coin, the KDL-46HX820 also provides 3D-to-2D conversion that can be used, if the occasion arises.
Proceed to Page 2: Audio Performance, Internet Streaming, DLNA, USB, and Final Take