However, for those that forgo those options, or the installation conditions are not conducive, the KDL-46HX820 does provide a better audio experience than some of its competitors. The set features a 3-channel (10 watts x 3) speaker system mounted behind the screen that produces enough volume to fill a small or medium-size room with understandable dialog. In addition, via its S-Force Front Surround or S-Force Front Surround 3D processing, the sound field is brought forward and widened, creating a somewhat enhanced TV listening experience. On the other hand, there is a lack of any real bass or clear clean highs, which is really needed for a more satisfying movie and music listening experience.
To sum it up, if you can, go with an external audio system of some type for the best listening option to complement your viewing, especially for movies. To make this easier, the KDL-46HX820 features Digital Optical, analog stereo, and the HDMI-supported Audio Return Channel connection options.
Some of the movie and TV sites include: Amazon Instant Video, CinemaNow, Crackle TV, HuluPlus, Netflix, and Sony Video Unlimited. Sony even provides online 3D content features that includes movie trailers, travel, and music videos. This a great way to get used to how the 3D functions work.
Two additional internet features that are important to take note of are the Rovi Onscreen Program Guide, and the Sony KDL-46HX820 iManual. If your TV is connected to the internet, the iManual feature is a very convenient way get answers to any difficulties you may have navigating the TVs features, which are quite extensive.
When trying to access available content, it must be noted that you need a good high-speed broadband connection. In my area, my broadband speed is only 1.5mbps which resulted in some visible compression artifacts and long buffering times.
On the other hand, I will say that the Netflix and Crackle streams I watched actually looked pretty good, compared to the results I have encountered on some other TVs I have seen. Sony's video processing features do a pretty good job in compensating for compression artifacts and slow internet speeds. However, I did find that my internet speed was too slow to play Sony's free 3D streaming content for longer than about 10 seconds or so at times before it had to buffer again.
DLNA and USB
Another content access option provided is the ability to access audio, video, and still image files from USB flash drives. Other USB devices that can be connected to the KDL-46HX820 via USB include digital cameras, camcorders, and digital musics players. The TV provides two side-mounted USB ports for convenience.
However, with both DLNA and USB, there is a limitation as to which file types are playable by the KDL-46HX820 - consult the user guide for details.
There is a lot to like about the Sony KDL-46HX820 including:
1. Excellent color and detail, as well as video processing and upscaling.
2. 3D works well provided brightness contrast settings are set appropriately and the content is produced well for 3D viewing - However, there is some intermittent haloing.
3. Internet streaming feature provides good selection of online content options.
4. Excellent motion response on 2D material and good motion response on 3D material.
5. Extensive video setting options.
6. Very low power consumption: 83 watts average.
7. Large, backlit remote. The backlight feature makes it easier to use in the dark.
8. Online user manual adds operational convenience.
On the other hand, no TV is perfect, and there were some things that I didn't like or I felt could use some improvement.
1. Onscreen menu system not very intuitive and tricky to navigate.
2. Some halo effects when viewing 3D.
3. Some uneveness in black levels due to LED Edge light system.
4. Web browser not very usable.
5. Webcam for Skype use not included.
6. No printed user manual provided - accessible online only.
This set is available in two screen sizes with the same features:
Compare Prices for the 46-inch Sony KDL-46HX820 evaluated in this review.
Compare Prices for the larger 55-inch Sony KDL-55HX820.