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Sony Bravia KDL46EX1 review: Sony Bravia KDL46EX1

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The Good Stylish. Wireless system is simple and robust. Good contrast and natural colours. Detailed images.

The Bad No 24p support. No 1080p transmission. Some smearing and jaggy problems.

The Bottom Line The Sony Bravia KDL46EX1 is a gorgeous looking unit that shows the tremendous promise of wireless HD technology. But we’d hold off on investing till it matures a little.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.4 Overall

Review Sections

Design

We've seen a bunch of new TVs recently that all purport to be "photo frames", but the EX1 was one of the first. And OK, we'll admit it. This thing is dang purrrdy!

Just as Melbourne didn't invent bars (as in "Melbourne-style bars") nor lane ways, neither did Apple invent the colour "white". But, hell, the iPod sure did help popularise it. The EX1 is very white, and looking at it we wonder why televisions haven't come in this shade previously — it's certainly preferable to silver.

The matching media box is also white, and has a pleasant white glow when the two devices are paired. Not surprisingly, the remote is also kinda snowy and apart from the colour is similar to many of the remotes we've seen from the company until now. However, it's not the best remote in terms of ergonomics — while the channel digits are abnormally large, it's at the expense of the other buttons like the AV input buttons which are squished up at the top. The remote is also wireless, naturally, and so doesn't need line-of-sight to work.

Features

Apart from being really slim, the EX1's other claim to fame is its wireless capability. The Sony uses a version of SiBeam's wireless technology which it has dubbed "Bravia 1080". But unfortunately, it's an early version of the technology and is missing two important features — namely the ability to transmit either 1080p or 24p. While the Sony is of a 1920x1080 resolution and will accept a 1080p signal, if you plug it into the media box it will downscale to 1080i. On the other hand, the lack of 24p is more of a problem if you watch a lot of Blu-rays. 24p (or 24 frames per second) is the de-facto standard for getting the best image quality out of film-based material, and its lack will disappoint some videophiles.

Sony has had Motionflow technology for a few years now, and it's a little disappointing to see a premium set such as the EX1 appear with only the vanilla "100Hz" version. There's no Auto Mode for NR, and these are the only four options: High, Med, Low and Off. Other video features built into the screen include a dynamic contrast of 50,000:1 and an actual contrast of 4000:1.

Connectivity options on the media box are quite varied with provision for three HDMI inputs (plus one on the screen itself), a composite input, USB port, VGA port for a PC, and a composite input.

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