Sony Bravia KDL-46EX700: First Look
First Look: Sony Bravia KDL-46EX7003:09 /
Sony's midrange edge-lit LED-based LCD is nothing special from an image quality standpoint, but its Internet video and eco-friendliness will attract a lot of buyers.
>> Hi, I'm David Katzmaier from CNET, and this is the Sony KDL-46EX700. This is a 46-inch member of Sony's midrange EX700 series of LED based LCDs. There's also a few other sizes in the series. This review will apply to all of them. This TV has Internet video and a couple of other standout features, but it's really a little bit lower on the totem pole then a lot of other Sony TVs. One of the big differences is styling. This TV doesn't look quite as integrated as some of the more monolithic, as Sony calls them, TVs higher up in the lineup. Around the edge of the screen you'll find a pretty standard glossy black strip. Below that there's a slightly lighter area that looks like burnish metal and, of course, there's the swivel stand. This is an LED based edge lit TV so from the side it does have that nice thin look. It's about two and a half inches thick at its widest point. We mentioned the Internet video. That's kind of a standout feature on this TV. You can use it to access services like Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, and a host of other smaller kind of niche video services unique to Sony such as Blip TV and even a Michael Jackson specific channel. Of course that content changes. One of the nice features is that you can actually search across a lot of those different niche sites although not Amazon nor Netflix or YouTube and kind of get a look at what's available on there just by a keyword search. Of course, you're gonna need an Ethernet connection on the back of this TV to get it to work which means you might have to run a wire out to your living room. This TV doesn't have Wi-Fi like a couple of the other step ups in Sony's line. Other features include a pretty solid selection of picture adjustments. You can go into the menu and play around with things like gamma and fine tune the color temperature. There's also an array of ways to apply those settings to different inputs or globally, so we really like that improvement for 2010. Speaking of inputs, the TV also has two HDMI on the back and two more on the side as well as a PC input and a couple of component video inputs, so there's plenty of ways to connect this TV to the rest of your gear. One other standout feature on this TV is its ability to turn off automatically when you leave the room. So it actually has a presence sensor built in that kind of looks around for fidgeting or any other small movement and if it detects any it stays on. If it doesn't after a certain set period of time from anywhere from five minutes to an hour, you can actually get it to turn off automatically. So let's say you wander into the kitchen, it'll turn off but the sound will remain on and when you come back into the room it'll turn right back on. That kind of thing is really useful for saving power. Cuts power use by about two-thirds so, again, it's a pretty well implemented feature. In terms of picture quality the EX700 isn't among the best TVs we've tested. It's kind of standard for an LCD TV. The LEDs really don't add much to the picture quality. It does have relatively light black levels. Color is a plus. In general although in dark areas the color does tend to get a little bit blue. There's also some uniformity issues where the screen appears a little bit brighter on the outside than in the middle. We did like the mask screen, however. In bright rooms it does kind of reduce the reflection of the screen as opposed to the glossy screens found on some other models so that's a plus. The Sony also has 120 hertz refresh rate, but that doesn't have much of an impact on picture quality. You can go in and adjust the dejutter setting to make the picture look smoother or as we prefer just leave that processing off. That's a quick look at the Sony KDL-EX700 series, and I'm David Katzmaier.