Sony Bravia KDL-46V3000: Blur Sullies Colorful LCD TV

Finding an HDTV at any price that delivers near-accurate color right out of the box is rare, but the 46-inch Sony Bravia KDL-46V3000 did exactly that. The set further impressed me with its ink-like black levels and dark screen material, which together produced a well-contrasted picture in both sundrenched and low-light environments-that is, if you stay in the set’s narrow viewing sweet spot. Unfortunately, when displaying scenes depicting lots of motion, the KDL-46V3000 was among the most smear-prone sets I’ve seen.

The KDL-46V3000 features a native screen resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels progressively scanned (1080p) and provides picture-sizing settings that eliminate video overscan with 1080i and 1080p video signal- ensuring a clearer, more detailed image. Of all the HDTVs I’ve measured, in Cinema mode the KDL-46V3000 was the most color-accurate right out of the box. Also, the set’s dark-colored screen material and antireflective properties allowed it to maintain a well-contrasted and saturated picture even when viewed in well-lit environments.

Viewing angles, both horizontal and vertical, however, did affect the perception of color quality. Loss of saturation was obvious in skin tones starting at 20 degrees off-axis from the center of the screen.

At 40 degrees or more, people assumed a ghost-like appearance. Hence the relatively narrow viewing sweet spot of this TV is worth considering, if even slight off-axis viewing is going to be common in your home theater setup.

The real Achilles’ heel of this set, though, is the way it handles fast-action video. I found that when playing standard and high-definition programming from disc players and satellite television, the KDL-46V3000 was prone to obvious and significant smearing of the picture- particularly in video containing dark or dimly lit scenes.

As with other recent Sony sets, the KDL-46V3000’s menu system uses the XrossMediaBar (XMB) interface introduced with the Playstation 3. It made browsing the available menu options a breeze, and I was especially pleased to find that the menus didn’t close or exit far several minutes-ideal for the tweak-happy videophile.

The Sony Bravia KDL-46V3000 delivers color and contrast those other HDTVs would be challenged to match, albeit within a relatively narrow viewing sweet spot. The set’s excessive smearing while playing moving images, though, proved a constant distraction that makes the set difficult to recommend wholeheartedly.

Sony Bravia KDL-46V3000 Short Reviews
Price range: $2,799.99 list

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