Go right to the Custom picture mode and in an instant the Sony configures itself to deliver top notch picture performance. Do trim down the backlighting (the default is too bright) and also scale back the color saturation a few notches to tame some over-richness.
Blu-ray Evaluation: The International
The movie features scenes shot in a variety of European locales as well as New York City, and the picture is clear and crisp throughout, with numerous shots of both classic and modern architecture that are richly detailed.
Turning the color control down a few notches helps restore more realistic flesh tones. The measured color accuracy in the Custom picture mode is really very good, very close to the results obtained from a studio-grade calibrated monitor.
The principal characters often travel around in black sedans, and with the backlighting control turned down, the deep blacks come across very well indeed.
With the backlighting dialed down, the blacks and dark grays are noticeably improved, which certainly helps with the numerous nighttime scenes in this movie.
Broadcast HDTV Evaluation: Reno 911! (Comedy Central)
A little on the soft side, but that’s not the Sony’s fault, as more and more cable and satellite channels go HD, the extra compression of MPEG-4 can cause some loss of detail. On test patterns and with the screen set to Full Pixel (1:1) mode, the set shows perfect 1080p resolution.
A tad on the rich side at the factory default middle setting. Turning the color down a few steps helps tame the over-richness.
Quite good, but only when the backlight setting is lowered. The default middle setting puts out an overly bright 72 foot-Lamberts. At the “2” backlight setting, the set puts out about 49 ft.L, which is plenty enough for daytime viewing and not so much that nighttime viewing will cause eye strain, and improves the deep blacks in the process.
Overall pretty good, although some darkly-lit nighttime scenes exhibit a bit of black crush, but not as much as I’ve noted with some other LCD sets.
This set has a lot going for it, not the least of which is the Internet-enabled Amazon Video on Demand feature (and the forthcoming Netflix capability), which worked just fine with both HD and SD material, as well as the inclusion of the Custom picture mode (something I haven’t seen on prior Sony sets) that provides excellent measured performance. The connectivity includes legacy inputs (SD and analog HD), along with four HDMI inputs and an HD-compatible RGB PC input. The wide range of the variable backlighting allows for adjusting light output for just about any ambient light environment, and the 120 Hz refresh feature works without any apparent artifacts.
Screen size: 46” diagonal
Pixel resolution: 1920 x 1080
1:1 Mode: Yes
Video inputs: 4 HDMI, 2 component, 1 composite/1 S-video (shared), 1 RGB PC
Other connections: 4 stereo audio inputs, 1 3.5mm PC audio input, 1 optical digital audio output, 1 USB, 1 RJ-45 LAN, 1 ATSC/NTSC/ClearQAM RF input, 1 service port
Dimensions (W x H x D): 37.7” x 25.6” x 11.9” (w/stand)
Weight: 42.1 lb.
Warranty: 1 year parts & labor