This TV really does raise the Sony Bravia HD performance to a new level
Standard-def suffers a bit
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The handsome-looking KDL-46X2000 is Sony's first 'full HD' TV. Sounds impressive, but how is that better than standard HD Ready TVs? Well, here's the technical bit: the 46X2000 sports a native pixel resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, making it potentially more at home with the 1080i high definition signals currently being delivered by Sky's high definition receiver than the normal 768-line LCD and plasma TVs. So, now you know.
The KDL-46X2000's connections are on the full side too: for the first time, Sony offers two HDMI inputs. These are accompanied by two component video jacks, making four HD inputs in total. There's also a dedicated D-Sub PC port, three Scarts, a CAM slot for adding subscription services to the built-in digital tuner, and an optical digital audio output for multichannel digital audio broadcasts.
Another neat touch is the inclusion of Bravia Engine EX processing, the EX suffix signifying a special '1080-optimised' variation on previous Bravia Engine systems. The KDL-46X2000 also sports the Super Vertical Pattern Alignment, Wide Colour Gamut and Digital Reality Creation for, respectively, increasing the horizontal viewing angle, boosting the colour range and tone, and making a more natural picture.
A high definition Sky HD recording of The Village displays immediate advantages over the excellent performance of Sony's lower resolution Bravias. Kicking off the 'full HD' advantages are outrageous levels of sharpness and fine detailing, rendering the surrounding woods with accuracy.
The contoured edges of the villagers' cloaks seem more precise and less troubled by gentle jaggedness than with the 768-line Bravias. Colours look slightly more subtly blended - presumably because of the greater precision afforded by the denser pixel configuration. More general strengths include extremely vivid (but natural) colour tones that do the film's primal colour themes proud, and black levels that impress during the creatures' night-time attack on the village.
Our only HD gripe with the KDL-46X2000 is that bits of fast motion look a touch blurred. Also, this Sony is only a good rather than great portrayer of standard-def: colours look a bit less natural, motion looks fuzzier and noise levels increase. But this is a price we're willing to pay for the TV's stellar HD efforts.
The KDL-46X2000's sonics are out of this world too, rising to the challenges of the film's rich, often shrill score with an outstanding combination of power and finesse. Remarkably, this TV really does raise the Sony Bravia HD performance to a new level, making it just about as irresistible as anything costing £4,000 will ever be.
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