After 11 years, we felt it was finally time to dump the old tube TV and bring in a new HDTV for our household. Our old TV was a great product but we felt that it was time to upgrade and “get with the times.” It was quite a learning experience for us as we really did not understand the differences between all of the types of HDTVs that were available and began to do some research to ensure we found a TV that met our needs. After doing our research, we decided to purchase the Sony KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV.
Recommend this product?
When we began our research, we found that we have three different varieties available to choose from. The three HDTVs options we could choose from were plasma, LCD and LED. A plasma TV utilizes small cells that contain charged ionized gas similar to a fluorescent lamp. One of the benefits of a plasma TV is that it has the best quality of black levels in the image of all of the HDTVs. In addition, the viewing angle of a plasma TV has the best range. The bright colors create an excellent home theater image quality in the picture. The plasma is best equipped to create clear visions of quick moments on the screen. One of the potential downsides of a plasma TV is that there is a slight possibility of burn in on the screen. This occurs when a particular image is displayed for a substantial amount of time and that image becomes imprinted on the screen. This occurrence is rare and is most likely to happen in the first thousand hours of use. The screen on a plasma TV does tend to be more reflective. The heat put off by a plasma can be substantial and uses more energy to run creating a negative impact on your electric bill.
The second option that is available is a LCD. This HDTV uses conventional cold cathode lamps to illuminate the pixels on the screen. An LCS has a higher resolution as compared to a plasma TV and you do not have to concern yourself with a “burn in” effect. In general they are relatively inexpensive as compared to an LED and equivalent to a plasma. One of the downsides of a LCD is that the TV utilizes a black light thereby reducing the effectiveness of the black levels on the TV. There is also a narrow viewing angle when viewing a LCD and the image becomes less clear once you move outside of this viewing angle. An LCD puts off less heat than a plasma and will not utilize the high levels of energy.
The third option is the LED which is similar in technology to the LCD. Rather than using the convention cold cathode lamps, it uses tiny light emitting diodes. These diodes can be throughout the entire screen or around the edge of the screen. As a result of this lighting difference, the LED will produce better black levels as compared to the LCD although not as well as the plasma. They have an ultra slim design and use less energy than the LCD and plasma. The greatest downfall of the LED is the price and the narrow viewing angle.
After considering all three options, we felt that the LCD was our best option. The price was in a range that we could afford and we liked the overall image that displayed on these HDTVs. The LED was a little too pricey for our test which eliminated it immediately. Our greatest concern with the plasma was the amount of heat that was put off by the TV was indeed surprisingly high as compared to the LCD. When comparing these TVs, we felt that the quality of the plasma and LCD picture were similar and we did not notice any difference in the black levels. The LED did have the best image of all three but it was not worth the price difference.
We chose the Sony KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV as it is a well known and trusted brand and the size was ideal for our living room. We wanted to have a nice sized TV but did not want it to overrun the entire room. We paid approximately $900 at a well known retailer. We had the opportunity to watch the TV in action at the store and were very happy with the clarity of the picture and the refresh rate of the images.
When making our purchasing decisions, two of the items that we were looking at were the refresh rate and the overall resolution. The refresh rate, or the speed at which the images load and change, is 120 hertz. This item does not necessarily mean anything until you compare it to a TV that has a lower refresh rate. As compared to a machine that refreshes at 60 hertz, there is a noticeable difference. The overall resolution of the KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV performs at a level of 1080P. The aspect ratio for this TV is 16:9. The TV can be adjusted to swivel 20 degrees in a back and forth motion.
The dimensions of the KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV are approximately 44 3/8 x 28 1/8 x 11 1/8 with the stand and 44 3/8 x 26 5/8 x 4 without. The stand is necessary if you are not mounting on the wall. With the stand, the TV weighs approximately 47 pounds and 41 without it. It is light enough that one person could potentially carry it but it is HIGHLY recommended that two people would participate to prevent any potential damage from occurring. The KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV did not include a mounting set and would need to be purchased separately but the stand does come with it. Depending on the amount of electronics that you are planning to hook up, you will likely need to purchase HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) cables to hook them up. If you have cable or satellite, they will likely provide this to you with your other equipment. HDMI cables may not necessarily be required however they allow for a higher quality of performance from your television peripherals. Two video component connections are available if you choose not to use any HDMI cables. Each HDMI will cost approximately $30 and they are worth the additional expense especially if you have multiple television peripherals you would like to have hooked up. A remote control is also included with the KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV. Three AAA batteries are required for the remote
When opening the box, I recommend doing this with extreme caution in order to preserve the box. In the case you decide to move and plan on using third party vendors, they will likely only transport a large HDTV that has the box or a crate large enough to store it in. We learned this from experience and had to transport the TV in one of our own vehicles. When we spoke with multiple moving companies, we found this to be a consistent pattern.
When setting up the KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV we had to ensure we had a proper place to set the TV on. We had to purchase a new entertainment center as our prior piece was not built to fit the dimensions of the large screen HDTVs. You want to ensure you have ample room for the TV and that it is on a flat surface. It is recommended that these HDTVs be mounted on the wall to give you more space and protect from falling off of a piece of furniture. I personally prefer to have it sitting on a piece of furniture myself. If you are mounting the TV, you want to allow for 4 inches from the bottom. If you are using the stand for your television, a Sony Support Belt Kit can be purchased to preventing it from toppling over. The best viewing distance for a TV is between 8 and 9 meters for maximum picture visibility and quality. Ideally you want the TV directly in front of the intending viewing area. In addition, you want to ensure there is proper ventilation to prevent overheating of the TV and/or fire. Avoid operating the KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV at temperatures below 41 degrees Fahrenheit. In general, you want to leave four inches on both sides and 11 7/8 inches from the top of the TV.
Setting up the KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV is very simple and most would be able to do it themselves. There are many different slots to fit the various cables in but due to excellent labeling, it is easy to follow. The primary power supply is located at the bottom center of the rear of the TV and connects very easily. A slot is available to plug in any optical audio input of digital audio equipment that is PCM/Dolby Digital compatible. There is a slot that is clearly marked for a cable/antenna connection. There are two video component connections (those red, yellow, blue, and green color coded cables) for a Blu Ray, DVD, VCR, gaming console or other television peripheral. The KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV also have a PC connection in order to allow the TV to connect to personal computer’s video and audio output connector. If you have an Apple Macintosh computer, you may require an additional adapter. The TV also provides an audio out and a slot for a subwoofer and the Satellite Speakers. Along the side, there are 4 HDMI slots for a high quality experience with your television peripherals. HDMI supports enhanced, or high-definition video, plus digital audio. You want to ensure that you only use an HDMI cable that bears the name. A USB port is available to connect equipment to access photo, music, and video files. A video in connection is also available on the side of the TV. Although this may seem a bit complicated, if you plug in one item at a time, you will find that it is very easy. We were able to set up our cable, Blu Ray, DVR, Wii, and Xbox in about 15 minutes.
Controls are located on the side of the KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV which are used to turn the power on and off, channel changing, volume control, input selection and bringing up the menu. Along the bottom, the remote sensor and indicator lights can be found. Be careful not to place anything in front of the remote sensor as it will prevent it from working. As it is in the bottom corner, it is easy to forget it is there and place an item in front of it. We have blamed the remote on our own stupidity multiple times already.
When first turning on the KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV, you will need to do some initial set-up to get started. The TV will ask you to set the language for the on screen display and to choose the viewing environment. You will also scan for digital and analog channels. You will need to have your cable connection established before doing so. You will be prompted to make these settings and will use the remote to make your selections.
Some of the features available with the KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV are Bravia Sync with Control for HDMI. This will allow for better communication with other compatible equipment using the HDMI CEC. This setting must be turned on and is only available for compatible Sony equipment that also has Bravia Sync. This setting allows for the connected equipment to turn on when it is selected from the Sync Menu. We personally have not used this ourselves and not able to comment on its effectiveness. Other features available on the KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV are Picture in Picture, Favorites Selections, Wide Mode, Play back with USB, Parental Locks, and sleep timers.
One thing to remember, when cleaning the screen, avoid cleansers that have ammonia in the ingredients. The ammonia will eat holes in the screen and will ruin your television in no time. You can purchase ammonia free cleansers at most large retail stores.
Overall, we have been very happy with our selection and have not experienced any problems in the six months we have owned the television. It has consistently displayed a quality picture that is as good as it appeared in the store. The sound quality is excellent and easily fills up a room. We do not have a surround sound system and we don’t feel as though it is necessary. It does not produce the full sound that a system will provide but it more than does the job. I would recommend this television for an average living room for the average family. It allows for multiple television peripherals to be connected but is simplistic in its use.
The KDL-46EX500 46” HDTV Ready LCD TV features the energy star label.
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Amount Paid (US$): 900