Turn to Freeview and the images were extremely good – the standard definition picture benefiting from the Bravia Engine upscaling to make it shine. Sport looked good, with no ghosting or after-images on football or Formula One. Sony’s MotionFlow feature and the 200Hz processing combined to handle everything well, with little or no motion judder or annoying artefacts on screen – all without the need for intrusive tinkering. This is an excellent set, then, for day-to-day viewing.
There are other features to note, like the connection to Sony Applicast. The Ethernet cable socket on the side allows you to watch TV and use web-based applications simultaneously. These are limited to items like an RSS feed, calculator and calendar. To our mind, if you have a great-quality, large-sized screen like this you should be looking at Blu-rays - the Z5500 does 24p cinema input - HD broadcasts or even Freeview in as much glory as possible, not zoning part of it out to make room for other features. Especially when sharp, detailed imagery is where this panel excels.
There’s an eco-friendly side to this TV, too. It has been designed to use substantially less power than earlier models – over a third, Sony claims – and if you’re listening to digital radio through the TV, you can turn off the display altogether.
At last! At the bottom of the control cluster: a physical power switch
There’s also an ecologically sound complete on/off switch. This telly has a proper spring-loaded switch so you can completely power down the set instead of leaving it in standby. Not every set has such a thing – often even turning off the standby light leaves a tiny current pulsing to make switch-on quicker. But this one has a proper switch like, you know, every TV used to have. Funny how things change, isn’t it?
Sony’s TVs regularly offer stylish design, effectively implemented innovations and striking picture quality. And all that’s true here. But this is a pricey TV and the attention-grabbing LED backlighting of rival sets may attract you instead. Despite this absence, the other features, like the excellent Bravia Engine 3 image processing set-up and the headline 200Hz frame rate, mean the image is sharp, bright and immersive. ®
More HD TV Reviews...
Sony Bravia KDL-46Z5500 200Hz 46in LCD TV
Sony has poor quality
A little advise to the wise. I'd avoid Sony LCDs if I where you. There was a time when all Sony stuff was made in Japan, and the screens where brilliant, now its made in China and mostly assembled in Eastern Europe. The quality of the electronics and build has decreased dramatically over the years. You might expect the screen to fail after no more than 2 years. My top of the range 32" screen failed after 22 months. You really do expect a high price TV to last about 5-6 years. Besides these days what is the point of having an enormous screen when the content is shite?
Last years design then !!
with more and more devices coming with HDMI it's obvious that Sony are expecting this to be obsolete by Jan 2010. Any forward thinking manu would put at least 4 on there,
AND at 47" why aren't we seeing any 1440p displays, we know SuperHD (? - which is still just HD) has been the subject of many tech blather for over a year, or do we have to wait for "SuperHD ready"
200hz is a nice touch but how long have we been waiting for that (does anyone remember when the first 100hz TV's came out?)
No speakers is a good idea, i've yet to see any LCD monitor or TV that has truly decent audio, but the lack of a spdif (5.1) again shows that it's already out of date.
it's a Sony so it's overpriced from the get go
this is just another example of a non inovative sell of old tech, this was out of date as it was designed. FAIL FAIL FAIL !!
"You know, without the weird blocks of iffy colours or the banding of graduated fades?"
OC NOT, that would involve the UK and OFCOM actually giving the recently released Analogue BBC2 freq and more, actually BACK to the DVB-T(2) digital system, so we can have far Higher bitrates per digital channel and more channels for that matter than we are expected to use now and in the near/midium/longer future....
the EU have stop to some of their sales of several TV freqs and reallocating them back into their DVB HD use apparently...and are doing that today.
but we cant have the UK MP doing such innovative thinking, when theres money involved selling it all off to the global corporations, so we become rent boys like old maxwell and his rented sat feeds, never again actually owning our own property as we wont be able to buy it back later when they finally realise they REALLY NEED IT...
that property being the UK airwaves each and every one of us inthe UK own, in this case....
Could someone tell me whether LCD's have finally reached the easeof-viewingness of CRT's yet? You know, without the weird blocks of iffy colours or the banding of graduated fades?
And if we really want to be green, we'll be dirty. How many TV's on standbywould a shower, let alone a bath power?
"Instead, the hero feature is 200Hz MotionFlow frame interpolation, designed to offer smoother results with fast-moving subjects like sport, for instance, by adding in extra, computer-generated frames of video."
First feature to turn off then. Does anyone really have a problem in the cinema where you get 24 frames a second refreshed at a 48 frame rate? Not really. It looks and feels natural.
The latest and greatest spanking CGI cartoon flick may look even more spanking with processing like this, but I wouldn't want a classic Hitchcock enhanced with CG frames and processing to make it look like a modern HD documentary on TV instead of a classic VistaVision film!
@whitespacephil "I know that people have beef with Sony, but if there's one thing they really do excell in, it's TVs."
They used to. Quality in Sony has gone downhill a lot. Last 3 Sony products I've owned have all been crap (including a TV).
The panels are the best bit and they're made by Samsung anyway.