Sony Bravia XBR-46HX929 Review

Enthusiasts searching for the very best in cutting-edge, performance TVs give the Sony Bravia XBR-46HX929 a serious look.
Enthusiasts searching for the very best in cutting-edge, performance TVs give the Sony Bravia XBR-46HX929 a serious look.
Enthusiasts searching for the very best in cutting-edge, performance TVs give the Sony Bravia XBR-46HX929 a serious look.

Highs

  • Amazing black level and contrast
  • Super bright white levels
  • Slick, flat panel with darkened, anti-glare glass
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, plenty of Internet apps.
  • Quick network media access
  • Backlit remote

Lows

  • Oddly placed RS-232 jack adds unnecessary depth
  • 3D glasses not included
  • Expensive

Performance

To test the 46HX929 we connected a Sony 1700ES Blu-ray player, Xbox 360 and an HD antenna for some terrestrial HD reception. For video content, we chose the 2D version of Avatar on Blu-ray, the 3D version of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and dusted off Titan A.E. for some up-converted DVD action. We also spent some time streaming YouTube and Netflix videos, as well as video and music stored on a networked computer.

sony-active-3d-glassesWe did enough calibration work to determine this Sony model performs very well right out of the box, though its “standard” picture setting was a little on the bright side and colors were intense enough to make us wonder if a “vivid” setting was even necessary. While we found that the display’s “cinema” setting offered a picture very close to our own manual calibration, we preferred some of the set’s brighter settings during our tests in rooms with lots of windows and sun exposure. We did play around with the ambient sensor, but didn’t find it making a considerable difference at night when less backlight would have been appropriate.

This TV offers a knock-out picture. The black levels on the 46HX929 are truly impressive, as is its high contrast ratio. Color accuracy is among the best we’ve seen, pulling off fine gradations between oranges and browns in some of our familiar testing material that we’ve not noticed before. We also felt the Sony’s treatment of reds is some of the best we’ve ever seen, rivaling that of many high-end plasma sets. We spent plenty of time ogling this TV and were consistently impressed, hour after hour, at just how engaging and satisfying the picture was.

3D performance was well above average, too. Whereas we’ve noticed some significant flicker with other 3D systems that rely on active shutter glasses, this TV remained largely flicker free and the image, beyond the 3D magic, was still razor sharp with excellent color and contrast. We’ve made pretty quick work of our 3D evaluations in the past, but we actually enjoyed the effect this time and found ourselves lingering on Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 3D a little longer than we needed to.

Sony-Bravia-XBR-46HX929-display-standThe XBR-46HX929 was pretty quick to load networked music and video, though noticeably faster when hard-wired to our router than when using the built-in Wi-Fi. HD content from Hulu Plus and Netflix both looked very good, and we were pleased to see these interfaces have been improved over prior years.

Off-angle viewing on this set is better than average but, as expected, we achieved the best results when seated with the display directly in front of us.

We liked the icon-driven menu interface the 46HX929 offered. Major subsections are navigated through a horizontal bar at the bottom of the screen while a vertical column toward the right exposes more specific choices. It was an easy interface to get used to, and will probably be met with appreciation by those not used to so many options built into a single piece of electronics.

Conclusion

Sony is certainly charging a premium price for the HX929 series but, to its credit, the sets deliver excellent picture quality, great 3D performance, useful features and plenty of other bells and whistles in a very smart-looking display. Enthusiasts searching for the very best in cutting-edge, performance TVs give one of the HX929 series’ three sizes a serious look.

Highs:

  • Amazing black level and contrast
  • Super bright white levels
  • Slick, flat panel with darkened, anti-glare glass
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, plenty of Internet apps.
  • Quick network media access
  • Backlit remote

Lows:

  • Oddly placed RS-232 jack adds unnecessary depth
  • 3D glasses not included
  • Expensive

Page 2 of 2

12
Product Review

Acer Predator Triton 500 review

Nvidia’s new RTX 2080 Max-Q is the fastest GPU you’ll find in any laptop, but it usually comes at a steep price. Acer’s Predator Triton 500, starting at $2,500, makes it a little more affordable. But what must you sacrifice in the…
Deals

Amazon drops price of 65-inch Sony 4K Smart TV by $300 for March Madness

You can get a fantastic 65-inch Sony LED TV for $300 off right now, in what's best described as the perfect TV deal to lead you and your living room into this year's March Madness tournament.
Product Review

Sony's Xperia 10 falls frustratingly short of budget brilliance

Better know for premium products, Sony does also have a budget smartphone range, but can the Sony Xperia 10 compete with great cheap phones from Nokia and Motorola? We put it through its paces to find out how it measures up.
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Movies & TV

Study up for season 8 with the best Game of Thrones theories

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is still on the horizon, meaning there's still time to brush up on the best theories about the show. Whether you're one of the last adherents of the Cleganebowl or a King Aerys truther, here are our top theories.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Product Review

Simple and reliable, Apple's AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds

Apple’s AirPods wireless headphones have dominated the market essentially since they hit stores in December 2016. Though not without some faults, they cracked the connectivity code to rank among the best fully wireless earbuds you can…
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Deals

Building a 4K home theater? Grab a discounted Denon A/V receiver from Amazon

Denon makes some of the best 4K A/V receivers on the market, and a handful of Denon’s latest models are on sale on Amazon now. If you’ve been thinking about building a home theater and are looking for a 4K receiver that doesn’t cost…
Home Theater

Apple’s new AirPods bring only minor updates to the much-loved originals

Apple has announced its new AirPods, the much-anticipated follow-up to Apple's wildly popular AirPods. With optional wireless charging and hands-free Siri, it's a minor update, but a welcome one.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Home Theater

ESPN Plus scores the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events

If MMA is your game, then ESPN Plus is now a very important player. The Disney-owned service locked up the exclusive rights to UFC Pay-Per-View events, a deal that will last through 2025 in the United States.
Home Theater

Dish TV customers can access up to 13 NCAA March Madness games in 4K

If you're a basketball fan looking to get your fix of NCAA Championship action in 4K, Dish TV will be airing up to 13 of the tournament games in the ultra high-def format, starting on Tuesday.
Home Theater

Cheer for your favorite NCAA team and Xfinity will respond with matching lights

Screaming at your favorite team just became a lot more rewarding thanks to Comcast's Xfinity voice remote and some special NCAA commands that set your smart lightbulbs to your favorite team's colors.