Review: Sony Bravia KDL-46EX700

The Sony Bravia KDL-46EX700 is an IP enabled LCD television that provides a whole lot more connectivity beyond broadcast.

Sony New Zealand loaned us this device for a couple of weeks to see what their internet ready TVs look like.

Firstly, connectivity.  You can either plug an ethernet cable into the back of the set or grab a WiFi stick to plug into the USB port.  There are four HDMI inputs for all your DVR/Gaming consoles as well as a VGA port for your laptop.  This television has a Freeview tuner built in and it has to be said: the comparison in quality between TV One, TV2 and TV3’s HD content via Freeview vs Sky is significantly better.

It’s fairly simple to get set up and comes with a swivel stand if you’re not going to mount it on the wall.

The only problem I had with getting the digital tuner to work was with the wiring that the Sky installer had done in the roof.  It was a simple case of making sure all the multiple ins and outs up in the roof were all plugged in in the right order.  A few cables re-ordered along with a thousand cobwebs and we were ready to go.

One of the coolest features this TV has is the motion sensor on the front panel. Leave the room and after a set period of time, if no movement is detected then the display switches off.  The audio remains on but it means that while you’re not in the room the device will try and reduce your power consumption.  A pretty cool feature for anyone who is notorious for leaving the room for a minute to do something, leaving the TV on but not coming back for quarter of an hour.

When it came to the internet content on this television I was pretty excited.  However, perhaps I may have gone in thinking more along the lines of it being like a giant computer.  It isn’t.

There is no web browser so don’t assume you’ll be able to visit your favourite website on a giant screen.  If you want that, plug in your laptop.  Instead, this device comes with a bunch of pre-connected services.  Unfortunately, being in New Zealand we get to miss out on all the cool ones.  If we were in America, we could connect to NetFlix and stream movies directly to the television.  No such luck here I’m afraid.  There are plenty of other video content providers that have partnered with Sony whose content you can view.

Of course, there is YouTube.  When loading the YouTube content you’re given a list of most popular videos.  You can search but since you can’t connect a keyboard to it, you’re confined to using the remote which, unless you’re an SMS whizz, takes a bit of time to learn to use.  I was sceptical as to how the video content would upscale but was pleasantly surprised.  The HD content was awesome and streamed well.  However, it all depends on the quality of the video.  If it looks like crap on your computer, don’t expect to upscale it onto a 46″ LCD television and expect it to look any better.

Along with the various content partnerships you can also connect the television to DLNA enabled devices.  Unfortunately I didn’t have one handy to test this on.

Something else that wasn’t quite ready to test was the interaction between the television and Vuze.  With the networking capabilities of the KDL-46EX700, both Vuze and the television could recognise each other but unfortunately we weren’t able to stream content to it.  Vuze have been able to stream content via the DLNA protocol to other IP enabled televisions so it will be a matter of time before it’s possible here.

Sony also have a partnership with DivX which enables the viewing of DivX content on the television.

Overall, it’s a pretty good television with loads of potential.

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About the author

Regan is one of the co-founders of Throng Media.
If they're on, I'm usually watching Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Battlestar Galactica, The X Factor, Survivor, House of Cards, Mad Men and the NRL.
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