What is the Sony KDL-47W805A?
Design and Connections
The 40W905 also includes an Options menu system that is accessed via a dedicated button on the remote. Sony has an annoying habit of hiding key selections away in sub-menus and this is a good example. You need to use the Options menu to access the Scene Select sub-menu, where you can select from a number of 'Scenes', the most important of which are Game and Cinema. You need to select Game if you want to reduce the input lag and you need to select Cinema to access the Cinema 1 Picture Mode that offers the most accurate out-of-the-box settings. As is usually the case with a Sony TV there are too many unnecessary processing features but we'll cover those in more detail in the test section.
At just under 23ms the 40W905 was one of the lowest input lags we've measured but the W805A is most certainly the quickest and registered a lag under 20ms – an AVF first!. Whatever Sony are doing to bypass all their processing, it's certainly working and it's a big improvement on last year. What’s more, Sony has achieved this with the notoriously tardy IPS panel so it’s double the back slaps!
- Standby: 0W
- Out-of-the-Box – Cinema Mode: 65W
- Calibrated – Cinema Mode: 52W
- Calibrated - 3D Mode: 88W
Sony KDL-47W805A Picture Quality 2D
LG showed with the LA790 and LA860 that it’s possible to implement good dimming systems on an IPS panel. It seems like they’re the only ones to have got the hang of it, however, as first Panasonic then Philips and now Sony have shown how it’s not done right. Sony’s Adv. Contrast Enhancer is the culprit here and although, as we alluded to on the ‘Test Results’ page, you might be able to stand it at Low, the brightness fluctuations the setting causes are very noticeable. We’re currently watching quite a lot of ‘gritty period pieces’ (we stole that from Netflix) - where there’s a lot of candles and open fires in evidence - and these are absolute torture tests for dimming systems; the W805 was yet another not to come out of them with flying colours.
If you can get over the fact that you’re never going to get satisfying black levels and you can ignore the dirty screen effect then the Sony W805 is certainly capable of providing some excellent pictures. Motion has quite a nice feel to it (with a little help from MotionFlow, at times) and since the calibrated greyscale is very neutral, there was a nice natural look to images but we can’t help but get the feeling that this Sony is underperforming relative to its status and price-point.
Sony KDL-47W805A Picture Quality 3D
- Excellent greyscale after calibration
- Very low input lag for gamers
- Very accurate colours post calibration
- Picture processing is up there with the best
- Viewing angles are good
- Weak blacks and contrast
- Dirty screen effect ruined lots of content
- Dimming system is flawed
- Overpriced vs performance
Sony KDL-47W805A TV Review
Sony continually prove that you don’t really need fancy 10 or even 20 point balance controls if you can get the basics right and with their simple 2 point version, we were able to gain superb greyscale performance. It’s a shame they’ve yet to see fit to include a colour management system as with Wimbledon currently on, the yellowy greens were quite evident. Much worse, however, is the W805’s dirty screen effect problem which blighted much of what we watched – both 2D and 3D – and is particularly noticeable on grass and skies. The dimming system is no great shakes, either, so the somewhat average black levels and dynamic range weren’t given any further meaningful assistance.
Positive points of note include an incredibly low latency for gamers, reasonably pleasing motion handling and a nice natural look to images but we can’t help but get the feeling that this Sony is under performing relative to its status and price-point. It’s certainly no W905 and we hope Sony continues to further its R&D into IPS technology as there’s more to be had from it.
3D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
Our Review Ethos
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