SunBrite SB-4670HD Outdoor TV Review
Rain, sleet, snow, or sunshine—this TV brings your living room outside.
The SunBrite SB-4670HD (MSRP $2,895) is an outdoor TV, so it's set up to look best with lots of competing ambient light around the screen. It's very bright, with lots of over-sharpening on details and punchy, vivid colors. This makes it a poor choice for indoor viewing, and means that it compares unfavorably to most of the TVs in our Perfect 10 scoring system, but make no mistake: this TV looks pretty good outside.
Like last year's SunBrite, the SB-4670HD doesn't have the controls (gamma, color tuning, or white balance) required to tweak it during our calibration process, though it does have a Theater viewing mode that offers really good black levels compared to the previous model. Best of all, the SB-4670HD offers up much more reliable motion performance, which was our biggest complaint about the 2013 iteration in terms of basic performance.
A display's contrast ratio is determined by dividing its peak, or reference white by its black level. Basically, contrast ratio indicates the immersive distance between the brightest and darkest elements on-screen, so you want the biggest X:1 number you can find most of the time.
I measured a black level of 0.075 cd/m2 and a reference white of 287.30 cd/m2, giving the SB-4670HD a contrast ratio of 3830:1. Though it's not quite as bright as last year's model (at least not in Theater mode), the 2014 iteration is much darker overall, making for better image quality. SunBrite does suggest that you don't watch in direct sunlight, but 280 cd/m2 is plenty of brightness for direct viewing in cloudy weather.
Our viewing angle test measures how far from the center of the screen you can watch a TV before the image starts to degrade. This is one area where the new SunBrite performed worse than last year's—though usually, a deeper black level does make wider viewing angles more difficult. I measured a total viewing angle of 38°, or ±19° from the center to either side of the screen. You won't be able to watch this TV too comfortably from way off to the side, so place it carefully.
The SB-4670HD's performance starts to get pretty weird when you get to analyzing its color production. We measure a TV's primary colors (red, green, blue), secondary colors (cyan, magenta, yellow), and white point against the international standard (Rec.709) to see how accurately they display saturated and gradated colors.
By traditional standards, the SB-4670HD's white point is way too blue, as are cyan (blue+green) and magenta (blue+red). While red, green, and yellow are fairly accurate, the majority of the points we tested are just way off point. On the other hand, consider that yellow, a secondary color, reduces the visibility and efficacy of blue and "half blue" colors, as well as white (one-third of which is blue in digital displays).
Essentially, while we can't prove anything, we're assuming that the SB-4670HD is so excessively blue in order to counter-balance the effect of lots of white/yellow light from an outdoor environment. We still had to give the TV a poor score in color production, but it makes sense on paper.
Grayscale & RGB Balance
As you might expect based on its white point in the color gamut section, the TV's white, gray, and dark gray/black elements are also excessively blue. Our grayscale test measures the accuracy of a TV's grayscale (neutral) elements, which should adhere to a specific coordinate called D65. The SB-4670HD does not, giving it absolutely horrible performance by indoor standards—but again, this isn't an indoor television.
We express grayscale error in a collective called DeltaE, where a DeltaE of 3 or less is optimal. The SB-4670HD tested with a grayscale DeltaE of 22.22, which is very, very high—but again, we assume the excessive blue coloration in the grayscale elements is intentional.
By analyzing the underlying RGB balance (where the red, green, and blue filters are used to create grayscale tones), we can see that blue is excessively emphasized by comparison to red and green.
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