We've had this TV replace a low-end Sharp LCD TV and I have to say the two are pretty much incomparable; the Sony having really vivid and rich images over the washed 'backlit' images of our previous TV. It's not absolutely perfect though it's pretty close.
Firstly, blacks are really, really inky and saturated provided they're adjusted in consideration of lighting. I've been really impressed by how good blacks are on this panel and they're best I've seen on any of the TVs or monitors in our house by a long-shot. In the extremes you can see some very minor blueish 'clouding' with the backlight on max with dark pictures in dark conditions. Further, blacks do get less saturated off-axis. Both these things aren't anything you'll be able to avoid on any other LED-LCD really, the latter being a side effect of the IPS panel used.
With this said, the deep blacks make for some really nice contrast - pictures can be really colourful - and in general the picture on this TV is very pleasing to watch.
Secondly, motion clarity is good, but not great. The sweet-spot is the 'clear plus' setting; fake 200Hz achieved through motion smoothing and backlight blinking. It's not important you know what this is, just that the latter method massively reduces picture brightness. There's other settings which don't reduce brightness but on the contrary smooth less and seem to bring out the 'soap opera effect' more; meaning some sources, mainly films, look a bit 'sped-up'.
Whilst the TV's motion clarity isn't perfect it's a darn site better than our older Sharp LCD TV.
Outside picture quality, this TV remains pretty strong. The features on this TV are brilliant, the most used being the BBC iPlayer and YouTube apps. They're not perfect and do experience the occasional hiccup but otherwise we've been pretty impressed.
One thing I will say is that Sony should have perhaps put a stronger processor in this TV; menus do exhibit some minor jitter with their fancy side-to-side transitions. Considering it hasn't already been fixed by a software update probably means it can't be improved upon.
Audio quality is good when you consider how thin this TV is - the chassis is one third of the thickness of our previous TV at 4cm, it looks really sleek and modern - though does however flimsily wobble a bit if you knock into it. If you're not happy with the audio quality then I'd suggest a Sony 2.1 or 5.1 kit because of the Bravia Sync feature; ours switches on with the TV give or take 5 or so seconds.
All in all we're pretty happy with this TV. What I will say is that I haven't review the 3D feature simply because of the cost of 3D glasses which is close to £50. Manufacturers seem to be making a big deal over 3D technology whilst killing it off at the same time in this regard. Further, with all the crosstalk and issues I've heard about, I'd rather avoid it anyway ;).
I havent put anything on here in a while, as Tony Stark says "Its good to be back"
As always in my reviews I try not to get too technical, I want everyone to benefit !
Right Down to business, Some background
All my home entertainment equipment is generally Sony that includes, DVD players, Hifi, Speakers, Home theatres, Televisions ETC..
with Sony I find their Products to be of a High Quality, Good looking and jammed packed with more features than you could shake a stick at. (even if the customer service is pretty crappy) topical! this is about a Television.....I must remember that and keep calm.........Lousy incompetants!
Back to the Television,
I wanted to replace the 40" HD Sony LCD TV I already had, again great tv, excellent 1920 x 1080 picture
however it was only 60hz, 450Watt PSU (fairly power hungry), 2 x HDMI etc etc.... but as everything is HDMI now I had to buy a HDMI adaptor for the set giving it more ports and this option was fairly expensive and takes up another power socket. Other influences on the decision to upgrade was the fact That I already owned the Sony BDP570 3D Bluray Player and the PS3.
After getting it home and unpacking the TV, the phyisical installation was not a problem due to the TV's weight and dimensions. I Instantly noticed the weight differential when I tried to move the 40" LCD that was being replaced I forgot that thing weighed a ton compared to the same screen size KDL 40EX723. After Initial Switch on, Sony;s setup wizard helps you get the television up and running quickly for the basics i.e watching digital terrestial tv. Its on screen help is extremely detailed, its pratically got its help manual built into the set itself which is great diagrams and all!
Appearence, Dimensions & Power
The bezel is extremely thin with a black brushed effect finish, Its physical dimensions are (w)94.3 x (h)58.6 x (d)4.2(cm) or 94.3 x 61.6 x 25.0(cm) including its stand. The Screen itself is LED, (Basically thats good for us as it means we get a Brighter clearer picture than that of an equivalent LCD TV at the same time using far less energy, In my case this TV uses around 96Watts, it uses a quarter of the power my old set used meaning its saving me on utility bills.) The TV carries the Sony ECCO range badge and gets an "A" rating on the E.U electrical appliance power consumption chart. Other green features include The Presence Sensor which temporarily turns off your TV picture to save energy when there is no movement in the room, the remote control has a sensor in it also so just picking the remote up is enough to bring the set out of power saving. Theres also Light Sensor which adjusts the pictures brightness according to the room's ambient light to save energy and reduce electricity bills.
Specifications and Connections!
Screen type : LCD
Backlight type : Edge LED
Resolution : 1920 x 1080
Screen size (inch) :40
Screen size (cm) : 102
Frames Per Second : 200 Hz
Aspect ratio :16:9
Full 3D : Transmitter buitin
Sony Active Shutter Glasses required (sold seperately)
Sony TDGBR100B 3D Active Shutter glasses (requires 2032 cell batteries)
Sony TDGBR250B 3D Active Shutter glasses (Rechargeable)
****Best place to buy is on amazon!*********
Using 3D, i.e From Playstation, Bluray or Sky Box
a high speed HDMI 1.4 spec cable is required per 3D device
Speaker type : Invisible speaker (with Sound Elevation)
Audio power output : 20W (10W x 2)
Sound mode settings : Dynamic / Standard / Clear Voice
Surround mode settings : Cinema / Sports / Music / Game
S-Force Front Surround + S-Force Front Surround 3D + S Master
Dolby® Digital / Dolby® Digital Plus / Dolby® Pulse
Input / Connections
4 x HDMI
1 x Scart
1 x Component
1 x PC (15 Pin VGA)
1 x Optical Digital out
1 x Standard RCA Video In
1 x Stereo RCA Audio In L/R
1 x Standard 3.5mm Stereo Jack Input
1 x Headphone Out
2 x USB
1 x PCMCIA
1 x COAX (Aerial) Input
1 x RJ45 Ethernet connection
Wifi capable, requires Sony UWABR100 USB dongle
SKYPE requires Optional Sony CMU-BR100 USB Video Camera with Mic
Features / Smart TV!
The TV's main interface has been updated, dropping the tradtional / simplistic PS3 / PSP menu system, enabling the viewer to still watch the television while they change the settings or look for media, Anyone familiar with any recent Sony product will instantly get to grips with the interface, again the help manuals are built in and are all accessible from the home screen as well as shortcut buttons.
The set has a built in web browser for surfing, at the moment with the current firmware the browser is unable to view videos embedded in webpages but thats a minor flaw, overall the web browser isnt too bad its not the fastest web experience but hey your surfing the internet on your tv whilst watching eastenders ! yes the set will do split screen enabling you to use your pc and watch tv at the same time. I hear you ask it must be painful typing in URL addresses without some kind of keyboard present, I agree with you thats true, the remote supplied although well made and functional does not have that facility but this is where your smart tv really comes into play, Sony working with Apple have developed a free application for iPAD and iPHONE users, using WIFI your mobile device becomes the full remote control including keyboard now searching through google is once again fun and simple! Im not sure if there is an app for other handsets but if there isnt im sure its coming. Failing that the set has USB ports, i havent tried this yet but simply plug in a USB Keyboard I dont see any reason why this wouldnt work.
Being a smart tv, you have access to Widgets & APPS like facebook, twitter & skype. You can watch tv and use facebook at the same time, not sure if thats a good thing as a lot of peeps I know are addicted to facebook LOL!
for skype you will need the sony camera (see specs above for details) However I will connect my Microsoft webcam to see if a generic camera can be used. It may be a long shot but if it works will of just saved £93 as
Sonys peripherals are quite expensive.
The TV has a whole host of Internet music and video options, Including services from Love film, Sony and you tube Not forgetting BBC iPlayer. However At present Channel 4 OD and ITV Player isnt available via the TV which is odd because I have them on My PS3 however Im sure they are coming.
The TV has builtin Free view HD, giving you BBC 1 HD, BBC HD, ITV HD and Channel 4 HD. The picture is good even with the poor aerial im using, thats also saved me upgrading my scart only sky digital box, saving me £10 a month on subscription fees!
Talking about USB, this tv really elimates the need for a VCR or Any type of hard drive based recorder
using the USB interface simply take an external USB flash drive (over 32Gb) or hard drive. Connect it to the main usb socket and via the home menu mount the drive for use with the tv, once that has been done your tv will record any digital tv program directly onto that storage. All recordings can be viewed or deleted via the home screen. The TV will support hard drives upto 1Tb. Please note it will reformat the drive so make sure its a spare disk as you cant share the disk with the TV and a PC etc. As always backup your stuff!. At present the TV will only record off the air, I tried to manually record something from the scart input but I wasnt allowed but again a minor issue.
other features include remote streaming of media from a windows PC, connect your media to the USB sockets for direct playback! i.e USB thumb drives, MP3 players and IPODs. However I havent had much success with track names connecting an ipod to the tv via usb as the tv just addresses the ipod as removable storage but im sure Sony will fix that in an upcoming firmware update.
The picture is very sharp, the blacks are pretty much spot on and the motion (200Hz) is fluid and very smooth,
makes fast moving pictures look much better, a problem that has plagued LCD tv;s since day 1.
Yes but what about 3D? its awesome anything to do with fish / wildlife!! amazing. I was lucky to of liberated a Sony 3D Demo bluray. I always play this to friends who havent experienced 3DTV yet it converts them!. I have to admit GRAN TURISMO 5 and WIPEOUT HD on the PS3 are amazing!!. Especially the depth from the cockpit views its very good.
I can go on and on about this TV as it is jammed with features, yes there are 2 main downers to this tv
The 3D glasses are expensive, well made but pricey and retail at £109 a pair and your gonna need atleast 2 pairs but if you shop at amazon you will find them for half of what currys ask for. The second is the built in Speakers, as the tv is thin/small so are the speakers therfore there isnt really any bass you will need a home theatre or the like to get the true A/V experience. Again Sony have made a Standalone speaker bar which can connect directly underneath the TV (making it one piece). That particular speaker bar is the Sony SA-40-SE this will probably cost around £250. Ideal if you dont have space for speakers or a home theatre kit.
Im gonna stop there!
Bottom line, Smart TV the revolution is here :)