Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX700 LED television

This mid-range Sony LED television has a thin, simple design and the Internet features of more expensive models

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Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX700
  • Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX700
  • Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX700
  • Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX700

Pros

  • Inclusion of BRAVIA Internet Video is a huge plus, modern and thin chassis design, presence sensor works well, excellent power consumption levels

Cons

  • Wireless LAN is an optional extra, some backlight cloudiness at high brightness settings, occasional difficulty in high contrast scenes

Bottom Line

We really like the inclusion of BRAVIA Internet Video in a low-to-mid range model like Sony's BRAVIA KDL-40EX700. It's offers 100Hz motion smoothing and a few nifty usability features, and it is only slightly let down by an inability to get the most out of difficult high-contrast viewing material.

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The Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX700 is a 40in LED television. Despite not being a premium model, it has Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video video-on-demand service, with access to Yahoo!7 television content, YouTube and ABC iView. Because it is an LED TV it has a slim chassis, making it a good option for wall-mounting.

It may not be as drop-dead gorgeous as Sony's BRAVIA KDL-52NX800, but the BRAVIA KDL-40EX700 is still an attractive product. When we saw it in photos we were a little wary of the two-tone silver-on-black bezel, but the dark brushed aluminium finish actually adds a little class and pleasantly offsets the otherwise glossy border. The Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX700 doesn't have the same glossy display panel coating of the NX800, which means it is free of any distracting reflections in bright environments.

Four HDMI ports, distributed between the side and rear, mean multiple digital video devices can be connected simultaneously. We think four is more than enough — if you have more devices you'll likely also have a competent A/V receiver to route connections through. Older devices and PCs can be connected via VGA, composite or component video. There's no S-Video connector, but we're not worried about its exclusion.

Picture quality from the Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX700 LED television is a mixed bag. Clarity is good and colour gradation is smooth, so watcing the vibrant, synthetic colours in Cars' was an enjoyable experience. As a Full HD 1080p panel the BRAVIA KDL-40EX700 can display an abundance of fine image detail. Pores and facial details are evident in viewing high quality video content, although we opted to lower sharpness a few notches to give a slightly smoother image. We noticed a small amount of backlight cloudiness once the screen lighting was boosted in video settings — if you can keep this setting as low as possible, you won't have any problems.

The Sony Bravia KDL-40EX700 uses the original implementation of Sony's MotionFlow frame interpolation system, with a 100Hz rating. Fast on-screen motion is well handled with only a tiny amount of visible flicker, although we would have appreciated the ability to set our own judder and motion compensation increments.

Contrast is where the Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX700 LED television falters. As an edge-lit LED panel it performs similarly to old-school CCFL back-lighting — it is only able to dim or brighten the entire screen instead of altering the brightness of specific screen segments. Due to this the screen struggles when presented with content that is both simultaneously bright white and dark black. Our standard test example of the opening scenes of The Dark Knight evidenced the BRAVIA KDL-40EX700's tendency to aim for the middle-ground, with whites becoming slightly dull and blacks moving towards grey.

The TV has the same excellent implementation of BRAVIA Internet Video as the NX800. The amount of content available is extensive and it's easy to wile away the hours on YouTube. We had to connect the screen via a wired Ethernet network connection — the wireless 802.11n dongle is a $99 optional extra. We would have liked to see wireless networking included in every BRAVIA Internet Video–enabled model in Sony's range.

Sony's presence sensor that debuted in the BRAVIA KDL-46WE5 makes a return appearance here, turning off the panel when there is no motion in the room for a set period. A good ol'-fashioned on/off switch reduces idle power consumption to 0W. These features contribute to the Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX700's six out of six energy star rating. Consuming 107W during operation, it is among the most efficient televisions on the market.

It may not have best-in-class image quality but the Sony BRAVIA KDL-40EX700 is still a distinguished television. For its $2199 price tag, you get most of the features of Sony's premium TV series costing thousands of dollars more.

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Read more on these topics: LED television, home entertainment, sony, led tvs

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