Because of the majority of reviews mentioning about this problem, I decided to plump for the 37W5500 instead. This model uses a screen not made by Sony themselves (No idea who!) and as a result does not have any backlight problems. I would highly recommend this set as an alternative purchase, although the price of the 40W5500 has come down since I bought mine, and as a result, most people are opting to buy it, as it looks better value. You could always take a chance, and return it if it's not to your liking.
I read many reviews before purchasing the 40W5710 which is the John Lewis version of the 40W5500. Yes , I was very concerned about the clouding and backlight problems, so I looked for them first. There weren't any...the black is black is black! I set it up receiving the picture through my old Virgin cable box linked by a scart cable. The picture was much inferior to the Sony CRT this television replaced. My heart sunk...I thought...should have bought the Panasonic plasma, stupid. I hooked up the internal Freeview using a tiny indoor antenna. I could now see the makings of a fabulous picture, but if I want to watch Freeview as a fiddle free source, I will have to get my roof antenna rewired. I did not have a Blue Ray disc, so I played an ordinary DVD through my HDMI linked Sony Blue Ray player (Ocean's 11) and...wow...best picture i have ever seen on any television. Finally I payed two real Blue Rays (Ironman, Batman)...fantastic, brilliant, like nothing I have ever seen, amazing. So...the original problem was Virgin's SD signal through the scart. Virgin tells me that their V+ box (now £49) will not only deliver a bunch of HD stations, but will improve their ordinary SD signal. Or for free, I can use Freeview with a good antenna source, but then i will miss the HD channels. Either way I know that this television is brilliant. Give it a proper signal and it will do the business, but give it a crappy signal...
I have had my 40W5500 for about a week. Although I wouldn't say I have backlight problems, the tv does have small areas of light showing at the top two corners - it kind of looks like two torches shining down from the corners. While this cannot be seen at all on bright & colourful images, is very noticeable when the screen goes really dark (for example, when the screen goes black for the credits).
Do all 40W5500's still have this problem, or is mine faulty??????
Like others I was a bit worried about this having read various reviews, but I took the risk and I'm so glad I did. I have only had this set for a few hours but have no backlight problems at all. The manufacture date on the box label showed October 2010 so maybe this has been resolved on more recent models? With default settings using Sky HD input, with the set on Eco mode which sets the backlight to 5, I have absolutely nothing showing round the edges of my set. Blacks are black right up to the edge. Maybe it is the source quality that makes the difference, but I have absolutely no complaints.
Having bought this TV on Dec 1st, with an Oct 09 manufacture date, and being able to make out the 'torchbeams' in the top corners once room light levels dip and images with dark edges are seen, it seems backlight problems are not resolved yet. Annoying but I can't really decide if it warrants returning the TV. Are they all similar and is it down to customer perception or are there some duff and some good ones? They're rather large and it's a bit of messing about waiting for delivery (and collection?!), setting up and then sending back again. But £700 is a substantial amount of your money too.
I have had my KDL-40W5500 for around 2 months and have had this backlight bleed problem, this is more prevelent on dark scenes and as far as I am concerned is not acceptable. Amazon seems to want to help me and if all my other purchases and dealings with amazon are anything to go on I am sure I will get this sorted. Why why why have sony not sorted this problem out....
I don't know if anyone has looked at the reviews on amazon for this product recently, but i read Dr.G.Fullerton's review and in it he says:
'The second very common `problem` is the light at each corner of the screen pointing into the centre of the screen. Some people have said this is present in very dark scenes and is so distracting they have had to send the appliance back. Just change the ambient light setting and the lights magically disappear! I can categorically say that the screen is super impressive even with terrestrial digital and I cannot wait to see its performance on SKY HD.'
So i was wondering if any of the guys with 'lights' in the corners could try reducing the ambient light setting and see if the light disappears, if so it will not be a fault with the screen but simply that the default ambient light is set too high. Would be interested to know, as im thinking about purchasing the screen.
I was in touch with Sony support over this problem and have carried out firmware updates, adjusted ambient light settings all to no avail, no further help was offered!. This TV is flawed and is not fixable, thus have returned to Amazon. I have since purchased the Sony KDL-40EX503 and the picture is stunning.