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156 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb picture quality in a very well equiped classy looking TV
This telly must be good - my other half loves it! Usually new 'gadgets' need some kind of justification and there are always other more important things that need doing before installing and setting up (or playing / fiddling with) new gadgets is acceptable.

Not with this TV though!

Immediately out of the box it looks great. A slightly patterned black...
Published on 24 May 2012 by The Fat Monk

versus
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good and bad
Pros: well built, great stand, superb picture, the most readable epg programme guide

Cons: Have to be connected to the internet to read the online only manual , no way to remove all those unwanted channels that you would never watch, no direct favourite channel button, difficult to input url addresses for youtube etc as they have to be done on screen by...
Published on 20 Aug 2012 by jazman


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156 of 162 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb picture quality in a very well equiped classy looking TV, 24 May 2012
By 
The Fat Monk (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony KDL40EX653BU 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p SMART WiFi LED TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This telly must be good - my other half loves it! Usually new 'gadgets' need some kind of justification and there are always other more important things that need doing before installing and setting up (or playing / fiddling with) new gadgets is acceptable.

Not with this TV though!

Immediately out of the box it looks great. A slightly patterned black bezel - the better to avoid finger prints - with a dark metal edge that's just out of sight around the edge. It looks very classy and understated and most of that frontage is screen as well.

Assembly was simple, just unpack the bits, drop the telly vertically into the stand with the guide bolts aligning everything automatically then attach the three screws and job done. Out of the box the screen has a 6 degree backwards tilt, but there are two other screws on the back of the stand that allow this tilt to be adjusted or removed altogether (with storage holes for the screws as well if they are completely removed). The screen actually looks as though it tilts very slightly forwards when the tilt adjust screws are fully removed so you may want to play with this a little.

The screen also swivels by about 15 degrees on the stand which is handy, and it still feels solid despite very little pressure being needed to turn the screen.

INITIAL SET UP

When first powering up the TV goes through a setup sequence asking you to answer a bunch of easy questions. An extra mark to Sony here for recognising that in he UK most people will no longer want to scan for analogue channels as they've been switched off.

You are also given the opportunity during this setup sequence to connect to your network via a wired connection or the built in WiFi. It took a couple of attempts to connect to my Wifi but when it did all was good (as entering a WiFi password via a TV remote is not the easiest way to type, the chances are I entered the password incorrectly first time).

If you can, you really should get this TV connected to your network as the 'Smart' features included here a really very good... but more of that later.

Your TV will probably advise you that there is a system update available shortly after it gets a network connection. I' recommend doing this for a couple of reasons. First of all it's useful to have current software as it should include bug fixes and new features, but in the case of this new TV the upgrade applied to mine 10 minutes after first powering up seemed to speed up the responsiveness of the interface as well.

PICTURE QUALITY

The image quality of this TV is superb. There's no other word for it. I don't believe I have seen a sharper, less noisy picture on a consumer screen.

Out of the box it does suffer from showroom / granny defaults - ie the colour is turned up way too high. Thankfully just a couple of tweaks are needed to get more muted, far more realistic colour reproduction.

Those initial couple of tweaks are just the start, though, as this set has a great selection of tweaks including the standard colour, contrast, gamma etc but also the ability to engage various levels of image processing as well. Usually I would leave all of these off all of the time, but Sony have the balance right here with the adjustments being subtle enough to be genuinely useful.

The only setting I didn't get along with was the one that's supposed to improve fast motion clarity - that just seemed to darken the whole picture without improving anything.

Whether you notice any smearing of high motion images is probably a very personal thing. I am very critical of TV pictures as I used to assess them for a living, so the fact that I do notice very slight smearing sometimes on this set can't really be put down as a negative. More likely it's just me or the content - some content actually looks fine fast moving, supporting the latter theory.

Another brownie point for Sony comes from the fact that when tweaking these settings you have the option to apply them just to the current selected input or all common inputs. A nice touch that lets you configure the TV according to what you have connected where if you so wish.

The set will even switch picture profiles based on the type of programme you are watching (movie, sport etc), adjusting the colour, gamma, brightness etc to suit. It gets the programme type from the programme guide info! Clever idea. Of course you can disable this feature if you prefer to be in total control, but so far it looks to work pretty well.

SOUND

This is a fairly thin and light TV so there is no space for the big heavy set of speakers that would be required to move enough air to produce sound to match the picture quality. Sure enough out of the box the sound is a little disappointing. Again the available tweaks allow you to improve the sound massively.

It's never going to be as rounded as an old big box telly with a big set of speakers built in, but after a bit of playing I'm more than happy enough.

If you want better sound, though, you can always hook up to an external amp - you're well catered for here with one HDMI supporting Audio Return Channel (ARC) and also a separate optical S/PDIF output. These will feed whatever you are watching on the TV to your surround sound amp and will disable the internal speakers when doing so - and it all works pretty well.

HD

There are a lot of high spec, 1080p 'full HD' TVs still out there that only have a standard DVB-T tuner which means that without an external HD source you are not going to be able to take advantage of that great screen - you'll spend your time watching upscaled SD.

With this set, however, HD is built right in (proper DVB-T2 as broadcast in the UK, not the halfway se found in some cheaper kit that gets sold as HD compatible). Granted, FreeviewHD only carries a couple of HD channels right now (FreeSat HD carries a good few more but you'd need an external box and a dish for that as it's not built in here), but more are likely to come onto the platform once digital switchover is complete.

BBC One HD and BBC HD look pretty good - a definite quality hike over the SD BBC channels, but not quite as sharp as the same on FreeSat - again if that's a concern you could look to an external receiver for FreeSat as this TV has 4 HDMI connections awaiting your external sources.

CONNECTIVITY

I've mentioned most of the important connections, but to summarise you get:

4 x HDMI (one with ARC)
1 x SCART (composite and component)
1 x optical S/PDIF (TosLink)
2 x USB (one for external HDD, see later)
1 x RJ45 for wired network connection
1 x VGA
1 x headphone out 3.5mm jack
2 x analogue audio in 3.5mm jack
1 x PCMCIA

The inputs can be renamed to friendly names such as 'BluRay' and 'Satellite' (or 'Bob' and 'Sue' if you wish) to make finding the right source nice and easy as well.

SMARTS and NETWORKING

This is a lot more than just a FreeViewHD TV though as the built in WiFi and wired Internet connectivity give you access to a whole bunch of online content - a lot of it free (BBC iPlayer, Demand 5. YouTube, DailyMotion, Crackle etc) and some paid-for (LoveFilm and NetFlix are both built in as well as Sony's own paid for offerings).

You also have a web-browser built in. This isn't as capable as a fully fledged browser on a PC or whatever, but it's good enough for a quick lookup on text and image based pages.

A feature that I really like is the integration of GraceNote - it even has its own button on the remote. Hit that 'Track id' button and the telly will work out what the music is that's playing! It doesn't work every time - in non-scientific tests I have found Shazam to be more successful, but this is still a great feature that's been well integrated.

Another great section is the movie trailers portal. The quality of the streamed trailers is superb.

While the programme guide (EPG) is not really a Smart feature, this seems as good a place as any to mention that on the whole the guide is very well implemented - there is room for improvement, but generally the layout is good, it's responsive and clear and a mini picture of the current selected channel is displayed almost always.

There are loads of Smart TV features packed in here, too many to list in a review. But there is one that is advertised that I should mention as it leads us nicely into a couple of negatives.

Skype... Love it or hate it, it's the VOIP client of default for many home users as they simply don't know about the alternatives. It's built in here and I personally think that is a great feature to have. Family video conferencing from the sofa could be a great thing.

Could be... But not for an extra 60 to 120 quid!

This TV does not have a built in webcam and mic (which again I consider a good thing as it can be disconnected when not in use this way - privacy paranoia and all that, if I'm watching Sunday morning TV in my dressing gown that's for me and the peeping Tom down the road to worry about, not someone who inadvertently video Skype's me!

But I digress... You actually NEED a webcam connected to access Skype on this TV, so if you don't have one you cannot even use the Skype text chat functionality.

So Skype may be installed in the suite of apps on board, but it ain't useable... Unless you buy a webcam, and here's the rub... It HAS to be Sony's own CMU-BR100 webcam which currently retails anywhere between 60 quid and 120 quid!!!

Now I understand the reasons about driver support etc and sticking to particular webcam models / chipsets, but this is a blatant rip-off.

[Update - August 2012 : With Logitech just announcing an HDMI all-in-one Skype webcam solution for any TV with an HDMI input for around 200USD (UK price and availability tba), and the TelyHD Webcam for all TV models. already available, the cost of this Sony specific webcam looks even more ridculous. (Though a dedicated, always-on Skype camera could worry some in privacy terms) ]

RECORDING

There is no built in storage but by attaching an external USB hard drive you can record programmes directly with this TV. As it only has a single tuner you cannot change channel while recording - you either watch what you're recording, switch to another input or switch off.

Currently you cannot pause live TV like you can on most PVRs, but that may come in a future software version with a bit of luck.

[Update: It seems you can actually pause live TV, but Sony have chosen to make this a bit odd to use. Whereas with most PVRs you simply use the usual pause, play, forward and rewind buttons, on this set there is a separate button on the remote to active this button 'Pause TV'. I suppose with a label like that it is obvious, but not as obvious as using the other pause button that sits alongside the other 'transport control' type buttons. This also means you cannot rewind a programme you are watching like most PVRs allow (by starting to record a rolling 30 minutes as soon as you change channel) - on this TV you have to activate TV Pause first every time. A bit of an odd way to do things, and I'm still experimenting to work out exactly what they've implemented and how.]

You must register the HDD with the TV as well. This formats the disk and removes any partition type info that a PC would use. The upshot of his is that you can't unplug the disk and watch your recordings on a PC (or another Bravia TV, presumably). This registering process wipes everything off the disk.

As the raw digital stream is recorded the quality on playback is identical to watching live.

For reference, a 1 hour BBC One HD programme currently takes up just under 2.5GB of disk space.

Having recording ability is nice, but I have one final gripe - though again it's fixable in software so fingers crossed.

That gripe is how you set up a recording. The most common, and in my opinion most intuitive, way of setting a programme to record is to find it in the guide and press record - not so here. If you do that you start recording the channel that you are currently tuned to (as displayed in that top left mini screen). To set a recording you press 'enter' on the item you want to record, then select the on screen record button (or record series button if appropriate). This is at best convoluted - the remote control record button only works for starting a recording of what is currently being watched.

A FEW OTHER AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT

Apart from the awkward programme recording, there are a couple of other software oddities.

If you have an HDD connected for recording, then the power on to ready to use time increases. That is, operation of the TV is sluggish at best until after the message has been displayed on screen that a registered HDD has been detected. OK, don't allow the HDD to be used until it's ready, but that shouldn't be allowed to affect normal function of the TV.

Switching between TV and radio and back does not return you to your previous TV channel, instead it lands you on a 'bumper' channel between safe TV and the adult channels that carries a warning that you are about to enter the rudie zone.

[Update July 2012 - it looks like the above adult channel 'bug' has been resolved in the latest software version for which you should automatically get an on-screen upgrade prompt. The TV/Radio button now cycles between TV, Radio and Text type services correctly.]

Pressing the info button to call up channel info shows info about the current programme, pressing again shows info about the next programme. It seems you have to go through both as there is no way to exit from the current programme info. A more usual approach to 'now next' and info is to call up and expand the now/next/info box with the info button and to use the direction keys right and left to switch between now and next with up and down showing info for other channels in order. Finally the exit, back or return button closes this box. Again Sony seem to have gone a bit non-standard an unintuitive here, but worse than that there is no way to do a now/next browse of other channels (the info is available to the software as it's in the full guide. I know that comes from less reliable/non-real-time DVB tables than true now/next info, but for channels other than the currently selected it would be nice).

When you switch to a channel / programme on an SD channel that is also available in HD a box pops up on screen offering you the chance to switch to the HD version - nice. This box doesn't timeout, however, and remains on screen until you accept or cancel - not so nice!

SUMMARY

I was tempted to only give this TV four stars because of the little annoyances described above, but that feels really unfair when the picture quality, build quality, style, feature set and core usability really are superb.

At the price this is pretty much mid range for a forty incher these days, but it's got top end picture quality. With good source material it is incredibly sharp even at close quarters and a good set of tweakable parameters means you can get the picture looking how you want.

You could get cheaper, and you could even get 3D capability for less cash from Sony themselves, but what would you be sacrificing? I certainly wouldn't want to sacrifice anything I'm getting here.

I was sad to drive away from my trusty old Tosh CRT which has served me perfect pictures for a decade and a half, but although I don't expect this set to last anywhere near as long I'm pretty happy with Tosh's replacement. Tosh now lives with a bunch of other big box tellies down the local tip - he'll be happy there among friends, I hope.

Thoroughly recommended.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally brilliant and a very fast start-up!, 21 May 2012
By 
Andy_atGC (London UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Sony KDL40EX653BU 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p SMART WiFi LED TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As a 40-inch TV, this is not considered unduly large by modern standards and sits comfortably between 37-inch and 42-inch models. It is however quite imposing although it sits on a rather short, heavy-duty all-metal stand that looks as if would support something larger or heavier than is this. It is not as thin as a LED screen but it is LED edge-illuminated which provides some of the same characteristics. The edge bezel is about 1-inch in width at the top and sides and slightly more at the bottom. On its stand, the bottom of the TV is only about 2-inches above the table-top. If you wish, it can be wall-mounted and you will need to obtain the correct fittings. It claims to be about 11.6 kilos in weight and it can be lifted by one person.

The power cable is fixed and provided with a UK plug. If you intend to use the TV abroad, you will need to remove the plug and replace it. An IEC connector and replaceable leads may have been a better choice, but it will not concern the vast majority of buyers.

Some minor assembly is required, mostly of the stand, a process that took about 2 minutes. The stand allows a few degrees of swivel from side to side and the rotation is very free, needing finger pressure only. It is supposed to allow a small amount of tilt but I could not get it to do that and its current position is leaning slightly backwards. Once positioned and the essential cables connected, you will be prompted to allow an initial self-configuration process before setting some personal preferences and commencing to tune for Freeview and Freeview HD. You will be asked whether to tune analogue and digital or digital alone which, as the analogue signals have now been switched off in the UK, would be faster if Digital was the choice made. That process was quite fast and needed around 80-90 seconds in total. You can later alter some of the selected settings from the Options menu, should you choose.

When using the power switch rather than standby, the TV is fully functional within a few seconds unlike our previous flat screen TV that needed a full minute or more. You may find that it is set to Eco-mode by default and to power down after four hours. It annoyed for a day or two until I found the relevant entry within its menus to null it. The menu system is extensive and about half of its settings should be fairly obvious to most. Some are obscure and unlikely to be essential. All the menu items are accessed via the HOME button on the remote and the various categories initially display in a continuously scrolling stream across the bottom of the screen. Once one category is selected, it will display a vertical menu of sub-options and then various further settings within them.

A basic on-screen manual is also available that provides a short and simple guide to the use of the controls. It does not actually explain anything but it is a useful addition to the printed version.

The on-screen image is bright and contrasty and with the typical Sony edge in colour (as a Vaio user, it is something a little different than most others). There is no perceptible edge bleed from the back-lighting, a definite plus to the design and implementation. The sound quality from its internal speakers is good but not outstanding and does not provide a sub-woofer as some claim to offer, but the thickness of the set is such that there is simply not the space. There may be more than two single speaker units within, but they will be long and thin and downward projecting. If you want to improve the audio quality, a sound bar would be the simplest and tidiest method but you may choose to opt for a 5.1 or greater speaker system.

It is fully provided with connections although the now near-redundant SCART is included although only with a single socket which should suffice for those still using VHS players or those devices not yet provided with HDMI. There are four HDMI sockets, curiously 1 and 4 are on the back panel and 2 & 3 on the side, which did throw me until I realised that the 'live' connections are flagged on the selection page. USB is provided and one of its functions is to allow recordings to an external hard drive, a bonus for those who do not yet possess a PVR of any sort. Component sockets are also provided.

In addition, there are the usual connections for a home cinema system. In all, there are three groupings of connectors; two on the rear and one on the left side as viewed normally. The main panel has its sockets almost invisible and require insertion from below. As you cannot actually see what you are doing, it is a little hit or miss until you are familiar.

The TV fully supports Ethernet both wired and wireless and does not need Sony's notorious WiFi adapter. If your router fully supports WPS, connection is perhaps a little simpler and faster but it can be performed manually. It quickly found the available networks and allowed selection of the correct one. It supports the various levels of WPA and WEP encoding and the network key is input using the remote selecting one character at a time with the various arrow keys followed by the central OK key. The process took about two minutes, which is not excessive but it worked first time. I did not try the wired solution as it was superfluous. A couple of days after installation, it announced an update to its software that downloaded surprisingly quickly within about 20 seconds, and possibly much less. The TV switched itself off and then on again but did reset many, if not all, of the previously selected user settings. This was a minor inconvenience but it is not likely to be that frequent an event.

The TV is a little more configurable than is normal. For example other TVs offer a Vivid setting, one for games, Cinema, Normal (or Standard) and a User setting; this offers about twice that number including one that allows TV to be standard but movies to be shown using the Cinema setting. If you watch a number of movies on DVD, Blu-ray or from a hard drive or memory stick, this can improve your viewing experience.

It is not a cheap TV and some variants will allow 3D, which this will not, but there are no plans announced for significant 3D broadcasting in the near future and it may not therefore be a major factor for some who may be considering this or something similar. It is undoubtedly the best TV of its type I have seen in the past two years. If you have a large 3D Blu-ray collection, then this is not the model for you but there are companion models that do support it.

As you may expect, there is a small control panel down the right-hand edge, about one third of the way up from the bottom that includes a power switch, volume and channel changers. Some offer more by way of tint and colour controls, but those included are all that most will need.

Overall, Sony have done an excellent job with the model and it has a feature-rich specification that should suit many potential buyers.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot Believe That Someone Gave 1 Star For This Superb TV, 17 Aug 2012
This review is from: Sony KDL40EX653BU 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p SMART WiFi LED TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)
I believe that the person marking this TV 1 star must have a hidden agenda against Sony, there's no way on earth that this model deserves such a low rating.

We've had this TV for about 2 months, changing from a 14-year old Toshiba CRT that was still going strong.
To us the picture and clarity are fantastic, even on the default settings. Initially I did spend some time fiddling with the many adjustments but always returned to the defaults.
The only change away from the defaults was to select 'Dynamic' in the sound settings. A number of other reviewers have made comment on the quality of the sound output, well I agree that it's not fantastic but it is more than adequate. Certainly good enough for us to get rid of the separate surround sound system that we had with the old telly; my hearing is poor (I wear hearing aids) but I can hear speech on this new Sony far clearer than on the old set up (and at normal volume levels, so I suppose the neighbours will be pleased).
I'm not entirely sure how useful the internet facility is yet; we've used i-Player occasionally but nothing else so far - I have another source for movies so don't need Lovefilm and Netflix at the moment.

On the downside I didn't buy the Sony from Amazon, I waited for weeks for them to drop the price but nothing happened so bought from a local dealer at full price. Got a 5-year guarantee but I don't expect we'll need that knowing Sony's build quality.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice TV, a bit let down by its sound, 22 May 2012
By 
D. Harris (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sony KDL40EX653BU 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p SMART WiFi LED TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Overall, I was impressed by this TV, but for one thing. It has an excellent picture, probably the best I've seen, crisp and clear, with no lurid greens, and a range of extra services (more detail below). Not least was the ease of unpacking, handling and setup. However, I was rather disappointed (hence 4 stars rather than 5) by the sound, which is a little flat and tinny - although I'm not using external speakers, so this may be a bit unfair.

Starting at the beginning, I was impressed by how easy the TV was to get out the box - easy for one person to lift out of the box, unlike the TV (still LCD) this replaced, which took two of us just to lift off the stand.

Assembling the TV and the base requires five screws (you'll need a medium sized crosshead screwdriver)- two join the parts of the base together, while the other three fasten the TV to the base. There are more than three slots on the back of the TV, and which slots you use determines the angle of screen tilt - ours started tilted back a few degrees, then we went back and changed them to get it vertical once we realised this. You may just want to play around a bit and get this as you want it first time - the instructions are slightly unhelpful. This can all easily be done by one person.

Once assembled and put in place, this was a dream to set up. After it's powered on, you're taken through the normal choice of languages, asked where and how the TV is being used, and how (if at all) you want it to access the Internet (Wi-Fi, Ethernet or cable). We're using it on Wi-Fi, and it found our router (BT Home hub) and connected very easily, although typing in the router password with the remote control was fiddly. (There is an option to use WPS (Wi-Fi protected setup - where the device generates a PIN to join the network - as an alternative, if your router uses that, which would be easier).

And then you're done. As I said above, it has striking, excellent picture quality, with a real richness of colour, and switching between HD and normal channels the difference is visible (something I'm not sure is always the case). There are a number of additional services available over the Internet connection - iPlayer and other catch-up options, film rental, and Sony's own entertainment network (which you'll need an account and log in for, even to watch "free" material like trailers and previews). All of these work well and are straightforward to navigate although obviously how useful they are will depend on how good your Internet connection is.

So, having said lots of nice things, the sound... I don't know whether that is a problem with the system itself, or just the internal speakers. Given the good quality elsewhere, I'd be surprised if it was the former, and I wonder if it's perhaps a paradox of it being such a slim, unobtrusive package, that it's just not possible to include good speakers? I've never been bothered too much before about sound quality and certainly have never needed to use external speakers, but perhaps that's just the way of things now and Sony assume that's what most people will do?

One final thought. I'm not sure what's going to happen to TV deliverers/ installers, when sets get this light and easy to move around. I suppose that larger and larger sets (40 inches being relatively small now) will still need several pairs of hands!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Nice 32" TV, 1 Dec 2012
By 
Steve Davis (W. Sussex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Summary
Its a great TV!

Pros:-
Good picture on HD FreeView channels.
The web stuff (like BBC iPlayer) works well over wifi.
Good, clear, program guide.
TV Pause and general Recording works great with a 2TB USB hard drive attached (not supplied).

Cons:-
The glossy screen reflects light and shows more imperfections on standard definition than the matte screen on my old Sony KDL-32V4000. But as a previous reviewer noted, almost all TVs now have glossy screens.
The TV is sometimes a bit slow to respond when you push buttons on the remote. I guess this is down to the processor and operating system.
I wouldn't describe the sound as "rich" but it is very clear. Connect through your Hi-Fi if you want good sound.

Myths:-
"You can't delete unwanted channels"...Oh yes you can!
"The TV must be connected to the internet to read manual"...you can download the manual to your computer from here:[...]...but most of the info is in the paper manual supplied anyway.

23 Jan 2013
Update:-
As its now a couple of months since we bought this TV, I'm in a better position to comment.

The first thing is "lip-sync". Smart TVs seem to struggle with synchonising the picture with the sound. I believe some allow you to adjust this, so you can offset any constant errors. But on this Sony, Lip-sync seems to drift in and out from time to time, so the sound is ahead of the picture. Operations like switching channels, then switching back seems to re-sync it. But mostly it fixes its self.

Slow Start. Whats the first thing you want to do after switching on your TV? Well in our house, we want to switch channels. But because the processor is busy sorting its self out, checking the attached hard drive & doing other stuff...you can't. You have to wait. When its good and ready it will start dealing with your remote requests.

Program Guide. The Guide does not seem to fully update in the background. For example, if we have been watching a BBC channel since turning on the TV, when we go to the guide, many of the other channels do not have information. You seem to have to select one of the channels from another multiplex to populate the other associated channels in the guide.

iPlayer & Others. You can use the BBC iPlayer, but there is no support for others such as ITV Player & 4OD. Some say this is because Sony have not struck a deal with the commercial TV channels. I think this is due to lack of support for Adobe Flash. Either way, you probably need to consider a Samsung if this is important to you.

Internet sound. For some reason internet sound is at a much higher level than TV sound. Now, you may say, just turn down the volume a bit. But sound from the iPlayer has a slightly clipped/overloaded distortion to it. Its tolerable through the TV speakers, but I can't stand it through the hi-fi. If anyone has found an internal adjustment for this, please let me know.

HDD Socket position. This sounds trivial, but they have positioned the USB socket for the hard disk too close to the edge of the TV. So we have a really nice looking TV, with an ugly black cable sticking out the side a few inches from the top of the screen. It would have been so easy to angle the USB socket backwards, so these cables are not seen.

Internet browsing. I haven't done enough of this, but its rather awkward. Using a Smart phone as a remote helps to some degree.

Conclusion.
If you don't need the features of a Smart TV, just get an ordinary one. But for me, being able to hit the "TV Pause" button is far more useful than I ever imagined it would be!
If you need "on-demand" TV from commercial channels, do a lot more research into models and capabilities.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the 21st Century, 28 Jun 2012
This review is from: Sony KDL40EX653BU 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p SMART WiFi LED TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Out of the box the Sony KDL40EX653BU is an easy to install and set up Smart TV. It has all the features for Freeview HD viewing and the picture quality is FANTASTIC. Watching freeview HD was a genuine surprise - in the past I have not been that impressed with the HD tag for live TV - but this Sony makes up for that.

Of particular use and intest to me was the built in iPlayer. I am using it using powerline netwrok extenders and am amazed at the HD iplayer streaming. Normal quality is fine too - but iPlayer HD is the future.

An impressive and very usable TV with a sensible sized, easy to use remote.

This is a TV for the 21st Century
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good and bad, 20 Aug 2012
Pros: well built, great stand, superb picture, the most readable epg programme guide

Cons: Have to be connected to the internet to read the online only manual , no way to remove all those unwanted channels that you would never watch, no direct favourite channel button, difficult to input url addresses for youtube etc as they have to be done on screen by selecting letters/numbers etc rather than solely with the remote

Tech stuff: From a usb stick or a hardrive this will not play avi files (the most popular format for movies) it will only play mpeg, mp4 and wmv !
If you need this get a Toshiba instead
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony KDL32EX653BU 32-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p SMART WiFi LED TV with Free, 2 Sep 2012
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As the most of the reviews state this is a fantastic Smart HDTV and even better when you consider the price (450). It has excellent build quality, picture, connectivity and features with an easy to use but extensive menus. I also appreciated the in-built WIFI which gives me full reception with my router in another room approximately 10 meters away and the energy usage rating is also great making this a very efficient, economic and Eco-friendly TV to use.

A couple of points I will mention to add a little more info than the other reviews is firstly the SMART functionality. This was a primary reason for my purchase as Sony seemed offer the most comprehensive and stable SMART features straight out of the box (including On Demand 5 which Samsung/LG don't currently offer). It is as good as promised and streaming is seamless for me with no buffering during playback, even when using HD rather than SD streaming via BBC IPlayer / Lovefilm etc. One key point when installing the TV for the first time is that I would recommend using your PC to link your TV with the various streaming services (i.e. your Lovefilm account or Sony music services) as using the TV remote to input text information such as usernames, pin numbers and passwords for this process can be somewhat painful because of the amount of information required. However for standard browsing and text inputting the remote is as quick as texting with your smart phone.

Secondly I want to mention the sound quality which is something that has been slated in other reviews. I think the negative comments expressed in some of the other reviews are both unrealistic and unfounded. I think the sound quality on this TV is excellent when the size of the TV is considered. It is such a thin model that more powerful/larger speakers would be near impossible to introduce without comprising either the overall size of the TV or the great price. I found the volume to be very loud at full blast (more than sufficient for any standard room) and the sound options are extensive including a great 3D surround sound options that work great for films. If sound is your 'thing' and you are extremely anal about sound quality then you should use an additional sound system with the TV rather than expecting to have your cake and eat it too!

This is an truly excellent modern television and at this price I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent television, 11 Jun 2012
By 
This review is from: Sony KDL40EX653BU 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p SMART WiFi LED TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)
I purchased this set as a replacement for a Panasonic TX-32LXD70 which had gone bang after 4 years, although admittedly I did buy mine from elsewhere to take advantage of a free 5 year warranty.

First impressions are good, although the bezel is still glossy (and I HATE gloss finishes on electronics equipment - it seems to turn them into huge dust magnets), it's also subtly patterned with a dimpled finish, which tones down the gloss and seems to reduce the visibility of fingerprints and dust. The bezel is also slim compared to my old set, which combined with the low profile stand means it actually sits lower than my old 32", despite the screen being 8" larger.

It's also significantly slimmer, an inch or two at most. Perhaps not as skinny as the most expensive sets today, but the lack of depth will come as a pleasant surprise to anyone with an LCD/Plasma a few years old.

The stand is good and very easy to assemble, with the TV slotting easily into position and being secured by three (supplied) bolts. One tip which I picked up from someone else's review is that by default the stand is set to angle the TV upwards at 6 degrees (weird!). To set it completely level you just need to remove two screws from the rear of the stand and reposition them into a lower set of holes, very simple but the instructions supplied are slightly ambiguous. The stand allows a decent amount of left/right swivel and feels very sturdy, with the feet projecting out in front of the screen preventing accidental tipping over (the base of the stand has small rubber sections to avoid scratching your furniture).

Connectivity is great. Coming from a set with a miserly two HDMI ports it's nice to have a whopping four on this set, which means I can dispense with a component cable and go completely HDMI, lovely. It also has component, a single SCART (yuck, good riddance to SCART leads!) and an RJ45 ethernet socket, amongst others. I'm lucky enough to have ethernet presented just behind where the TV sits, but the TV also have inbuilt WIFI as well. Ports are split into two locations - some at the rear and others at the side, thankfully the side ports are recessed sufficiently to avoid cables showing at the edge of the screen when used.

Initial setup is painless and allowing you to choose to turn only digital stations is nice following the analogue switch off.

The picture is really good. By default the colours are set quite high but my tweaks were limited to a slight boost to brightness and a reduction in colour/hue.

Not having had a smart TV before the connectivity options have been an eyeopener. There's Youtube, a webbrowser, Lovefilm, Netflix, Sony Entertainment and loads more. It will even find DLNA devices on your network for the playback of video and music (it's not a real replacement for a HTPC though, as the formats it will play are limited). It also has a USB port which allows the connection of USB storage to deliver basic PVR functionality (TV pause & recording) although I've not tried this out myself.

Negative points? The screen is glossy, although this does seem to be the same with 99% of modern LCD sets and seems bizarre to me. If my old LCD set from 2008 can have a nice matte, non-reflective screen, why does it seem that all manufacturers have decided to use glossy reflective panels these days, which can cause annoying reflections during dark scenes? Also the remote, while fairly well laid out, feels cheap with sharp edges around the battery compartment. Oh and I'd have preferred the stand to be brushed steel rather than chrome finish, but that's a minor point.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the set and I'd make the same buying choice again. Scores a 4.5 from me.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REVIEW FROM A GAMERS VIEW, 26 May 2012
This review is from: Sony KDL40EX653BU 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p SMART WiFi LED TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)
Hi i thought i would write a review on a gamers prospective well for starters you will have no problems with input lag but make sure you buy a decent high speed hdmi for this i recommend HDMI KING for 3.99 its the best cable ive owned its as good as my 70 pound cable it can be bought on amazon bk to the input lag issue people you get two types of game mode one STANDARD and one NORMAL mode i reccomend standard mode much crisper picture no frame drops or nothing.
Also you can use your remote for the telly with your ps3 also good feature and dont worry about the sound its ok when you fiddle with it but overall this is a great tv for gaming so no need to worry hope this helps.
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