Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An almost perfect product... except for the backlight., 23 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Sony Bravia KDL40W5500U 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD TV with Freeview and 100Hz Motionflow (Electronics)
I did a lot of research before buying this and waited until the price had dropped to something reasonable. I bought it fully aware of the backlight problems which seem to affect some examples and have used it for 3 weeks with Freeview and Bluray (Sony BDV-E300).

Everything is great about this TV with the exception of Guide+ and the backlight. Please see various other reviews for the positives about picture, design, connectivity, etc.

Guide+. This is a detailed Freeview programme guide that allows you to quickly find a type of programme e.g. all children's programmes on at 1500hrs. It is complicated, but functional, however it downloads its data in a block. Therefore if the TV isn't on standby when it wants to download, it will not get the data and you get no programme listings for the next few days unless you manually download (a 40min task). Luckily Guide+ can be turned off and a conventional EPG can be used instead which is always up to date, even if the TV has been off.

Backlight. My TV has a manufacture date of May 09 and was purchase from Amazon at the end of Dec 09. It suffers the backlight bleed in all four corners of the screen. As described elsewhere it is like 4 searchlights pointing into the centre. This is not noticeable with normal digital TV, but is always noticeable whilst watching widescreen films (inc from Bluray) with black strips top and bottom. I have lowered the backlight setting to 3 (from 5) and the bleed is still occasionally visible actually in the picture during night scenes. The real annoyance is that it is just on the borderline of bearable! It irritates me (especially after giving Sony almost 1000 for a TV and bluray home cinema), but is not quite bad enough to send back...

My advice... Go and see one of these TVs in action and check that you are happy with the backlight issue, as it may not bother you. Otherwise excellent.

UPDATE: In the end I returned my first example due to the back lighting problems. However at least the problems were even across the screen on that one; it was bad in both top corners and bearable in the bottom corners. The replacement (manufactured Nov 09) was much worse! There was no clouding in the bottom corners, some in the top right and it was absolutely awful in the top left extending almost to the centre of the screen. As a result it has been returned as well, although Amazon will not send out another replacement. Therefore I have a choice between re-ordering to try and get a good example at the current price - 40 more than I originally paid, or buying something else. Part of the reason for purchase was to get Sony commonality between TV/Bluray home cinema, which ties my hands. Basically I am pretty hacked of with it all!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Feb 2010 11:10:17 GMT
Bought mine in dec 09 and had the same problem with backlight bleed. I sent it back last thursday and received a replacement from amazon on saturday morning. Manufature date on this tv is dec 09 and it has no backlight problems. I am now very happy. Return your tv for a replacement

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2010 21:13:08 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Feb 2010 21:17:56 GMT
Thanks for the advice, out of interest did you email first and get them to check the TV they were dispatching and did you have any problems convincing them to take it back? I hate the though of going through the process of getting the box down from the attic, packing it up, waiting in for a new TV and setting it up only to find that it is the same (or worse) than before!
Just seen that there is a freephone number to call about this TV on the returns page, Amazon are obviously aware of the problem. I will call tomorrow.
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