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Customer Review

105 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faultless, 1 Aug. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sony Bravia KDL40W5500U 40-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD TV with Freeview and 100Hz Motionflow (Electronics)
When my trusty Trinitron (literally) went pop, I turned to amazon for my next TV purchase, having been impressed with their service and good prices over the years. I was looking for a 37" W series Sony Bravia but as this model was only £10 more expensive, it would have been rude not to go for the bigger screen. Despite specifying next day delivery, it actually took three days to arrive (via Citylink) but the extra £8.80 charge was politely and promptly refunded within three hours of my inquiry. Like all amazon deliveries, tracking was easy online. It comes with a Sony 3 year guarantee.

OUT OF THE BOX

It was actually light enough to remove from the box on my own, though it helps if you have long arms like I do. Putting the TV on its own tabletop stand was nice and easy; you just carefully lower the TV onto it before fixing with the four screws provided. Simple. The TV swivels on the stand, which is very useful as I move around the room during the day though the viewing angle is very good anyway. Once done, putting it onto the Centurion Stand was much easier than I thought as the TV only weighs 18kg (plus it's stand of course).

SET UP

Once plugged in, I connected it to my PVR and PS3 and powered up. It takes 30-40 minutes to set-up as it downloads the Freeview channels for its integrated tuner then you are ready to go. It is quite easy to accidentally skip this part of the set up but you can run it again from the Guide as I did so it's no problem.

IN USE

The remote is light, functional, and refreshingly uncluttered with most of the functions being menu driven onscreen. The blue Home button puts you into a familiar PS3/PSP style horizontal menu (XrossMediaBar) which has all the detailed settings, or you can use the Options button for more basic choices.

Pressing the Scene button allows you to quickly adjust the picture (and sound) according to general, gaming, movies, sports etc. Overall, the functions and menus are quite simple and intuitive and I haven't needed to open the manual yet. The full manual can be found in the menu and there is a system update function too so this TV is fairly future proof.

I am not a big fan of the integral TV guide (Guide+), it looks a bit cheap and nasty to be honest with annoying adverts around it. You get a small window of the current channel in the top left though which is quite useful and you can set reminders etc though I will probably stick to my PVR so I can pause live TV etc so won't be using this much, same as viewers with Sky+ no doubt. It will be useful to have a third option though just in case I'm recording on two channels.

The TV has PIP - Picture in Picture so if you're playing your game you can keep a beady eye on your TV and not miss the start of your favourite prog. The on/off switch is a nice and light button on the side next to channel, volume buttons etc. Never has switching a TV on and off been so enjoyable.

PERFORMANCE

1) GENERAL TV - When I powered the TV on, it soon became clear that the TV was too good for my geriatric Humax PVR800 which uses a SCART connector and so this will soon be rectified with a 9300T (HDMI upload) or perhaps a Freesat box. I will update this review once done. The integrated Freeview tuner delivers a better output, nice and clear with good contrast and no ghosting on movement, thanks to the 100Hz refresh and Motionflow. The moral of this story is the better the input, the better the output. This TV is too good for a basic digital tuner so one with a HDMI upload or HD is the way to get the most out of it if you're picky about your picture (and you probably will be if you've spent nearly £800 on this TV).

2) PS3 - It really shines with the PS3; colours are nice and vibrant with excellent detail and it gives you a much more involving and cinematic experience. Ratchet and Clank, a big and bright game looks amazing, despite being produced in 720p. I'm playing it through again on this TV, it's like I'm on a new game. Uncharted:Drake's Fortune (also 720p) is excellent with lush greens against the rocky outcrops showing up beautifully, ditto the water.

3) DVDs are very good and my first BluRay purchase, Planet Earth is jaw-dropping in places.

4) Sound is good, excellent in fact, very clear but just lacking in bass when playing music. As I intend to use my PS3 as my media centre I will look into additional speakers of some sorts soon.

INPUTS

Amongst many others, there are :

4 x HDMI (2 side, 2 rear)
2 x SCART
VGA (for laptop, PC)
USB (view photos, other media etc)
RJ45 - for connecting to your router and other wireless DNLA compliant devices such as laptops

VERDICT

This is a stunning and very up to date piece of kit that I am very pleased with and am enjoying very much. I cannot find fault with it at all (apart from the messy TV guide), hence the 5 stars.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Aug 2009 20:43:10 BDT
Great review Pete

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Aug 2009 00:03:49 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Aug 2009 00:04:15 BDT
tallpete33 says:
Cheers Dave, great to hear from a fellow enthusiast :o)

Will update it as I go along and update the PVR and test it on some BluRays

Posted on 20 Aug 2009 01:00:31 BDT
GeeJayBee says:
Do you find any input lag when playing games?

Posted on 20 Aug 2009 08:39:25 BDT
Simon Starr says:
Thanks very much for a really thorough and informative review :)

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Aug 2009 12:23:43 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Aug 2009 19:13:37 BDT
tallpete33 says:
GJB - games are amazing with no lag. There is a "games" scene but I prefer it on "general" with the motion flow upped to high. All dead easy to change in the Options menu.

Thanks Mr Starr :)

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Sep 2009 20:24:53 BDT
Can you tell the difference when playing stuff like GH or RB?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Sep 2009 14:46:22 BDT
tallpete33 says:
Sorry DL, don't have those (Guitar Hero & Rock Band I assume you mean ?)

Posted on 12 Jan 2010 17:23:28 GMT
HDMI upload? I do believe you are refering to UPSCALING. The result of the upscaling depends on the quality of the source. The 'set' upscales internally any analogue input, scart etc., and also any internal signals - freeview or freesat.

Posted on 19 Jan 2010 14:41:05 GMT
Will this TV work upside down? It is absolutley essential that it works upside down.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jan 2010 18:46:16 GMT
tallpete33 says:
Yes, I often turn it upside down so I can watch Emmerdale when I'm doing my yoga. And sometimes on it's side too.
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