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Sony Bravia KDL-40W4000 Full HD 40in LCD TV review

John Archer



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Sony Bravia KDL-40W4000 Full HD 40in LCD TV


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Sony might still be considered one of the world's most trusted brands, but that doesn't alter the fact that the previous Sony TV we tested, the KDL-46W3000, was a bit of a pup. So here's hoping the new KDL-40W4000 - from the range which directly replaces the W3000 - brings some serious improvements to the table.

Aesthetically, at least, it's definitely better. The black - sorry, ‘Midnight Sky' - bezel is pleasingly compact and combines exceptional solidity with a polished finished to deeply attractive effect. The tastefully illuminated Sony logo doesn't do any harm on the prettiness front, either.

But, where the set really stands out, is in the see-through panel that sits between the screen bezel and a burnished metal strip running the full length of the 40W4000's bottom edge. It's difficult to put my finger on exactly why this quite quirky design flourish helps make the set look more attractive, but it certainly does.

Reluctantly dragging our eyes away from the 40W4000's cute front-end to its rear, I found myself just a tad disappointed to find ‘only' three HDMIs. Obviously this will probably be enough to satisfy most users, but it's hard to forget that Samsung's latest A656 models carry four.

At least all three HDMIs are built to the latest v1.3 specification, with Deep Color compatibility and CEC capabilities so that you can operate CEC-compatible sources via the 40W4000's remote control.

Other jacks of interest include a D-SUB (VGA) PC port, a digital audio output, and a USB input. This USB takes on particular significance with the 40W4000 because of its new Picture Frame Mode. This effectively turns your TV into a digital picture frame, where you can leave the set running permanently or for a time period of your choosing with one of your own digital photos on display, or one of six images pre-installed on the TV. These pre-installed images include a Van Gogh painting, a pretty photo of what looks like a Highlands landscape, and a couple of modern art efforts.

Of course, if you think about it, there's no reason why you couldn't also show pictures in this way on other TVs with USB inputs or SD card slots. But to be fair to the 40W4000, it does also feature a PhotoTV HD mode especially designed to optimize digital photos and show them in full HD quality. Plus, rather crucially in these ‘green' times, the Picture Frame mode has been designed to use 35% less power than the TV uses during normal viewing.

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Kevin Marshall

August 8, 2008, 2:27 am

After alot of thinking and debating with myself i'm buying this TV this weekend. Will come back to comment after I see how it goes. I trust this site for reviews, let's hope its as good as reviewed to be ;)

PJP Bath

August 12, 2008, 6:30 pm

Does anyone have any more information on the sound quality of this TV. Presumably putting the speakers into a dedicated separate bar (similair to B&O's styling) has been done to seriously improve the sound quality. This was rather brushed over in the article. But this is one of the must have features for me. I can't put five speakers into the room. Has anyone heard this set? Thanks in advance.

Kevin Marshall

August 13, 2008, 5:55 pm

Sound is fine on this TV so far for me. I have to test this TV on my PC with 1080p (just got DVI to HDMI cable) yet but that should be tested within the next few days and so far i'm really happy with this.

PJP Bath

August 18, 2008, 6:13 pm

Thanks Kevin. I have now ordered my set and am awaiting delivery. I think I might opt for the new TV Stand with built in speakers if it needs beefing up. But otherwise - looks like a wise purchase.

Glyn Webster

September 26, 2008, 11:59 pm

I got one based on this review - looks great, sounds great I havent got HD hooked up yet however - if you want clear sport - ie football it looks great until the shot pans out, all the players are surrounded with pixels, like a halo, other programmes on standard def viewing vary in quality eg progs like the Tudors and some films that have dark scenes leave off putting motion blur, some faster moving scenes in poorer lighting are almost unwatchable, another anoying point is that the screen does not semm to be able to keep up with even small movements - particulrly noticable on face close ups - actors faces look odly distoted - i hope to get a freesat box or upgrade to SkyHD soon and hope that the picture quality improves

Kevin Marshall

October 6, 2008, 1:54 pm

I use this TV alot now with my media centre PC, 1080p films all the way. It's amazing quality and with surround sound is just the best feeling for a home movie.

TV is fine for the freeview that comes with it, I have no real issue's, yes you dont get the best motion especially so on sports (football) but I have not seen a decent sized 1080p capable TV that does not have this problem on Standard def. Black colors are fine if not 1 of the best I have seen when it comes to 1080p films.


October 29, 2008, 7:00 pm

john ,...HELLO, anyone looking to buy a sony tv now, would have noticed alot of confusing moves on sony's part regarding HDTVs in the 4 months, eg;

1. canellation of the 40x4500- with only the bra pro 2 as an anvantage over the z and w 4500.

2. which is the better pick x3500 or w4500 (40 inches)- sure the x3500 is better at sd, dvd, free view, screen uniformed, build, looks, softer hd image and at the most darkest of pictures, it's black is deeper or on par....but the w4500 is better at brightness, contrast, features, viewing angle (poor uniformed screen), sharper at HD (weak on sd/freeview), cheaper build, uptodate menu system.?????? which does one pick,???? hellthe cost the same now


3. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PRO ENGINE?...anyone?.... they seem not to care for it, COZ WELL they jumped to pro 2 and Bravia Engine 2, the z model should have got the pro engine so there would be reason enough to get it over the w4500. maybe it seem the usefulness of the pros is pointless when you consider free hd freeview????????? IF AND WHEN IT HAPPENS AND WORKS????

4. the price of the 46x4500??? compared to the better, not as bright 50 pioneer 8 an 9th

...............well i have to say till two months ago i was set to buy a 40x3000, but now i am sooo so lost , i think will just buy a pioneer 50 and cover all the bases (future, value, image qaulity and build).

I would love to see you review the 40w4500, to round off everything, coz i respect your take and reviews?

kind regards,


Stephen George

February 16, 2009, 1:16 am

Bought this TV based of reading many positive reviews. My experience is one of extreme disappointment! Being a keen sports fan watching football in SD the picture is abysmal...smearing is a big problem. My other TV a Pioneer Plasma 427XD is superb even in SD. In my opiniom LCD TV if this is the "best of" does not come close to Plasma!

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