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Sony Bravia KDL-40Z5800 40in LCD TV review

John Archer

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Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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Sony Bravia KDL-40Z5800 40in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40Z5800 40in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40Z5800 40in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40Z5800 40in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40Z5800 40in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40Z5800 40in LCD TV
  • Sony Bravia KDL-40Z5800 40in LCD TV
  • BRAVIA KDL-40Z5800 102 cm 40" LCD TV (DVB-T - NTSC, PAL, SECAM - 16:9 - 1920 x 1080 - 1080p - Surround, Dolby - 200 Hz)

Summary

Our Score:

9

Damn. Having just (sort of) recovered from a nice bout of some flu-based nastiness, I've got to admit that I kind of wanted an easy life with today's TV. But no; instead of some no-frills budget bit of fluff, I find myself staring at Sony's KDL-40Z5800: A 40in LCD TV that just so happens to be the brand's first set with a built-in Freesat tuner. As I said before: damn. Suddenly I need a Lemsip like I've never needed one before.

Once I'd wiped the beads of sweat from my eyes after lifting the screen onto its desktop stand, though, it started to occur to me that maybe this review might not be as tough as I first thought. For in terms of both design and spec it's a dead ringer for the Sony KDL-46Z5500 model I reviewed a little while back - except, obviously, for the small matter of the Freesat tuner and six inches of difference in the screen size.

In other words, with a bit of luck I'll be able to keep really quite brief about most of the 40Z5800's features, referring you to the earlier 46Z5500 review when the going gets complicated. Result.

Anyway, getting back to those looks I mentioned, the fact that those of the 40Z5800 are so darned similar to those of the 46Z5500 isn't a bad thing, for to my eyes, the combination of the slinkily slender bezel and glamorously glasslike grey finish make the Z5500/Z5800 design the prettiest - or maybe classiest would be a better word - Sony has delivered for some time.

The 40Z5800 also matches the 46Z5500 in the majority of its connections, with shared highlights being four HDMIs, a USB 2.0 port able to play various music, photo and video file types, and an Ethernet port for logging into either a DLNA PC or Sony's (currently infamously lame) AppliCast online service.

The Ethernet port has an extra potential use on the 40Z5800, though, and that's as a means of accessing the BBC's long, long-awaited - but apparently genuinely imminent now - iPlayer via Freesat service.

It's worth just mentioning, too, that obviously the 40Z5800 also adds a screw-on LNB connection for hooking up your satellite dish - be it an old Sky dish or a new Freesat one, both of which work equally well, of course.

The 40Z5800's features list, as noted earlier, is very close indeed to that of the 46Z5500 except for the few little differences introduced by the Freesat tuner. Which essentially boils down to the 'small' matter of the more than 140 TV and radio channels Freesat brings to the 40Z5800's party, and the extra electronic programme guide support it therefore needs to carry.

Edward Crabtree

November 18, 2009, 2:17 pm

Nice review John. As expected, this TV is basically the z5500 with a freesat tuner. Thanks for comparing the Freesat picture quality to that of Panasonic LCDs... however, I think most people would be more interested in how this model stacks up to the comparably sized plasma (the v10) as they are very similar prices, and they've both had 9/10 scores. I understand the plasma has better blacks but takes more power to run... can't see any other big differences?

Ripsnorter

November 18, 2009, 5:03 pm

Yes, another belter from John. But with regard to "Those satellite geeks - said affectionately, I promise - should take note, though, that the 40Z5800 doesn't support simultaneous installation of Freesat and DVB-S services. You have to make your choice and stick with it, as no flitting between the two platforms is allowed post installation": does this mean that the choice of Freesat/DVB-S services is one-time-either-or-for-good? Just want to be sure I understand this correctly.

davidpm

November 18, 2009, 5:15 pm

I have recently taken delivery of the new SONY 32w5810 c/w freesat tv and presently there is a few issues on the Auto update feature for freesat i.e you have to disable this setting other wise the EPG guide can disappear and a full manufacturing reset is required!. Sony has knowledge the fault and hopefully a new firmware update should fix it.





You have a choice either Freesat / or DVB-S, once selected then you have to go with it but you can reset the settings which then gives you the choice again.

itsallgonepearshaped

November 19, 2009, 5:26 pm

Guys (Trusted review staff and John), when you do TV reviews do you think you can include screen shots of the EPG? I have a very nice Panasonic Viera old plasma TV, but want a new one if I can wangle it past the missus. My 2nd from top feature is a decent EPG. I'm currently using my PS3 and playTV and the epg is excellent. Clear, easy to read and consistent. I want a TV / PVR equally as good as that before I switch (as I want my PS3 back to play games on!).

kwg uk

November 21, 2009, 1:47 am

Why is it that manufacturers think we are all wanting thin tv`s so losing out on decent sound quality. My old Toshiba 28Z07 CRT had a good sound with speakers at the side & centre - they are only 5cm in depth. Surely speakers of this size can be fitted to lcd`s, adding only a few cm`s to the depth.

Prime

December 16, 2009, 1:32 pm

Good review, but you miss some things like Applicast,DLNA and connection to pc and resolution from pc to screen! How ever i dont disagree whis you in all points of your revieew!

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