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Sony Bravia KDL-40Z5800 40in LCD TV - Sony Bravia KDL-40Z5800

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Sony Bravia KDL-40Z5800 40in LCD TV


Our Score:


The Freesat EPG is effective enough too, presenting its information reasonably clearly and, thankfully, quickly. There's no sign of the sluggishness I noticed with LG's Freesat EPG. Some people might wish that the EPG could include a small screen showing the channel you were watching when you chose the EPG, but from my experience of Sky's revamped EPG, I personally have to say that I'd rather have more listings on screen at once and live without the picture.

Getting back to matters of picture quality, the 40Z5800 packs all of Sony's customary knack with sharpness and detail when showing BBC HD footage - or, of course, Blu-rays. In fact, thanks to the quality of Sony's latest 200Hz engine, as recorded in our review of the 46Z5500, the 40Z5800 actually looks even sharper than most Sony TVs, as there's precious little motion blur to worry about.

The 40Z5800's pictures aren't quite perfect, though. As usual with an LCD TV, for instance, you don't have to watch it from much of an angle before contrast and colour levels diminish. Also, I occasionally spotted a few brightness 'jumps' caused by the dynamic backlight being too aggressive (though if this bugs you, you can always turn the dynamic contrast system off). And finally, for some reason I felt slightly more disturbed than usual with a Sony set by the 40Z5800's presets, with none of the provided options really getting results out of Freesat - or any source, come to that - as good as those I arrived at myself via a little manual calibration.

The 40Z5800's biggest failing, though, lies not with its pictures but its sound. Basically, there's just not enough of it. So while your Jeremy Kyle Shows, with their talking and occasional shouty bits, sound absolutely fine, a James Cameron action scene or two soon catches the speakers out, as they fail to go to six, never mind 11. Action scenes - or orchestral scores come to that - all thus sound thin and low on clarity.


While the 40Z5800's audio shortcomings and, come to think of it, a slightly steep-looking price stop Sony's new Freesat posterboy from achieving 10 out of 10 greatness, the neatness of its Freesat integration and, above all, some outstanding picture quality make it a comfortable 9 out of 10 all the way.

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?


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.


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.


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.


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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