Picture adjustments are plentiful, if in some ways rather unusual. For instance, noise reduction is split into three separate sections: normal, MPEG and dot. Plus an Advanced menu contains processing options for adjusting black levels, sharpness, edge presentation, colours, the level of motion processing being applied, and more besides. Personally, though, we’d recommend leaving the majority of these tools turned off, at least when watching HD. The only ones we consistently left on were the Advanced Contrast tool and the black level booster – though even these we kept set to ‘Low’.
It’s worth experimenting with the TruMotion settings too, for using this on its Clear or, at a push, Standard setting can improve some types of footage – most notably some sorts of sport. We didn’t feel tempted to use
TruMotion with any Blu-ray movies, though.
There was only one place we could start the performance part of this test: the 40EX723’s 3D performance. We really thought it couldn’t be as bad as that of the 32EX723. But we were wrong.
The 40EX723’s 3D images – assuming you buy some of Sony’s optional 3D glasses, as none are included as standard – are every bit as nausea-inducing as those of its smaller sibling. And for the same reason: crosstalk is remarkably bad. Any 3D shot with even a little depth to it looks out of focus and fatiguing, thanks to the consistently excessive amounts of double ghosting around almost any object in the background – and quite a few objects in the foreground, come to that. This makes some 3D scenes genuinely unwatchable in our opinion.
There also seems more flicker and instability in the 40EX723’s pictures than usual with 2011’s active shutter 3D TVs, even though the 40in screen isn’t at all large by 3D TV standards.
Rounding up the 40EX723’s disastrous 3D showing is the way the blurring effects of crosstalk over background objects reduce the sense of depth in the image. Plus, of course, with so much blurring going on, you haven’t a hope of appreciating the extra sharpness and detail that’s active 3D’s raison d’etre.
Let’s move swiftly on, then, to the 40EX723’s 2D performance. Which is thankfully a whole lot better.
For starters the image really snaps into focus with a good 2D HD feed. The 3D fuzziness and blurring is gone, replaced by a more than acceptable (though not spectacular) degree of sharpness and detailing. And that’s without bothering with any of the sharpness boosting processing systems, most of which harm rather than help an HD image.