Is it just us, or is Sony’s TV model numbering system this year unbelievably confusing? We’ve actually had the brand’s 40in KDL-40NX803 sat in our stock room for two or three weeks now, but haven’t looked at it before because we thought we’d already tested it!
Only when we started thinking about sending it back to Sony did we cross-check our records and find that while we’d looked at the 40HX703, the 40HX803, the 40EX503 and the 46NX703 (!), we hadn’t actually got stuck into the 40NX803. So here we are.
So where exactly does the 40NX803 sit in Sony’s range, then? Well, the N part of its name shows that it sits within the Network section - which is roughly in the middle of Sony’s range as a whole. So there’s no 3D playback. But there is a startlingly full suite of multimedia options (which we’ll come back to in a moment), as well as Sony’s appealing monolithic design.
This finds the set sporting a single-layer, ultra-glossy fascia, with a glinting black bezel and luminous Sony logo. It can also be used in Sony’s seriously stylish but sadly optional extra silver bar-style stand, complete with integrated speakers and the ability to tilt the TV back by six degrees if it suits your viewing circumstances.
Another key spec of the 40NX803 is that it uses edge LED lighting rather than a CCFL lamp. This allows the screen to be impressively slim at its edges, boosting the Monolithic appearance - though there’s a section along the bottom of the rear side that sticks out considerably further than edge LED sets we’ve seen recently from Samsung and LG.
The cheaper 40NX703 model also offers all the features we’ve just discussed, though. The key area where the 40NX803 sets itself apart from its cheaper NX703 sibling is with its motion processing. For the 40NX803 carries 200Hz while the 40NX703 only musters 100Hz.
This might not sound like much of a justification for the 40NX803’s higher price, but we have no hesitation in saying that if a 200Hz engine works well, it can deliver comfortably enough extra picture quality to make the higher spend worthwhile if you can afford it.
There is actually one further, less obvious difference between the 40NX803 and the cheaper 40NX703 - and it’s not necessarily in the more expensive model’s favour. For the rated power consumption for the 40NX703 in a home environment is 81W versus 104W for the 40NX803. This slightly higher energy consumption on the more expensive model is presumably caused by the 200Hz engine.