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Sony KDL-40HX723 review

John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Sony 40HX


Our Score


User Score


  • Very good 3D and excellent 2D pictures
  • Peerless online video service
  • Superb upscaling


  • Tricky to use
  • Rather expensive
  • No 3D glasses included

Review Price £1,099.99

Key Features: 40in Edge LED LCD TV; Active 3D playback; Bravia Internet Video with Skype; X-Reality Pro processing; MotionFlow XR 400 processing

Manufacturer: Sony

If TVs could feel pressure, Sony’s KDL-40HX723 would probably be chained to the toilet right now, stomach knotted with nerves. For at the risk of making its performance anxiety even worse, potentially Sony’s entire year depends on the 40HX723 delivering the goods.

After all, so far Sony’s 2011 has been an annus horribilis, at least where 3D is concerned. For both the 2011 Sony 3D sets we’ve tested to date, the 32EX723 and its bigger 40EX723 brother, have proved pretty disastrous when required to venture into the third dimension, with their 3D pictures suffering so much crosstalk (double ghosting noise) that they’ve been frankly unwatchable.

As we say, then, the 3D-capable 40HX723 arrives with the weight of the world on its shoulders, needing to prove - emphatically - that Sony really does know its 3D onions.

Sony 40HX

Fortunately it looks on paper, at least, like the 40HX723 might be up to the task. It sits a couple of steps further up Sony’s TV range than the EX723 series, and justifies this position by employing Sony’s MotionFlow XR 400 video system. This essentially means the 40HX723 can deliver video with an equivalent refresh rate double that of the EX723s - a potentially very handy trick when it comes to dealing with crosstalk.

Joining the active 3D/increased refresh rate headliners on the 40HX723’s spec sheet is its compatibility with Sony’s Bravia Internet Video (BIV) online service. For us, BIV represents the best of the current ‘smart TV’ systems, for the simple reason that it concentrates almost exclusively on supplying what you actually want on a TV: on-demand video content.

Service providers include the BBC iPlayer, the Demand 5 Channel 5 catchup service, Sky News, Eurosport, Lovefilm, a ‘World of Sony’ collection of classic TV series, and Sony’s Qriocity subscription service. And this really is just the tip of the video-streaming iceberg.

The 40HX723 also provides Facebook and Twitter apps, as well as a Web browser and Skype functionality if you cough up for an optional webcam. It’s the video services that provide the focus of Sony’s online efforts, though, and this is just fine by us.

If you’d rather watch stuff stored on your PC or USB sticks, then the 40HX723’s got your back there too. For the LAN port that gets you into BIV can also stream files from DLNA-ready PCs, while two USBs can handle photo, music and video file formats. The USBs can also record from the built-in Freeview HD tuner, or make the TV wi-fi ready via an optional dongle.

Actually, the fact that this dongle is only optional rather than being included as standard is a bit annoying when you think that Samsung’s recently reviewed 40in 40D6530 3D TV managed to include built-in wi-fi for less than £800, while Sharp’s 3D-capable and 6in bigger 46LE831E managed to include a wi-fi dongle while costing just £1120.

Add to all this the fact that the 40HX723 also doesn’t ship with any 3D glasses included as standard, and there really is no denying that the 40HX723 looks a little expensive for a 40in TV. So that’ll be even more pressure on its performance, then!

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July 8, 2011, 4:39 pm

Looking forward the seeing how the new upscaling engine performs at my local Sony Centre after being seriously underwhelmed with the chipset from last years range.
Also it's disappointing that in a three page review you devote just a single paragraph to the subject of upscaling and instead focus on guff such as 3D and online stores. Over 90% of the content viewed by over 90% of the national population is SD and yet the performance of most television sets is akin to watching your neighbours TV through their window and net curtains.

john jordan

July 18, 2011, 2:51 am

It looks like the HX range of Sonys TVs that carry 3D the best.But the previous post is spot on.Only about 5% of time will be taken up with 3D viewing & there is too mush emphasis on 3D,so not nearly enough on standard 2D viewing along with HD2D.Some of these TVs are getting panned even though the review should be mostly how the TV performs for everyday,realworld viewing.Build quality on highrange TVs has little or no cover.When & if,big if,3D becomes the standard,then maybe concentrate on the 3D capability.If i thought i could get a 46" LED backlit TV for less than 1000,id have taken it gladly,Regardless of 3D!


August 5, 2011, 4:50 pm

Does anyone know where i can find some good calibration settings for this tv?


August 23, 2011, 11:08 pm

Thank you for this review. This looks like a very nice set! Based on all the good stuff you wrote about it, should've got highly recommended.lcdbrand.com

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