More good news concerns the 40NX723’s standard definition performance. The set carries Sony’s new X-Reality processing engine, and as noted in other recent reviews of Sony TVs, this proves unusually adept at rescaling standard def sources to full HD screen resolutions. The 40NX723’s standard definition pictures thus look sharp, detailed and naturally coloured, but also impressively free of MPEG compression artefacts or other types of noise.
If you’re a gamer, meanwhile, you’ll probably feel very encouraged by the 34ms of input lag we measured on the 40NX723, as this shouldn’t be enough to seriously affect anyone’s gaming performance.
While there’s much to admire in the 40NX723’s 2D pictures, though, its 3D images - once we’d donned a pair of Sony’s very heavy and sadly only optional extra active shutter glasses - are markedly less appealing. Why? That old active 3D chestnut of crosstalk. For while bright scenes don’t suffer too badly with the telltale double ghosting noise, dark pictures are routinely badly affected. So much so that sometimes supposedly detailed dark backgrounds look like they’re out of focus.
Couple this with more flicker than we usually experience with active 3D, and you’re got a 3D experience that’s really quite tiring to watch for more than half an hour at a time.
Oddly we have seen reviews of the same Sony TV posted elsewhere on the Internet that suggest it doesn’t suffer with crosstalk much at all. But barring performance differences between individual samples of the same TV (unlikely), we can only imagine that these more positive reviews haven’t watched much dark 3D content on the 40NX723.
Other more minor general 2D and 3D picture concerns are a slight lack of brightness to calibrated images that make the TV not the best option for a bright room, and finally we spotted a curious little vertical ‘seam’ of either darkness or brightness (depending on the image content) at the screen’s left and right edges.
We don’t know why this ‘seaming’ happens, and to be fair it’s only visible when you’re watching something with a large expanse of mostly monotone colour. Also, because it’s right at the edges of the screen, you don’t really feel its presence too heavily. But nonetheless, the bottom line is that such seams shouldn’t be there at all.
The 40NX723’s audio performance allows us to finish on a more positive note. For while there’s a little shrillness at the treble end of the spectrum and a fairly limited bass response, the mid-range is open and powerful enough to sound clearer and bolder than average, even when watching action films.
Sony’s 40NX723 sure looks the part with its Monolithic design, and its 2D pictures are very good by edge LED standards. It’s well featured too, with its online functionality deserving special credit.
If you’re seriously interested in 3D, though, the 40NX723 is a deeply flawed proposition. Not exactly what you want to be hearing about a 40in TV that costs comfortably north of £1,000.