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Sony KDL-42W705B review

John Archer




  • Recommended by TR

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Sony KDL-42W705B
  • Sony KDL-42W705B
  • Sony KDL-42W705B
  • Sony KDL-42W705B
  • Sony KDL-42W705B
  • Sony KDL-42W705B
  • Sony KDL-42W705B
  • Sony KDL-42W705B


Our Score:



  • Excellent picture quality
  • Cute design
  • Good multimedia support


  • Sound is only so-so
  • No 4OD or ITV Player catch up services
  • Pictures occasionally look slightly soft

Key Features

  • 42-inch LCD TV with edge LED lighting
  • Full HD resolution
  • SEN smart TV platform
  • Social media and Football modes
  • Aluminium build
  • Manufacturer: Sony
  • Review Price: £600.00

What is the Sony 42W705B?

The 42W705B is a 42-inch full HD TV lodged between the new Sony W6 and W8 ranges that have already delivered a couple of truly outstanding TVs this year. So not surprisingly we have high hopes for it, especially given its aggressive £600 asking price. It has no 3D, but at this price we're not too fussed if it delivers elsewhere, and it does.

Sony KDL-42W705B

Sony KDL-42W705B: Design and Features

The 42W705B is quite an eye-catcher for its money, thanks to its combination of a spectacularly slim bezel, distinctive matt finish and strikingly minimalistic metal strip stand. There’s some innovation in this stand too, for it can be converted to a wall mount via a reasonably easy to install kit included in the box.

Also worth pointing out is the strip of light under the Sony logo, which can change colour depending on what source you’re watching.

Connections are strong for an affordable 42-inch TV, with highlights of four HDMIs, two USBs, a LAN port and built in Wi-Fi. The HDMIs can’t take 3D – you’ll need to move up to the excellent (though actually slightly flawed with 3D) W8 series for that. But we suspect many people won’t feel 3D is a great loss in return for the 42W705B’s aggressive price.

With the Sony 40W605B having made such an impact, we need to get to the bottom of what the 42W705B offers above and beyond its slightly cheaper sibling range. One obvious point is that it’s two inches bigger – and the rest of the W7 range offers different screen size options too: 50 inches and 32-inches versus the 60-inches and 48-inches of the rest of the W6 series.

Unlike the 40W605B, the 42W705B also supports Sony’s new One-Flick smart remote control, which can be bought as an option and is, in our opinion, worth considering, as once you’ve got used to its contextual approach to controlling your TV it provides some useful shortcuts.

Sony KDL-42W705B

Where picture technology is concerned, the 42W705B is a full HD screen with an edge LED lighting system, whereas the 40W605B uses a direct LED lighting system where the lighting comes from directly behind the screen. This enables the 42W705B to deliver a much slimmer design than that of the 40W605B. This comparison section also underlines the fact that while the 40W605B features an overtly plasticky build quality, the 42W705B enjoys a much more premium aluminium design.

Other features of note are Motionflow X200 motion processing offering a pseudo 200Hz effect, plus Sony’s X-Reality Pro processing system. This system, which uses a database system to reduce the real-time burdens on its video processors, has delivered consistently impressive results in past incarnations.

We’ll cover the 42W705B’s picture features in the Set Up section, leaving just one further feature area to cover here: the set’s multimedia features.

The USBs can play a good array of video, photo and music files, and record from the built-in Freeview HD tuner. You can also stream in from connected DLNA computers the same range of multimedia files the USBs can support, plus you can go online with the Sony Entertainment Network (SEN).

There’s screen mirroring with Smart Devices too, and the TV can work with the new Sony SideView app for your smart devices, offering an attractive touch-screen control option as well as some handy extra features, including a gorgeously presented content highlights system.

The SEN platform is a fairly strong offering by smart TV standards, combining a reasonably good array of video apps (including Netflix, Amazon Instant, the BBC iPlayer, and Sky News) with a much-improved interface that focuses well on streamlining the content-finding process.

The smart system can run a bit sluggishly at times, and it’s a shame Sony still hasn’t done the necessary deals to bring the ITV Player and 4OD to the SEN. But overall the system delivers a step in the right direction for Sony’s smart TV ambitions. If you want to know more, check out our Sony Smart TV 2014 review.

Sony KDL-42W705B

Sony KDL-42W705B: Set Up

The 42W705B’s initial set up routines – including getting the TV on your home network – are exceptionally easy to follow.

However, the operating system thereafter takes a little getting used to. The way the picture/sound/tuner/network features are accessed only via an array of tiny icons at the top right of the SEN hub is unhelpful, and the opening SEN hub is a bit of a waste of space – literally – until you take the time to fill the gaping ‘favourite apps’ hole that otherwise occupies two-thirds of the available screen real estate.

Sony does offer a pretty wide-ranging suite of picture controls for such an affordable TV, though. But where Sony really shines compared with its competitors is with the range of picture presets it offers. These are more numerous, more intuitively selected and best of all more thoughtful and effective than the presets of any other brand right now. This makes it much easier than usual to optimise pictures for different sources.


May 5, 2014, 6:07 pm

I was considering this TV , looks like a good one now

St. John Smythe

May 5, 2014, 9:36 pm

Hi John, great review, as always. I only have one question: if only picture quality counts, nothing else: is there a difference between the 40W605B and the 42W705B?


December 6, 2014, 7:34 pm

I believe the 605b is a backlight system, whereas the 705b is an edge lit system.
The 605b was a good bit deeper in dimension to the 705b, and also was a plastic frame, rather than a metal frame seen on the 705b.

As far as I can tell the 605b has been dropped and the 705b has taken it's place.


December 6, 2014, 7:47 pm

Bought this TV a few weeks ago.

I'm extremely happy with it over all. Firstly the construction, physical quality and general presence of the thing is striking. For the price it's by far the best looking TV set when sat in your living room.

The main reason I chose this set though, is like this review makes very clear, the black level response is unbelievable for this price.
Generally colours are accurate and believable, and the screen is bright too.

The only drawbacks I can see are that motion isn't *that* great. Good for the price, but not great. I understand this is actually a 50hz screen with some clever tech to make it appear quicker.
It doesn't lose detail, but it sometimes feels uncomfortable to watch quick panning scenes. Again, nothing at the same price does much better, apart from maybe some LG sets.
I find that images lacking quality and definition are shown up in all their noisey horrors, but I'm not sure you could put that to be a fault of the set.
I don't think viewing angles are all that great. You lose a lot of black level detail if you're anything that a few degrees off-axis.

The smart TV system is slow and apps aren't that great.

Otherwise it's a brilliant set. The main reason I bought it was for the price and image quality, which I genuinely can not complain about. I found it for £400.
It'll tide me over until good 4k OLED sets are affordable - a few years away yet!

Patryk Jezierski

October 10, 2015, 10:39 am

is there any difference between

KDL42W705BBU and

KDL42W705B ?

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