Sony Bravia KDL-40NX713 Review - 3D Upgrade and Other Features Review


To make the TV 3D capable, you’ll need a £50 TMR-BR100 3D transmitter, together with as many pairs of TDG-BR100B active shutter glasses as you need/can afford at around £100 a pop.

To some extent, we don’t have a problem with making 3D an optional extra if it helps Sony get sets like the 40NX713 out at a decent price. But of course, even if there are only two of you in your household you’ll have to add £250 to the 40NX713’s thankfully quite aggressive basic cost. Plus you’ll have to accommodate an external 3D transmitter somewhere near the TV.

Going back to BIV, regular readers will know that we’re pretty enamoured of its concentration on providing a bounty of video streaming services – the sort of online content that we suspect people most want to receive on a ‘connected’ TV.

Highlights include the Demand 5 Channel Five and BBC iPlayer catch up services, LoveFilm, the Qriocity Film store offering full movies to rent or buy, YouTube, Sony World of Television, Sky News, a FIFA World Cup highlights ‘channel’, and much more besides.

December 23rd, moreover, marked the launch of yet another substantial new BIV feature: Qriocity Music Unlimited. This is essentially a subscription-based package for both bringing your music together across multiple devices (PC, TV, portable music player, etc), and allowing you to access music stored on premium ‘channels’.

Two levels of subscription are available, and given the fairly substantial nature of the new service, we’ll be doing a dedicated review of it in the next week or so. Suffice it to say that it’s a surprisingly ambitious and well-presented service, but one that feels just a touch expensive at the moment with its £9.99 top-tier sub.

The rest of the 40NX713’s spec sheet makes for impressive reading. The full HD screen is illuminated by an edge LED system, able to deliver a, um, ‘Mega’ dynamic contrast level. Video processing, meanwhile, comes predominantly from Sony’s Bravia Engine 3 system and MotionFlow 100Hz PRO.

It’s nice to see, too, that the 40NX713 allows you to fine tune the MotionFlow system, with three different presets: Standard for ‘normal’ viewing; Clear for use with high-speed content with maintained brightness; and ClearPlus, for fast-speed content with reduced brightness (to limit the obviousness of any unwanted side effects associated with the MotionFlow engine).

The only significant deficiency of the 40NX713’s spec sheet is that it doesn’t go as far as we’d like with its picture fine-tuning tools. Sure, there are gamma and white balance adjustments, a clear white mode, a contrast enhancer, a black corrector and Sony’s Live Colour processing. But there isn’t a full colour management system to rival those found on most recent sets from Panasonic, LG, and Toshiba, to name but three.

Since the 40NX713 is a 2D set only in its out-of-the-box state, let’s start by assessing its 2D performance. Which is actually excellent.

Our single favourite thing about it is its black level response. For unlike so many recent edge LED TVs, the 40NX713 doesn’t suffer significantly with inconsistent backlight issues. Even during the very darkest scenes the picture looks evenly illuminated – provided, at least, that you’ve subdued the set’s backlight, brightness and contrast settings. You can see some minor inconsistencies if you’ve got the image blaring out using one of the set’s over-aggressive presets, but under sensible calibrated conditions, the 40NX713’s black level response is one of the best we’ve seen from an edge LED to date.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.