Sony Bravia KDL-40NX803 - Multimedia and Features Review


Right, back to those multimedia features we mentioned earlier. The highlight, for us, is the set’s Bravia Internet Video system. This online service can be accessed via either the TV’s Ethernet port or built-in Wi-Fi system (there’s no need for an optional extra Wi-Fi dongle with these Network series sets), and offers a truly prodigious quantity of video streaming sources from Sony’s ring-fenced section of the Internet.

We haven’t the space to cover everything Bravia Internet Video offers in full here (though we will do so in a dedicated feature we’re doing next week comparing all the main online TV services). But highlights include LoveFilm, YouTube, Demand Five, Eurosport and the recently added BBC iPlayer.

For us the Bravia Internet Video system has the richest amount of content of all the current TV online platforms, and we also admire the stability with which the reams of video sources stream in, even using a bog-standard 2MB download pipe.

The 40NX803 carries, too, a USB port able to play JPEG, MP3, MPEG2 and AVCHD multimedia files, while its network features additionally extend to future interactive services that might come courtesy of its built-in Freeview HD tuner, as well as the ability to stream stuff in from networked DLNA PCs.

The previously discussed 200Hz engine isn’t the only processor aimed at boosting picture quality, meanwhile. Sony’s consistently likable Bravia Engine 3 processing system is on hand too, as well as a decent number of ‘advanced’ fine tuners, like a gamma adjustment, clear white booster, black corrector, and Sony’s Live Colour processing for boosting colour saturations and tones.

There’s a touch of colour management too, in the facility to adjust the gain and bias of the red, green and blue colour elements. But we would ideally have liked Sony to try a little harder in this area. It’s noticeable, in relation to this, that Sony hasn’t pursued third party endorsement from either THX or the Imaging Science Foundation for any of its current TVs.

Not that you have to spend an age fiddling with the 40NX803’s pictures to get some generally very impressive results, mind you.

The 200Hz engine makes an impact right away, helping deliver motion that’s clearly a level or two cleaner and crisper than that of the 46NX703 model we looked at. This helps the picture look generally sharper and more detailed, especially when you’re watching a motion-packed HD source.

We’re always on the look out for unwanted processing side effects with heavy duty motion compensation systems on LCD TVs. But here again, provided you stick with the Standard rather than High setting for the 40NX803’s MotionFlow feature, Sony scores a notable success for the most part. Obvious negative side effects are limited to small objects like cricket or golf balls occasionally disappearing for a fraction of a second as the processing struggles to track such a fast and localised change in image content.

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