- Review Price: £1198.07
Damn. Having just (sort of) recovered from a nice bout of some flu-based nastiness, I’ve got to admit that I kind of wanted an easy life with today’s TV. But no; instead of some no-frills budget bit of fluff, I find myself staring at Sony’s KDL-40Z5800: A 40in LCD TV that just so happens to be the brand’s first set with a built-in Freesat tuner. As I said before: damn. Suddenly I need a Lemsip like I’ve never needed one before.
Once I’d wiped the beads of sweat from my eyes after lifting the screen onto its desktop stand, though, it started to occur to me that maybe this review might not be as tough as I first thought. For in terms of both design and spec it’s a dead ringer for the Sony KDL-46Z5500 model I reviewed a little while back – except, obviously, for the small matter of the Freesat tuner and six inches of difference in the screen size.
In other words, with a bit of luck I’ll be able to keep really quite brief about most of the 40Z5800’s features, referring you to the earlier 46Z5500 review when the going gets complicated. Result.
Anyway, getting back to those looks I mentioned, the fact that those of the 40Z5800 are so darned similar to those of the 46Z5500 isn’t a bad thing, for to my eyes, the combination of the slinkily slender bezel and glamorously glasslike grey finish make the Z5500/Z5800 design the prettiest – or maybe classiest would be a better word – Sony has delivered for some time.
The 40Z5800 also matches the 46Z5500 in the majority of its connections, with shared highlights being four HDMIs, a USB 2.0 port able to play various music, photo and video file types, and an Ethernet port for logging into either a DLNA PC or Sony’s (currently infamously lame) AppliCast online service.
The Ethernet port has an extra potential use on the 40Z5800, though, and that’s as a means of accessing the BBC’s long, long-awaited – but apparently genuinely imminent now – iPlayer via Freesat service.
It’s worth just mentioning, too, that obviously the 40Z5800 also adds a screw-on LNB connection for hooking up your satellite dish – be it an old Sky dish or a new Freesat one, both of which work equally well, of course.
The 40Z5800’s features list, as noted earlier, is very close indeed to that of the 46Z5500 except for the few little differences introduced by the Freesat tuner. Which essentially boils down to the ‘small’ matter of the more than 140 TV and radio channels Freesat brings to the 40Z5800’s party, and the extra electronic programme guide support it therefore needs to carry.