Sony KDL-40CX523 LCD TV
Budget Bravia with on-line telly trimmings
Review The Bravia KDL-40CX523 is the little net-connected TV that could. Consigned to somewhere near the bottom of Sony’s 2011 line-up, and cursed with a CCFL backlight instead of trendy LED bulbs, it’s clearly not one of the brand’s hero products. Yet this transpires to be a quite a desirable gogglebox.
Fat panel display: Sony's Bravia KDL-40CX523
Viewed front-on it looks much like any other TV in the brand’s range. Only a sideways glance gives the backlight game away. Bulging out at 71mm, this panel is unlikely to impress the Joneses.
However, power the set up and things begin to look very à la mode. For a start there’s the new Sony UI. I really rather like this; it has elements of the old XrossMediaBar but there’s now a live TV image running in a minimised window. It’s smart and intuitive to use.
You can also avail yourself of a 20-strong slate of IPTV streaming media services, which include BBC iPlayer, Demand 5 and YouTube, as well as the brand’s Qriocity PPV movie and music download services. Also thrown in for good measure, is a flash-less web browser.
Wi-Fi connectivity is possible with an optional USB dongle
The set’s connectivity features four HDMIs, plus Scart, component, Ethernet, PC, phono AV inputs, two USBs and a digital audio out. At this end of the scale there’s no integrated Wi-Fi, but Sony has a 50-quid dongle for the job if you don’t fancy splashing out for Powerline kit to run Ethernet into your viewing room.
Next page: Fall from Grace?
I'll be needing a new TV soon,
having chucked my old (<10 years) CRT, when moving in with the in-laws. If £600 is classed as "affordable", I'm going to be seriously disapointmented.
Yet another neither one thing nor the other 80% review.
We all live in a 80% world it seems.
I used to work in the domestic TV industry and unfortunately, the issues with DLNA are all too typical of what comes out of it. The rules tend to be along the lines of :-
- If the idea/design/whatever is useful and easy to use then NO, you can't have it.
- If it's a really awkward and useless idea then YES, we absolutely must have it.
- If it actually takes more effort and engineering to make it awkward and useless rather than useful and easy then DOUBLE YES - get it into the product NOW! Extra points if the idea makes the product unstable. Even more points if adding this new useless feature gives us an excuse to remove a useful feature.
- If the feature is SO useless that 99% of people won't even realise it's built-in to the product then make MORE of it in the next version! (example - how many people even know about the apps built into their new Sony TVs? Don't feel stupid if you don't - they aren't even mentioned in the manual)
- If it was thought the feature was useless, but it turns out the end-users actually found a way of making it useful then (yep - you guessed it!), remove the feature from the next version
I wish this was all a joke, but it's not - I have seen it all too often first-hand.