Sony KDL-40HX723 40in LED 3D TV
A better class of Bravia
Web TV options include BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, YouTube, Daily Motion, Sony’s dedicated 3D promo channel plus a slew of niche curiosities. To make the most of this streaming video content, the set’s so-called X-Reality PRO engine minimises mosquito noise and other low bitrate nasties.
Not the cheapest, but you do get what you pay for
The TV’s network media playback is somewhat less comprehensive. While this DLNA compliant screen will befriend like-minded devices on a LAN, it’s not entirely sociable. AVI, MOV, WMV, MPEG4 and AVCHD files from Nas devices and USB all play, but MKV-wrapped fare is ignored. Oh, and if you want Wi-Fi connectivity, there's a dongle option, but it'll cost ya.
Of course, the set has other party tricks. Track ID, a feature which identifies incidental music from a TV show using the Gracenote database, is well known. It’s handy if you want to find out the artist responsible or album it comes from. Less common is Video Search, which allows you to look up movies for cast and crew info.
The TV is also a lightweight DVR, recording to an external hard drive. However, remember there’s only one tuner and recordings are locked to the TV of origin.
Despite the set’s physical constraints, audio quality is good. There’s an efficient S-Force digital amp onboard offering 3 x 10W output, plus five post processing modes to make the most of the ‘invisible’ downward-firing speakers.
Overall, this 40-in set is as impressive as it is expensive. There are a few niggling caveats, but the Sony Bravia KDL-40HX723 offers a terrific HD performance, bright engaging 3D and a barrel load of IPTV. ®
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