Considered simply as a TV, the 40EX503's generally strong performance, affordable price and currently unique (though probably not for long!) Freeview HD and online video streaming features make it a force to be reckoned with.
It's only when you put the 40EX503 out there in the nationwide marketplace that any serious issues with it materialise, on account of Freeview HD's currently very limited availability and rather limited HD content offering.
But it's really not fair to blame the 40EX503 for Freeview HD's coverage problems.
And even if you're not set to get Freeview HD until well into next year, provided you're patient you could still do worse than consider getting a 40EX503 ready for when your service finally goes live.
The good news began so far as the 40EX503 is concerned with its price. We'd firmly expected it to retail for north of £1,000 given the Sony branding and its ground-breaking nature, so its £900 price ticket really doesn't look bad at all.
It also rather importantly delivers some very good picture quality, sets a new bar for online content, and its all-important Freeview HD tuner works perfectly well. Plus, it's impressively easy to use for such a complex TV.
In a perfect world, the 40EX503's pictures would look a touch crisper - something we might actually see happen with Sony's 200Hz Freeview HD sets when they arrive later in the year.
Colours, too, would ideally deliver a touch more vibrancy after the picture has been calibrated for contrast.
Elsewhere, a second USB would have been nice. But that's about it.
The bottom line is that if you live in an area that already has or is soon to get Freeview HD, then the 40EX503 absolutely demands an audition.
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