Sony bravia kdl-40ex703

The KDL-40EX703 boasts one of the most comprehensive specification sheets of any television currently on the market.

It is, of course, Full HD and those 1,920 x 1,080 pixels are put to the best possible use by a built-in Freeview HD tuner.

The subscription-free digital terrestrial high-def service is becoming increasingly significant, with this summer's World Cup coverage enabling it to move beyond looped demo material, offering as it did so a mouth-watering glimpse into the future of mainstream high-definition broadcasting.

Web widgets

The set also carries an Ethernet connection and web widgets that offer a gateway to a handpicked selection of websites, including YouTube, DailyMotion and Lovefilm.com.

We're not entirely convinced that this sort of ring-fenced browsing offers much of a boon to anyone already in possession of a PC and a broadband internet connection or a decent web-enabled phone, but it's an impressive bonus layer of spec that doesn't appear to have added much of a premium to what looks, at first glance, like a very competitive price tag.

The KDL-40EX703 also carries the latest generation of the picture processing system that has served its sets to consistently good effect over the last few years.

Bravia Engine 3 is an umbrella term for a set of tweaks and refinements designed to boost image detail, optimise contrast and keep an eye on the colour palette.

Motion judder?

MotionFlow 100Hz digital scanning is also on hand to smooth out judder, while Live Colour mode is available in varying degrees of intensity (including Off) to help ensure hues are bright and realistic.

If you've already noted the set's unusually slender profile, you will no doubt have deduced that this is an LED-backlit set, which ought to be good news for black levels, as well as enabling it to run much more efficiently than an equivalent, CCFL-powered flatscreen.

Another piece of green thinking is a presence sensor that switches off the picture if the set detects no movement in the general vicinity for a period of time.

You can extend or reduce the amount of time the TV will wait before shutting down, or switch the feature off entirely if you prefer. There is a rather underwhelming demo in which the screen goes black every five seconds if you want to check out this feature before deciding whether or not to use it.

The Sony can also us Wi-Fi, which means you can connect it to your home network without cabling (although you will need to add the optional UWA-BR100 USB device to do so) to share various media across whatever compatible hardware you own.

Connectivity

General connectivity, meanwhile, is generous. The line is led by a quartet of HDMI inputs, two of which are around the back, with the remainder arranged vertical on the left-hand side of the cabinet.

These are joined by a comprehensive selection of the usual digital and analogue ports, including a brace of RGB-enabled Scart inputs, a USB port and an optical digital audio output for sending broadcast audio to external amplification in pristine binary form.

S-video has been dispensed with, but there is a composite jack on hand to cater for the lower end of the video food chain.