Sony Bravia KDL-40Z5800 LCD TV review

Sony's first 40-inch LCD TV with built-in Freesat tuner is a stunner

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  • Superb picture quality
  • Freesat integrates nicely
  • Neat and space-saving design
  • 200Hz is very effective


  • Presets not the best
  • Viewing angle a bit limited

Although the current recession might have given many of the big names in AV quite a battering over the past 18 months, one name at least seems to have not only survived relatively unscathed but actually potentially benefited from the hard times: Freesat.

The BBC/ITV-led, free-to-air satellite broadcasting system, complete with a couple of HD channels, has attracted people to its service far faster than the vast majority of industry analysts – and us, to be honest – ever predicted.

The latest figures show a viewer base of 600,000 households as of September 2009, with a 50 per cent growth occurring in the quarter leading up to the release of that figure.

At the same time, Sky has for once struggled to meet its latest subscriber target, limping towards its desire for 10 million subscribers by the end of the year (and probably failing to reach it), rather than charging over the target line with months to spare as it often has before.

kdl 40z5800

These facts, together with anecdotal evidence from many of our own friends and relatives, leads us to suspect that as the recession has bitten harder, more and more people have ditched Sky's subscription service in favour of the subs-free Freesat offering. Especially as they can use their existing Sky dish to get it.

All of which suggests that Sony's timing with its 40-inch KDL-40Z5800 couldn't be better. For this model is the very first TV from Sony to feature a built-in Freesat HD tuner, following in the footsteps of numerous Freesat models from Panasonic and a couple of models from LG.

kdl 40z5800

Actually, we're kind of surprised that the 40Z5800 didn't arrive in the UK sooner.

After all, Panasonic has been making Freesat TVs for well over a year now, while LG's F7700 models came out as far back as March.

Panasonic had an initial exclusive deal with Freesat that explains some of the delay in Sony getting its Freesat finger out, but we can only hope that the time it's taken since Panasonic's deal ran out around the turn of the year is down to Sony wanting to make sure that its Freesat debut is something a bit special.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces2
Product FamilyBRAVIA
Brand NameSony
Screen Size101.6 cm (40")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Analog TunerNTSC, PAL, SECAM
Weight with Stand (Approximate)20.80 kg
RMS Output Power20 W
Digital Audio OutputYes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate200 Hz
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesPicture in Picture, Teletext, Favorite Channel Selection, Channel Labeling
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelKDL-40Z5800
Product NameBRAVIA KDL-40Z5800 40" LCD TV
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKDL40Z5800U
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Super smooth and pin sharp, this BRAVIA LCD TV is a sight to behold. Beneath its sleek "draw the LINE" design lies a masterful set up ready to deliver a mind blowing sound and picture experience. Fused with the latest eco aware features, BRAVIA's sharpest picture ever saves energy too.

Package Contents
  • Table-Top Stand
  • Screws for Table-Top Stand
  • European Warranty Card
  • Product Registration Card
  • Power Cable
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x Alkaline Battery
Weight (Approximate)17.90 kg