Sony 40lx903

Sound

The one area that drags down the marks of almost every flatscreen TV is speakers, and the 40LX903 is no different.

Low on low frequency and high on disappointment, the stereo speakers here are flat in every sense of the word. Par for the course, but on a £2,000 TV you really should be hearing something more than a fake surround preset that throws sound to the edges.

Value

Considering the 40LX903's talents and that its bigger brother is extortionately priced, the choice is effectively between this and the slightly cheaper – and bigger – Panasonic VT20. The latter's online functions are limited in comparison, though both its 2D and 3D image quality is superior.

And if the Panasonic is too rich for your taste, consider the Samsung PS50C6900, which is under a grand, full HD and 10-inches bigger than this Sony. All of which leaves the 40LX903 some way behind its competitors on pure value for money.

Ease of use

The 40LX903 is operated by Xross Media Bar – the user interface that first appeared on the PlayStation3 and now dominates almost all of Sony's gadgets.

Lined-up on the map-like 'XMB' are icons for streaming services such as its all-new (though slightly awkwardly named) Video on Demand powered by Qriocity, BBC iPlayer, Demand Five, Lovefilm, Sony Entertainment Television, the FIFA World Cup Collection and Eurosport.

Sadly, the FIFA World Cup widget is about to disappear – as we suspected, it was merely a stunt put together for the 2010 tournament. That's a shame, because it's a stunning collection of archived competition footage that's not available to stream from anywhere else, to our knowledge.

Other widgets are included that are in essence tailor-made TV interfaces for popular websites, such as Facebook and Flickr, with everything split into music, video and photo branches on the XMB; logical, easy to use and beautifully designed.

Tuned-in digital TV channels and other sources pop-up on XMB, too, which give an integrated feel to the 40LX903 that most TVs struggle to match.