Sony KDL-40CX523 review

Temptingly affordable LCD with solid performance and a wealth of multimedia options

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Sony kdl 40cx523

While not ugly, the KDL-40CX523 suffers from a plasticky finish and lacks the sense of solidity that characterises pricier sets. The KDL-40CX523's connections are as comprehensive as those on most high-end TVs, with four HDMIs receiving unexpectedly comprehensive support from a D-Sub PC port two USB slots and an Ethernet socket.

The latter is particularly welcome, since it serves no fewer than three different duties. First, it's there in its mandatory capacity to provide support for the built-in Freeview HD tuner. Second, it enables you to stream photo, music and video multimedia files from a networked, DLNA-capable PC. Finally – and most excitingly, given the KDL-40CX523's aggressive price – it can transport you to Sony's Bravia Internet Video online service.

Bravia Internet Video differs from rival manufacturer's systems by focusing on streaming video. The BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 catch-up TV services are the main headliners, but there's also an interactive Sky News feed, Skype support (if you add a camera), YouTube, LoveFilm, Sony's Qriocity film and music subscription services, plus The World Of Sony, which gives you a decent selection of classic TV series that you can watch, in full, for free.

There's a wealth of more obscure video stuff too, such as golf tips and simple HD clip showcases, with the total adding up to a library of video content that leaves its rival online TV platforms trailing well behind.

Bravia Internet Video doesn't go a bundle on the sort of infotainment and simple gaming apps employed (arguably to excess) on some rival platforms, though Sony has recently introduced Twitter and Facebook and the KDL-40CX523 also sports an open internet browser.

If you don't want to hardwire your KDL-40CX523 into your network, you can use one of the USB ports to add an optional extra (£70-£100) Wi-Fi dongle. You can also, of course, use the USBs for playing back video, photo or music files from USB storage devices.

The KDL-40CX523 has a decent amount of options for tinkerers to get their teeth into. More effort might have gone into ways of enabling you to fine-tune colour tones and the white balance, but the KDL-40CX523 goes as far as you might reasonably expect for this sort of money.

The only potential spec issues worth mentioning are that the scanning is only 50Hz and the backlight is conventional CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent) rather than LED.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyBRAVIA CX523
Brand NameSony
Screen Size101.6 cm (40")
Aspect Ratio16:9
EthernetYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)16.30 kg
Backlight TechnologyCCFL
Operating Power Consumption181 W
Standby Power Consumption250 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand636 mm
Width with Stand991 mm
Depth with Stand250 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Height606 mm
Width991 mm
Depth71 mm
ColourBlack
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, Surround Sound
Product SeriesCX523
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesSleep Timer, Picture and Picture (PAP), Picture and Text (PAT), Favorite Channel Selection, Web Browser
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelKDL-40CX523
Product NameBRAVIA KDL-40CX523 LCD TV
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKDL40CX523
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

A new world is waiting for you

If you want high quality Full HD viewing now and the opportunity to stream online entertainment and services in the future, we have the TV for you. Relax and enjoy impressive picture detail knowing there's a whole new world waiting whenever you're ready.

Package Contents
  • BRAVIA KDL-40CX523 LCD TV
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • AC Power Cable
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty5 Year
Weight (Approximate)12.90 kg