Sony KDL-40CX523 review

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

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Sony kdl 40cx523

The CCFL backlight enables some surprisingly deep blacks, which help dark scenes look convincing (so long, at least, as you've spent a little time taming the set's backlight and brightness settings a bit) and provide a solid, cinematic foundation for the rest of the picture elements to bounce off.

The black rendition also helps colours look vibrant and rich, while blends are handled accurately and without any ugly striping or blotching. Some red hues can be garish and skin tones can appear over-ripe before calibration, but these minor issues can easily be corrected by the KDL-40CX523's picture adjustment tools to create a performance that is engagingly natural, regardless of source quality.

HD pictures aren't the most aggressively crisp on the market, but they are full of detail nonetheless and there's no sign of grain or noise around edges.

Standard-definition material upscales nicely to fit to the screen's full HD resolution and noise is suppressed superbly, while colour tones don't exhibit any significant drop in quality.

The KDL-40CX523 is particularly good compared to rival sets when it comes to improving the look of very low-quality, standard-definition content - a result, perhaps, of it carrying Sony's new X-Reality processing, which was designed specifically to tackle low-quality feeds such as those being streamed from the internet.

Generally, the KDL-40CX523 transcends its modest spec where performance is concerned, although it does suffer from a trio of minor flaws.

The first issue is that the picture loses a bit of shadow detail during dark scenes as a result of how much the screen has to reduce its brightness in order to produce a convincing black colour.

Another problem is that motion loses a little resolution - an almost inevitable occurrence on an LCD TV that's only got 50Hz scanning.

Finally, during very dark scenes you might see a small amount of light bleeding into the screen's corners. This fairly common CCFL phenomenon is not to be confused with the backlight inconsistency problems found with many edge LED TVs. In this case it is confined to a very small area, is visible only during extremely dark scenes and can be addressed by keeping brightness and backlight levels low.

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
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
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
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand636 mm
Width with Stand991 mm
Depth with Stand250 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Height606 mm
Width991 mm
Depth71 mm
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 Address
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
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • AC Power Cable
Limited Warranty5 Year
Weight (Approximate)12.90 kg