Sony KDL-40CX523 review

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

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Sony kdl 40cx523

Superficially, the KDL-40CX523 might not look that exciting. It hasn't got 3D, for instance and is backlit by CCFL lamps rather than by edge or direct LED arrays, but the point of this set is great value for money.

Despite its low price the KDL-40CX523 carries not only DLNA PC streaming and video/photo/music playback from USB drives, but also Sony's excellent Bravia Internet Video online service.

All this plus generally admirable pictures and sound adds up to a genuine bargain.

We liked

The price is eye-catchingly low for a Sony set and the value is bolstered by a startling array of multimedia tools, including streaming from networked PCs, an onboard internet browser, Skype support (via an optional camera) and even Sony's Bravia Internet Video online service.

Pictures are mostly very pleasing, too, and even audio is a cut above the budget norm.

We disliked

Build quality isn't the best and, while its onscreen menu system is clever in some ways, it can also be a little confusing.

As far as its pictures are concerned, there's a touch of motion blur, some minor backlight bleed in the screen's corners and a little missing shadow detail in dark areas.

Final verdict

The KDL-40CX523 is unexpectedly affordable for a 40-inch TV with exceptional multimedia flexibility and a Freeview HD tuner and its picture quality is an eloquent reminder that CCFL lighting is no poor relation to the currently more voguish edge LED systems now found on most LCD TVs.

The above-average sound system completes the sort of set cash-strapped Sony fans must have been dreaming about.

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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