Sony desperately needed to get 3D right with the KDL-40HX723 after the mess that was the 3D performance of its EX723 models. So it's good to find the set boasting an effective 400Hz refresh rate that manages to greatly reduce the crosstalk problems of the EX723 models.
The KDL-40HX723 also goes a bundle on other picture processing, including X-Reality Pro to boost the quality of duff source material, multiple noise reduction systems and various contrast boosting circuits as well as a system for improving colour blends and two or three tools for adjusting sharpness.
It's also loaded with multimedia tools, including DLNA networking and Sony's excellent online video-on-demand service.
The complexity of the KDL-40HX723's picture settings makes it a TV that's potentially not for the technologically faint of heart, but thankfully the rewards for your set-up efforts are extreme, with 2D and 3D pictures that are among the best seen to date.
Sony has sorted out its 3D gremlins for the KDL-40HX723, resulting in 3D pictures that are now among the best from any LCD TV. The set is also a mostly excellent 2D picture performer and is especially impressive at upscaling low-quality standard-definition sources. Its multimedia support is good, too, while Bravia Internet Video remains arguably the most watchable online TV service.
While the basic principles of Sony's latest onscreen menu system are clever, the way they're implemented feels long-winded and complicated. This situation is not helped by the fact that you need to spend quite a bit of time in the menus fine-tuning all the video processing tools.
There's a little backlight inconsistency, but you can usually calibrate this down to a very low level. Finally, given the KDL-40HX723's price, it would have been nice to have found at least one pair of 3D glasses bundled.
The KDL-40HX723 marks a considerable and welcome return to form for Sony, firmly putting to bed any thoughts that the brand might have forgotten how to do 3D well. It's a very polished and enjoyable 2D performer, too, and sets new standards when it comes to presenting low-quality sources such as compressed internet video feeds.
Add in comprehensive multimedia and online source support, and the KDL-40HX723 amply justifies its slightly intimidating price tag.
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