Sony KDL-40HX753 review

Smart TV with a corporate feel on this good value, though average, Edge LED TV

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For

  • Video app selection
  • Cinematic Blu-ray pictures
  • Impressively clean 3D
  • Colours
  • Laid-back 'easel' design

Against

  • Repetitive user interface
  • Average upscaling
  • No MKV support
  • No 3D glasses included

Forget like.no.other and make.believe; less.is.more should be Sony's new motto if this 40-incher from its HX7 Series is anything to go by.

Perhaps it's the company's financial problems or the fact that it's flattered to deceive with many of its TVs in recent years, but 2012 sees Sony streamline its Bravias and sensibly concentrate on core must-have features.

We've already been blown away by a telly from the brand's flagship HX8 Series, the 46-inch KDL- 46HX853, but the smaller version of this 40-incher, the KDL-32HX752, had notable problems with 3D.

In the slim stakes the KDL-40HX753 isn't a patch on some of the smart-looking TVs we've seen of late.

Granted, it's hardly an ugly duckling, but the 59mm panel depth makes it chubby by today's standards.

Sony KDL 40HX753 Review

Around the screen is a sizable 27mm gloss black bezel (reaching 37mm along the bottom) that despite being rimmed with silver shows its less-than-flagship design, though we do admire its clever 'easel' stand that sees two metallic poles jut out from under the bottom of the TV.

Sony KDL 40HX753 Review

The TV appears to float and, furthermore, it leans back slightly (by 6º to be precise). The effect is at once both subtle and dramatic. Now that's proper design.

Sony KDL 40HX753 Review

Also the receiver of a makeover is Sony's smart TV platform, which was easily the best in the business when it launched a few years ago, but had begun to stale.

However, the re-named Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) is merely an extra hub screen that gathers certain apps.

Although the likes of the BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Lovefilm are present, there was no sign of the new BBC Sport app during our test.

Sony KDL 40HX753 Review

The KDL-40HX753 uses Sony's X-Reality processing and sports a 400Hz (that's a 200Hz panel and some backlight scanning) Edge LED-backlit Full HD LCD panel; fast enough for active shutter 3D compatibility, but don't get carried away – there are no 3D specs supplied in the box.

Is Sony trying to kill 3D? With 3D specs – even formerly pricey active shutter flavours – now going for less then £20, it would appear so.

Even worse, despite Sony being a member of the Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative that was invented to make 3D glasses work on all active shutter 3DTVs, neither our Samsung nor Panasonic 3D specs worked with the KDL-40HX753. Why did Sony bother signing up?

Similar models

There aren't many TVs in Sony's 2012 line-up. Joining this 40-incher in Sony's HX753 Series is the 32-inch KDL-32HX753, 46-inch KDL-46HX753 and 55-inch KDL-55HX753.

Boasting the same 'easel' stand is Sony's step-down, non-3D ready EX653 Series, which puts 100Hz panels in the 32-inch KDL-32EX653, 40-inch KDL-40EX653 and 46-inch KDL-46EX653.

Above the HX753 Series is Sony's flagship HX853 Series, which include the 40-inch KDL-40HX853, 46-inch KDL-46HX853 and 55-inch KDL-55HX853.

What makes these three superstars is their use of X-Reality PRO picture processing and the use of 800Hz panels, though most crucially they use a configuration of LED backlighting that allows more localised dimming than on the KDL-40HX753.

Sony also sells its entry-level EX553 Series, which comprises just two small HD-ready screen LCD TVs, the 22-inch KDL-22EX553 and 26-inch KDL-26EX553.