There's nothing intrinsically wrong with Sony's approach to smart TV, but it's a competitive market and there are better, more affordable options than the KDL-40HX753.

We're not convinced by SEN, which has a closed 'Sony Club' feel to it that we really don't think is much needed or wanted.

As an all-round set though, it's worth considering not least for the thoroughly easy to use – though ageing – Xcross Media Bar interface that PS3 users will know well.

We liked

Easy to use and with great colours and enough contrast to supply excellent Blu-ray discs and Freeview HD, Sony has produced a respectable all-rounder with a useful smart TV dimension and highly watchable 3D.

Most of the key apps are present, as are almost all of the video and movie apps, and everything is housed in a pleasantly unusual laid-back design.

Buying Guide
best tv

Best TV 2012

We disliked

Ultimate black levels aren't of reference standard, upscaling is average, and audio is poor, while the TV isn't exactly super-slim.

Nor is there any support for MKV video files in a user interface that's both a tad repetitive and too corporate in its structure.

We're also worried about the lack of this year's best app – BBC Sport – which we had hoped would be on the KDL-40HX753.

Final verdict

An unremarkable effort from Sony, but in truth the slightly confused feel to the KDL-40HX753 isn't all its own fault; the all-new app-studded Sony Entertainment Network and the tried-and-tested central Xcross Media Bar clash and repeat each other to the extent that simplicity is sacrificed.

Judged purely on its video capabilities this is a distinctly mid-range performer, lacking in ultimate sharpness, upscaling prowess, and black levels, though it remains a very capable performer with HD and 3D sources.

In summary, the KDL-40HX753 is a very likeable TV, but in a high quality, competitive market comes up a notch short of greatness.

Also consider

Key sets to compare the KDL-40HX753 to from the other big brands in flat TV include Panasonic's 42-inch TX-L42ET50B, Samsung's 40-inch UE40ES6800 and LG's 42-inch 42LM670T (the 47-inch version is reviewed here).