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Sony Bravia KDL-40V5810 review

Sony cuts the price tag of this 40" LCD TV, but thankfully not the features

Our Verdict

Hi-def and standard-def pictures are a good deal better than the modest price tag would suggest

For

  • Deep black levels
  • Impressive performance
  • Good value

Against

  • Below par widgets and media streaming
  • Lacks 100Hz processing

The Sony Bravia KDL-40V5810 Sits towards the bottom of Sony's current line up of TVs. This would signal a telly that's born into mediocrity with many other manufacturers.

However, the 40V5810's impressive specification would suggest otherwise, because alongside its Freesat HD tuner it also boasts the latest Bravia Engine 3 picture processing, Applicast internet widgets and green features that promise to make it kinder to the environment. Best of all, though, is the sub £800 asking price.

Features

The standard issue, glossy black exterior doesn't exactly set the pulse racing, but under the hood it's surprising just how feature-rich the 40V5810 actually is.

The 1080p panel and Freesat HD tuner let you enjoy every ounce of detail that the likes of BBC HD has to offer. Sony has also been generous by adding four HDMI ports, but perhaps most impressive is the presence of the well regarded Bravia Engine 3 picture processing.

side

The set's green credentials aren't bad either: in Eco mode it uses its light sensor to detect ambient light in your room and adjusts the screen brightness accordingly. There's also an automatic Power off feature that shuts down the set when it detects that it's been idle for a long time.

However, the TV lags behind the competition when it comes to internet and networking features, especially compared to those found on TVs from the likes of Panasonic and LG. It does offer internet widgets for viewing pictures, checking the weather forecast and reading internet news feeds, but there's sadly no support for internet video services such as Youtube.

The home networking features are also below par as the file format support is just too limited. For example, the set can only stream basic MPEG2 and AVCHD video files; there's no support for the popular DivX, Xvid and Maktrosa video formats that LG's keenly priced TVs now handle with ease.

Ease of use

The set's unfussy remote feels very comfortable to hold, and its intelligent button layout puts all the important controls, such as volume, channel choice and EPG access at your fingertips.

Most of the TVs functions are accessible via the Xcross Media Bar menu system that'll look instantly familiar to anyone who's used a PS3 or PSP games console, but you can also call up quick menus for picture and sound controls.

remote

We like the electronic version of the manual stored in the screen's memory, enabling you to view it on the screen at any time and another clever addition is the Scene selection feature. This acts as a sort of super preset menu that quickly tweaks the TV's picture and audio settings for things like movie watching, sports or game play.

Picture

There's no doubting that the screen's core strengths lie in the picture department. The naturalness of its colours lend its pictures a realism that's lacking on many similarly priced rivals. What's more, the set's stunning black levels help it produce beautifully rich images that are full of contrast and have a real cinematic feel.

The darker, more brooding scenes in No Country for Old Men on Blu-ray looked superb. The Bravia Engine 3 works wonders, too. Not only does it enhance contrast and sharpness on HD sources, but it also helps wring the very best out of even the poorest SD feeds.

There are a couple of downsides, however. The TV lacks 100Hz processing so motion isn't quite as smooth as on some higher end sets, but to be fair, it still performs pretty admirably in this department for a telly in this price range.

The backlighting also isn't quite as even as it could be. In very dark scenes you can see slightly greyer patches at the edges. But again, this is hardly the first LCD to suffer from this, and unless you watch the opening of any of the Star Wars movies on a loop you're probably not going to notice it.

Sound

When it comes to audio, the 40V5810 puts in an impressively potent performance. It's got no problems kicking out a racket at higher volumes, the mid range is strong and there's enough bass to keep the sound nicely rounded.

We also liked the Voice Zoom feature which does a surprisingly good job of making dialogue sound more distinct. This can be especially useful at night when you're likely to watch TV at lower volume levels.

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It may lack 100Hz processing and have a lacklustre design, but overall the 40V5810 is still impressive.

It has bags of features, excellent picture processing that works wonders with both HD and standard-def sources, and, unlike a lot of Sony TVs it doesn't have a wallet bashing price tag. So on the performance to price ratio we think it scores highly.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeLCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG2), DVB-S2, DVB-T (MPEG2)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces2
Product FamilyBRAVIA
Brand NameSony
Screen Size101.6 cm (40")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
EthernetYes
Analog TunerPAL, NTSC, SECAM
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)20.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyCCFL
VESA Mount Standard300 x 300
Operating Power Consumption111 W
Standby Power Consumption170 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio60,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
S-VideoYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand684 mm
Width with Stand987 mm
Depth with Stand303 mm
Number of Common Interface1
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Height636 mm
Width987 mm
Depth93 mm
ColourPiano Black
Sound SystemDolby Digital, Surround Sound
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesPicture in Picture, Picture and Picture (PAP), Child Lock, Sleep Timer, Channel Labeling, Auto Program, Favorite Channel Selection, Teletext
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelKDL-40V5810
Product NameBRAVIA KDL-40V5810 40" LCD TV
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKDL40V5810
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Our stunning picture quality reaches a whole new dynamic level. Experience true colour that comes alive in Full HD, and start home networking with all your digital devices to open up endless entertainment possibilities. All this and it conserves energy too.

Package Contents
  • BRAVIA KDL-40V5810 LCD TV
  • AC Cable
  • Operating Instructions
  • Remote Control
  • Table Top Stand
SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)17.50 kg