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Sony KDL-42W653A review

Sony targets the budget market with admirable results

Our Verdict

The 42W653A's picture quality really is excellent for its money, while a ground-breakingly low input lag performance also makes it a stellar option for serious gamers.

For

  • Impressive picture quality
  • Some good online services
  • Great value
  • Strong video processing

Against

  • Smart interface lacks sophistication
  • Limited catch-up TV services
  • Only two HDMIs
  • Sound quality is average

The first thing you need to do with the 42W653A is put aside all the prattle and hyperbole swilling around the AV world right now about 4K/Ultra HD, OLED, curved screens and other high-end fancy stuff. For this TV is ultimately about one thing, and one thing only: price. At £550 for a 42-inch TV, the best we can hope for is that it delivers a good slice of Sony's newfound TV picture quality without breaking the bank.

In delivering on this value promise, though, Sony clearly has to make compromises somewhere. Sorting through the impact of these will be at the heart of our assessment of the 42W653A – and right away we can see a few issues of potential concern.

Its design and build quality are both clearly inferior to Sony's more expensive sets. There's no 3D support and no sign of the local dimming lighting engine that worked so superbly on Sony's W9 and X9 series. There's no Sony TriLuminos colour technology, and the set only delivers a 200Hz-like effect compared with the 800Hz engines employed higher up Sony's range.

Sony s budget set
It might not rock 3D, but do you really care?

Video processing

It's not all doom and gloom, though, for the 42W653A does still retain Sony's latest Smart TV engine, as well as Sony's impressive X-Reality Pro video processing system.

It doesn't help raise our hopes for the 42W653A's performance, however, that the 47W805 range one level up from the W653A series turned out to be a disappointment, with some fairly significant backlighting problems. It's only when stepping far higher up the price ladder to the W905A series that Sony's range gets seriously tasty.

The other models currently available in the W6 series are the 32-inch 32W653A and the 50-inch 50W656A.

We'll look at potential worthwhile rivals later on, but briefly models that spring to mind are the Toshiba 40L6353 and Samsung UE40F6400.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG2), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports2
Number of SCART Interfaces2
Product FamilyBRAVIA W653A
EU Energy LabelA+
Smart TVYes
Brand NameSony
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)11 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
Operating Power Consumption95 W
Standby Power Consumption450 mW
RMS Output Power16 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand595 mm
Width with Stand954 mm
Depth with Stand197 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports1
Energy Consumption per Year69 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyMotionflow XR 200
Height568 mm
Width954 mm
Depth69 mm
ColourChrome
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, NICAM
Product SeriesW653A
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Browser, Sleep Timer, Picture and Picture (PAP)
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelKDL-42W653A
Product NameBRAVIA KDL-42W653A LED-LCD TV
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKDL42W653ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Go beyond the everyday

Think you know great TV? Think again. The W65 is packed with technology to make everything you watch clearer, smoother and more full of life. It has some unexpected extras too, enabling you to seamlessly integrate your smartphone or tablet into the entertainment experience.

Bring your picture to life

Warmer sunsets, brighter eyes, more thrilling action - X-Reality PRO adds an extra dimension of image clarity to everything you watch. Drawing on a database of visual information, it analyses and enhances every image - it's especially good with faces and skin tone.

Package Contents
  • BRAVIA KDL-42W653A LED-LCD TV
  • Batteries
  • Remote control
  • AC power cable
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)9.90 kg