Sony KDL-40EX723 review

The KDL-40EX723 includes Sony's Motionflow picture processing that's great with fast motion Tested at £1000

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A good TV let down by performance niggles – but it’s still worth auditioning


  • +

    3D images have their moments

  • +

    good 2D performance

  • +

    fantastic motion handling


  • -

    Uneven backlight

  • -

    tilt your head and you lose the 3D

  • -

    slow to navigate web content

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

2010 was a fantastic year for Sony TVs. The company picked up a plethora of test wins at a wide range of screen sizes and prices. The company then topped it all off with a couple of Awards.

So, we’re especially keen to finally welcome a 2011 screen to the party.

An intense 3D picture
The KDL-40EX723 is one of Sony’s entry-level, active-shutter 3D screens, and has a built-in transmitter to sync with the company’s glasses (some 2010 models required a rather unsightly external unit).

However, glasses for this set remain an optional extra and will set you back £100 a pair. They’re a little bulky compared to some rivals.

If you’re after a pristine, immersive 3D experience (and why wouldn’t you be?), then the Sony gets pretty close.

Spin the funfair scene from Despicable Me and the level of detail and depth
on offer will leave you amazed. As the rollercoaster rises, falls, and loop-the-loops, the TV puts you right in the front seat.

3D is tiring to watch
The downside is that the 3D experience is quite intense and proved tiring to more than one member of the review team over time.

The picture also suffers when you tilt your head to the left or right: you lose the 3D picture instantly, so if you often lie down when watching, this isn’t the TV for you.

Its 2D content also delivers a fair share of pros and cons.

Spin a Blu-ray with plenty of fast action scenes or slow, tricky pans and the Sony handles it assertively and with a level of a control and natural fluidity that some rival players can only dream about.

Inconsistent backlighting
Edges remain solid and sharply drawn throughout, the TV’s colour delivery is nicely judged, and it’s capable of switching from vivid to natural hues whenever the scene demands.

The picture from the TV’s Freeview HD tuner is also decent, and high-definition channels show levels of composure and clarity that can’t be sniffed at.

But, show our review sample a dark scene and you’re met with inconsistent backlighting in all four corners of the screen and in patches across the front.

It’s especially noticeable when watching in a darkened room. This hinders black levels and the TV struggles to match the deep luscious blacks served up by the likes of some other sets

Tons of content on demand
Hooked up to the internet, Sony’s Bravia Internet Video service offers one of the more extensive collections of on-demand content, including BBC iPlayer, Demand 5 and its own streaming service, Qriocity.

Having this breadth of content at your fingertips is great, although we found the user experience a little sluggish and not quite as slick or intuitive.

Video quality falls short in terms of detail and clarity too.

The Sony is reasonably priced and does some things brilliantly, but its lack of consistency with 3D and a temperamental backlight hold it back from a five-star rating.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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