Sony KDL-40W5710 review

This 40-inch beauty excels in many areas, but it's plagued by an uneven backlight that costs it a star Tested at £999.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

This TV excels in many areas but it's also plagued by an uneven backlight. Another five-star rating slips through Sony's fingers


  • +

    Fantastic Blu-ray pictures, especially where motion is concerned

  • +

    superb colours

  • +

    Freeview images


  • -

    Uneven backlight in the corners of the picture

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.

If you've been to your local Sony Centre or John Lewis lately, you might have caught a glimpse of the KDL-40W5710 LCD TV.

This isn't a new Sony set launched on the quiet; it's actually a different version of the KDL-40W5500, that's being sold exclusively through these two chains.

Specification for the '40W5710 is identical to the '40W5500's. This means the TV is equipped with four HDMI inputs, Full HD resolution and 100Hz Motionflow picture processing.

The set is also DLNA-certified and has internet connectivity for accessing Sony's online content provision service, Applicast.

The only physical difference between the two TVs is – wait for it – the '40W5710 has a different-coloured speaker grille.

Uneven backlighting – again
We voiced our concerns over the uneven backlighting of the '40W5500 when we reviewed it, and there are issues here, too.

The backlight bleeds into the corners – you can see this on the black bars during a movie and in dark scenes in TV programmes.

It's a shame, because other than this, the Sony produces a picture that's tough to fault.

1080p/24fps Blu-ray images are blessed with sensational levels of detail. Watching Australia, the Sony copes well with the frenzied movement of the cattle stampede, while the colour balance is expertly judged.

The TV proves to be an accomplished upscaler of standard definition content too, while Freeview performance is up there with the best-in-class.

If the backlight wasn't such an issue you'd be looking at a five-star set. But this isn't the first time we've had to dock a star from a Sony TV because of this problem.

See all our Sony TV reviews

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.

Read more about how we test