After 18 months of fence-sitting, Sony has joined the Freesat following.
Other than the Freesat tuner, this is identical to its stablemate, the KDL-40W5500: Full HD LCD with 100Hz Motionflow, four HDMIs, and a DLNA-compatible ethernet socket.
The usual Sony qualities shine through as soon as you play a Blu-ray. First, there's contrast: few sets go as black as this, but even in the darkest scenes it will find and reproduce any light with pure, punchy clarity.
Motionflow works well
The vibrant yet natural colours are another success, and Sony's Motionflow technology produces rock-solid, smooth and natural movement.
Switch to DVD and you can add clean and stable deinterlacing and upscaling to the positives. Sound is clear and direct, if a bit more sibilant than the very best.
There's very little between Freeview and Freesat in standard definition. Both have lots of detail and vibrant, punchy colours, but a touch more noise than the best.
Switch to Life on BBC HD, though, and Freesat suddenly makes sense. The Sony produces sharp, insightful, solid images.
Even backlight is bang on
This is usually the point in a Sony TV review where dodgy backlighting ruins everything, but our sample was impressive in this regard, too. In fact, its only problem is Philips' 42PFL9664, which is so detailed it manages to make the Sony look a touch soft.
That Philips is £500 more expensive, though. Next to its price rivals this Sony is a leader in the detail department. This is the best Freesat model we've seen.