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Sony KDL40V3000 Picture Quality
High Definition (Blu-Ray)
The Sony KDL40V3000 handled 1080p/24 output from the PS3 with aplomb, as evident right from the opening scene of Hairspray Blu-ray when the camera broke through the clouds to pan across the town of Baltimore. The resulting smoothness was really as good as it gets: not a single hint of telecine judder nor interpolation artefact was detected, confirming that the Sony KDL40V3000 did not employ internal 2:3 pulldown nor motion compensation technology to process 1080p/24 signals.
With [Full Pixel] engaged for 1:1 pixel mapping, I found fine detail retrieval and portrayal to be top-notch on the Sony KDL40V3000. For example, in the scene where Tracy Turnbald realised in horror that she's late for school (yet again) because of her all-singing-and- dancing antics, and was rushing towards the main entrance (00:05:20), I could still effortlessly make out the writing on the rubbish bin, and the texture of the bricks on the school building and pavement:
Hairspray is by and large a bright film with bold and beautiful colour palette used throughout. The D65 greyscale on the Sony KDL40V3000 injected a profuse amount of authenticity to the movie, though it's worthwhile remembering that I had to break into the service menu to make this happen, which is probably a step too far to ask of the average viewer. And while colours could look a tad oversaturated, skin tones never looked out of place even in the internal studio shots illuminated by multicoloured lights.
There aren't many totally dark scenes in Hairspray to seriously test the black-level rendition on the KDL40V3000, but as can be expected from a latest-generation Sony LCD TV, shadow detail delineation was excellent from what I could see during the Velma Von Tussle (Michelle Pfeiffer) toy shop seduction sequence, and the ensuing chapter where Wilbur Turnbald (Christopher Walken) romanced his wife Edna (John Travolta) under the moon.
Standard Definition (Freeview Digital TV)
Standard-def handling on the Sony KDL40V3000 wasn't up there with the very best, but a sensible viewing distance (e.g. 8 to 10 feet) should go a long way towards making the picture look acceptable without excessive compression noise or ringing.
BBC One's Match Of The Day broadcast of the FA Cup replay between Middlesbrough and Sheffield United gave me an insight into the motion handling capability on the Sony KDL40V3000. As could be expected from an LCD television not blessed with 100Hz motion compensation frame interpolation (MCFI) technology, any sort of medium to fast panning on the football field resulted in a predictable level of blurring among the crowd and advertising boards. Of course it also very much depends on your sensitivity and tolerance to motion blur, but if you demand higher clarity of moving objects, perhaps an LCD TV with 100Hz technology or a plasma television would be a better bet.
The Sony KDL40V3000 did okay with Shaun Of The Dead on ITV2 (not a channel that is traditionally associated with high transmission quality). Flesh tones looked natural, and any line twitter/ flicker was eradicated once [Film Mode] was set to either "Auto 1" or "Auto 2". However, I noticed some low-level smearing/ ghosting in dimly lit scenes (e.g. when Shaun and Ed stumbled out of the Winchester Tavern after Liz dumped Shaun), which of course could be source-related.
Playstation 3 Console Gaming
The Sony KDL40V3000 did not exhibit any input lag significant enough to impair gaming response (I measured it to be on par with the Samsung 52F96 set to [Game Mode]), but the very first time I played Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on this LCD television, I was aghast at the amount of image smearing in dark areas. For example, in the multiplayer map "District", panning the camera viewpoint across a door frame in one of the many dark rooms/ corridors would cause motion trails which can be downright annoying.
After a few days' use, however, and the near-black motion smearing became less and less visible to the point of negligible, even after I tried to recreate the exact same trails in the same scenes. I'm not sure why the initial motion smearing was so bad... maybe the Sony KDL40V3000 simply needed some time to break in, or perhaps I didn't allow sufficient time for the panel to warm up. If after a prolonged period of use you still find this issue troublesome, one method you can try to reduce the smearing is by bumping up the [Colour Temperature] to "Neutral" or "Cool", since D65 is not really necessary for games at this moment anyway.
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