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Sony KDL40W3000 Final Verdict

by Vincent Teoh
16 October 2007

SUMMARY
Sony KDL40W3000 delivers the most accurate colours which – together with excellent blacks and shadow detail – produces the best picture I've seen on a flat-screen LCD TV so far.

PROS
> Accurate colours with excellent colour decoding
> Excellent black level and shadow detail
> "Full Pixel" 1:1 mapping gives superb HD detail

CONS
> Scaling and deinterlacing only average
> Auto-dimming when screen is black/ nearly black

> More expensive than other brands with similar specs

Pros

  • Accurate colours with excellent colour decoding
  • Excellent black level and shadow detail
  • Greyscale tracks extremely well post-calibration
  • Superb high-def clarity and revelation with "Full Pixel" 1:1 mapping
  • Handles 1080p/24 signal from PS3 well – no telecine judder
  • Can achieve zero overscan with the widest variety of signal I've seen on a flat-panel TV
  • Generous connectivity with 3 x HDMI, 2 x component inputs, etc.
  • Many picture options available in user menu including white balance
  • Independent input memory settings
  • Speedy navigation of on-screen menus and channels
  • Remote control is ergonomic and backlit
  • Slick EPG with pin-sharp text

Cons

  • Scaling and deinterlacing only average
  • Auto-dimming when screen is black/ almost black*
  • Mild clouding and screen unevenness (sides brighter than middle on dark fields)*
  • More expensive than similarly-specced rivals
  • Slight electronic buzz from the back (shouldn't present any problem for normal viewing)
  • Many picture controls are confusing with no clear explanation in the manual
  • Limited viewing angle – contrast and colour start washing out from 45° off-centre
  • Table-top stand does not swivel
  • Suboptimal placement of digital TV info banner at the top of the screen

* Denotes problems that can be attenuated to unobtrusive levels through calibration

Conclusion

Sony have touted their now-famous slogan "Colour like.no.other™" for more than one year, but it's only now that I've found a model to live up to it. All this while I've never actually been wholly convinced by the colour offerings from all the LCD manufacturers. While blessed with largely accurate colour gamuts, Sharps tend to exhibit red push; Samsungs generally suffer from 40-60% stimulus greyscale errors; Philips can't get anywhere near D65; and Toshibas' average blacks would wash out all the good work achieved through their colour management system. Even the previous generation of Sony Bravias stand accused of oversaturation due to their Wide Colour Gamut (WCG) implementation.

Accurate colour points, error-free decoding, excellent blacks and D65 greyscale... all these elements are crucial to natural-looking colour reproduction. By getting these right, the Sony KDL40W3000 delivered the best picture I've seen on an LCD TV to date. If you have no need for the MotionFlow technology found on the X3000/ X3500 (review pending), then this Sony KDL40W3000 will come highly recommended.

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