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Sony KDL40W5500 Review Conclusion

by Vincent Teoh
23 March 2009
The Sony KDL40W5500 HDTV successfully addresses the few deficiencies identified on the outgoing W4500 series... with a few extras to boot.

Pros

  • Blacks among the deepest on a non-LED-backlit LCD TV
  • Very good standard-definition upscaling
  • Highly competent SD film mode deinterlacing
  • White balance and gamma controls available in user menu
  • Motionflow 100Hz reduces motion blur without significant artefacts
  • No undefeatable edge enhancement on 1080i/1080p
  • Relatively wide viewing angles (for an LCD TV)
  • Applicast, USB playback and DLNA streaming functionalities

Cons

  • Mediocre SD video mode deinterlacing (limited jaggies reduction)
  • Slight red push (colour decoding error)
  • Input lag may affect sensitive gamers
  • Mild clouding and LCD backlight bleed (negligible once calibrated)
  • RSS widget very fussy about feed format and character encoding

Summary

Besides offering media streaming (DLNA) and internet connectivity (Applicast), the Sony KDL40W5500 LCD television successfully addresses the few gripes we had with its predecessor the W4500 series:

  • White balance and gamma controls have been reinstated to the user menu;
  • Undefeatable edge enhancement on 1080 content have been eradicated; and
  • Standard-def upscaling and film mode deinterlacing have been improved.

Even though the LCD TV's video-based deinterlacing continues to disappoint, and its primary chromaticities have been compromised slightly by a downgrade in backlight unit, the Sony KDL40W5500 still delivers one of the best picture qualities we have seen this year, due to its superb black-level response, razor-sharp fine detail presentation, and mature 100Hz motion technology.

Highly Recommended

4.5 Star Rating: Highly Recommended

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