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Sony KDL40X3500 Review Conclusion

by Vincent Teoh
6 November 2007

SUMMARY
Due to excellent blacks and shadow detail, accurate colours, exquisite high-def resolution and above all motion interpolation that works, Sony KDL40X3500 is the best (picture-wise) LCD TV I've tested so far.

PROS
> 100Hz motion works without introducing nasty interpolation artifacts
> Excellent blacks and shadow detail
> Accurate colours with excellent decoding

CONS
> Average video processing
> Auto-dimming unless [Game/ Text Mode] is engaged

> Higher price than competing models with similar specs

Pros

  • Motionflow 100Hz reduces motion blur without nasty interpolation artifacts
  • Excellent blacks and shadow detail
  • Accurate colours with excellent decoding
  • Superb HD resolution with "Full Pixel" 1:1 mapping
  • Easy to calibrate to D65 greyscale tracking
  • Processes 1080p/24 signal from PS3 without telecine judder
  • Can achieve zero overscan with a variety of video signal
  • Abundant connectivity with 3 x HDMI, 2 x component inputs, 1 x USB port, etc.
  • Viewing angle ≈ 120° – one of the widest among recent LCD TVs
  • Numerous picture controls available in user menu including white balance
  • Independent per-input memory settings
  • Sophisticated look with "floating glass frame" design
  • Onboard speakers deliver good stereo imaging and clear dialogue
  • Responsive navigation of user menu and channels
  • Ergonomic and backlit remote control
  • Clean uncluttered EPG with crisp sharp text

Cons

  • Average video processing, though video deinterlacing is slightly better than the W3000
  • Auto-dimming when screen is black/ almost black (except if [Game/ Text Mode] is on)
  • Slight clouding (reducible to unobtrusive levels)
  • Higher price than other brands with similar specifications
  • Mild electronic buzz and fan noise from the rear (generally not audible in normal viewing)
  • Need to tailor settings to different material within the same source to get the best image
  • Pedestal stand needs to be assembled to the TV and doesn't swivel
  • Careless positioning of digital TV info banner at the top of the screen

Conclusion

I'll readily admit that I didn't expect much from the Motionflow 100Hz on Sony KDL40X3500, because all the motion compensation frame interpolation (MCFI) implementations on other flat screen televisions I've seen in the past have invariably thrown up some form of artifacts, be it motion tearing, colour sparkles or shimmering halos around moving objects.

But I am genuinely impressed by Sony's Motionflow 100Hz algorithm on the KDL40X3500, which produced the best motion interpolation with the least artifacts I've witnessed to date. Whilst I would generally refrain from applying it to film material (to avoid my movies looking like amateur videos), there was a beneficial decrease in motion blurring (measured motion resolution almost doubled) when [Motion Enhancer] was engaged for video-based content and console games. The occasional shimmering around objects in motion remained, but these were few and far between, and mostly unnoticeable as long as you don't go overly aggressive with the [Motion Enhancer].

Just like the W3000 series, this television delivers excellent black level and shadow detail, accurate colours and exquisite HD detail. But because of better motion resolution afforded by Motionflow 100Hz, the Sony KDL40X3500 supersedes the KDL40W3000 as the best (in terms of picture) LCD television I've tested to date.

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