Sony KDL-40HX753 3D Smart TV Review

2D Calibration

Note: Our Sony KDL-40HX753 review sample was calibrated using Calman Professional, the industry-leading video calibration software.

Greyscale

We selected the “Cinema 1″ mode, since this is the most accurate, high quality preset mode on Sony TVs, and measured grey shades using our Klein K-10 and CalMan software, to see how neutrally coloured the HX753′s images were.

Pre-calibration RGB Tracking
Pre-calibration RGB tracking and delta errors (dEs)

The image had a blue cast to it, which we could easily see given how much time we spend with calibrated HDTVs and projectors. This was most prominent in darker scenes (see the excess of blue at 10% stimulus, above). The LCD panel itself colours dark blacks with a purple glow, which is something we see consistenly with Sony LED-lit LCD televisions.

Post-calibration RGB Tracking in [Cinema 1] mode
Post-calibration RGB tracking and dEs in [Cinema 1] mode

We calibrated as much of the blue tint out of the image as we could, which requires the use of a colour measuring device and specialised software. As we found with the step-up HX853, the controls do not have enough precision to fully remove tints from the image, meaning we were left with too much red at 20% stimulus, and too much blue below this. Fortunately, errors in brighter areas were either invisible, or barely visible to the eye. Overall, this is good (rather than great) performance which leaves images subtly tinted.

Gamma

Gamma curve in [Cinema 1] mode Gamma tracking in [Cinema 1] mode
Gamma curve in [Cinema 1] mode Corresponding gamma tracking

Flat gamma tracking has never been a problem for Sony LED LCDs, and the Bravia KDL-40HX753 is no exception: with the [Adv. Contrast Enhancer] disabled and [Gamma] set to -2, we achieved a gamma setting of around 2.4 (orange line on chart), which is the specified level for playing film content in a darker room. This means that the image had a rich appearance, and produced a “punchy” look, provided that our eyes were acclimatised to a dark room. For everyday living rooms, which have more light present, a gamma of 2.2 (which the Sony HX7 achieved out of the box) provides a more suitable distribution of brightness. In any case, the HX753 can achieve both.

Colour

Colour accuracy is still behind most competing flat-screen TVs: green is oversaturated, causing this colour to appear slightly too “hot” on screen. The Sony KDL-40HX753 also can’t fully saturate blue, instead showing a purplish colour.

Post-calibration CIE chart in [Cinema 1] mode
Post-calibration CIE chart with reference to HD Rec.709

The Sony HX7 renders blues in a dull, milky way, due to the aftermentioned saturation issue, but also because the brightness of this colour (seen on the luminance chart, below) is too high and can’t be individually adjusted: without any individual hue, saturation or luminance (HSL) controls for the six colours, we can’t do anything to improve colour accuracy.

Post-calibration Luminance levels in [Cinema 1] mode
Post-calibration colour luminance (coloured bars = targets; black bars = measured values)
Colour saturation tracking
Post-calibration colour saturation tracking

Ironically given that it can’t hit any of the primary colours accurately, the Sony KDL-40HX753 exhibited very linear saturation tracking. At no point did the colours veer visibly off-course: even although colour accuracy isn’t as good as some other displays, the KDL-40HX753 didn’t have any other surprises lurking below the surface.

3D Calibration

3D Mode Greyscale

3D Pre-calibration RGB Tracking
3D Pre-calibration RGB tracking and delta errors (dEs)

“Warm1″ provided a much less tinted 3D picture (with our individual 3DTV and glasses, that is), with the “Warm2″ default in the “Cinema” mode having a yellow-green haze. We still had a greeny-blue tint with this mode, though, before calibration.

3D Post-calibration RGB Tracking in [Cinema 1] mode
3D Post-calibration RGB tracking and dEs in [Cinema 1] mode

Calibrating in 3D brought about a great improvement in picture quality, with the overall colour of the picture being nearly as accurate as in 2D. As in 2D, the controls over the low-end part of the greyscale (the darker areas) weren’t of much use due to their lack of precision: a single click would make too big of an adjustment and send measurements flying in another direction. As such, we only adjusted the controls for the brighter areas. Fortunately, remaining errors in the low end weren’t enough to cause a huge tint in the picture.

3D Mode Colour

Colour accuracy errors from the 2D mode were exacerbated in the third dimension: on the chart, the entire gamut triangle moves upwards, with green being more oversaturated than in 2D, and blue being more desaturated. Surprisingly, the Sony KDL-40HX753 fully saturates red in its 3D mode, and even manages to do so through the veil of the 3D glasses, proof that the panel is in fact capable.

3D Post-calibration CIE chart in [Cinema 1] mode
3D Post-calibration CIE chart with reference to HD Rec.709
3D Post-calibration Luminance levels in [Cinema 1] mode
3D Post-calibration colour luminance (coloured bars = targets; black bars = measured values)

Benchmark Test Results

Dead pixels None
Screen uniformity Good for an LED LCD
Calibrated black level (black screen) 0.05 cd/m2 (but LEDs dim after a few seconds)
Calibrated black level (ANSI checkerboard) 0.05 cd/m2
Black level retention Auto-dimming after a few seconds of black
Primary chromaticity Good
Scaling Very good
Video mode deinterlacing Effective jaggies reduction
Film mode deinterlacing Passed 2-2 PAL and 3-2 NTSC tests
Viewing angle Standard for PVA LCD, blacks lighten and colours wash out from sides
Motion resolution 1080 with [Motionflow]: “Clear”, “Clear Plus” or “Impulse”, small artefacts
Digital noise reduction Optional
Sharpness Excellent: Defeatable edge enhancement
Luma/Chroma bandwidth (2D Blu-ray) Full Luma, Chroma horizontally blurred except in “Game” and “Graphics” modes
1080p/24 capability No judder in 2D or 3D
Input lag 30ms compared to lag-free CRT
Full 4:4:4 reproduction (PC) Yes, in “Game” and “Graphics” modes

Power Consumption

Default [General] mode (2D) 66 watts
Default [General] mode (3D) 66 watts
Calibrated [Cinema 1] mode (2D) 82 watts
Calibrated [Cinema 1] mode (3D) 81 watts
Standby 1 watt

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