Pros Very good picture. Deep blacks. Light/color sensor works without a hitch. Decent sound straight from the TV. Looks good. Base feels solid (important because I have small children). Easy setup. Not too heavy, but feels quality.
Cons Slight bluish tinge to the absolute blackest of blacks. When watching low quality signals Sony's video processing (cleanup, smothing, etc) result in a "camcorder-like" effect. Not great, but after comparison it's a lot better than without it.
Summary I bought the 40EX500 because I trust Sony quality. Having said that, if i needed to replace the one I've got I'd buy the same TV. Blue-rays look phenominal! I bought sonys BD player at the same time which also streams Netflix (and other stuff). The BD player and 40EX500 work very well together and streaming video looks better than ever, by a long shot. Video games look great as well. Can't wait to watch the World Cup this summer!!!!!! I've only had this TV for a week, so I'll update my review in a few months.
Pros Superb sharpness and color quality at 720p, 1080i and 1080p resolution--looks especially good with video from Blu-ray player and TiVo HD XL DVR through HDMI connections.
Cons Adjustments can be a tad hard to understand. Does take about 40 seconds for the CCFL backlighting to come up to full brightness at startup. Sound quality from built-in speakers not that great (I suggest good external speakers).
Summary Despite the cons I mentioned, I still highly recommend this Sony model because its picture quality once the set "warms up" is flat-out superb--I especially like the excellent color clarity and just flat-out amazing sharpness at 720p and 1080i resolution from ATSC TV broadcasts and of course 1080p resolution from a Blu-ray player. It should be noted that I was able to get the "high-def video" effect some people see from Blu-ray movies by turning on the "MotionFlow" adjustment on this set to maximum; fortunately, this can be avoided by running "MotionFlow" in low mode or just turning it off.
Sure, it doesn't have the "Internet widgets" that you get with some TV's, but then, most good Blu-ray players and a device like the TiVo Premiere DVR already have excellent Internet connectivity on their own, so this feature is not missed on the KDL-40EX500.
In short, if you want a set that does nothing but offer excellent picture quality, it's very hard to beat this model.
Pros I love the Sony reliablity and I've owned other Sony TV's. I like the appearance. And I couldn't beat the price after Best Buy put it on sale for $764.99. It's certainly not the best HDTV, but it's good enough for the bedroom.
Cons The thickness. I would have liked it to be thinner. And I prefer the speakers on the front instead of the back or underneath. I don't feel like I'm getting a good sound.
Summary I've only had this HDTV for 4 days now and I have some settings to tweak before I can give a full review. Over all I'm happy with it. Was easy to set up. I really like the swivel base since I have it in a corner on a stand. I have the HDMI cable from the HD box to HDMI1 and the Sony Blu-ray player hooked with an HDMI cable to HDMI 4 on the back and no problems. It also synced the Sony Blu-ray player seemlessly and was so easy to use to play a DVD. I prefer a thinner HDTV like my 37" Vizio. I didn't compromise picture quality on the Vizio, so I don't understand why Sony made this so thick.9 days later after tweaking the settings, I now have them set at Picture Mode-Vivid; Backlight-9; Picture-9; Brightness-55; color-40; Hue-R2; Color Temp-cool; Sharpness-20; Noise Reduction-off; MPEG noise reduction-0ff; Motionflow-off; Cinemotion-Auto2; Ambient Sensor-on. Screen Menu -- Wide Mode-full; Auto wide-on; 4:3 default: off (grayed out); Display Area-full pixel; Horizontal center & Vertical center 0 (grayed out). Scene button on the remote - use either Auto or Sports depending on your viewing pleasure. And I'll will always have the Steady Sound set at on so when changing channels & commercials come on the noise doesn't jump.
Updated on Feb 21, 2011
Updated on Feb 21, 2011After having this TV for 9 days, I've finally found settings that are giving me the best picture quality. Settings--Picture-Vivid; Backlight-9; Picture-90; Brightness-55; Color-40; Hue-R1 or R2; Color Temp-cool; Sharpness-20 or 25; Noise Reduction, MPG Noise reduction, Motion flow-all Off; Cinemotion-Auto2; Ambient Sensor-on. Screen Menu--Wide Mode-full; Auto Wide-on; 4:3 Default-off; Display area-full pixel; Scene Button on remote-Auto or sports depending on your viewing pleasure.
Pros Matte screen! (a must for LCDs in most rooms) Reasonably accurate picture once adjusted. Good blacks & shadow detail. Styling understated, (swivel is too loose), won't clash with your LR decor. ATSC tuner is fairly quick (faster than the TWC box).
Cons Remote is horribly designed. Input & mode display overlay eats up too much screen, stays on too long. 120Hz is useless w/o ability to disable smoothing. Menu system is waaay too big and obtrusive, obscures the picture while making adjustments.
Summary I bought this from a friend (used) along with a BDP-S360 BR player and some discs for cheap, couldn't pass it up.Oh, one more minor complaint: there are four HDMI inputs, but '1' and '4' are on the back while '2' and '3' are on the side, and Sony recommends using HDMI 1 for a PC if you use a DVI>HDMI adaptor because it's the only input that sends EDID info back to your PC. So until my new HTR arrives I have the Blu-Ray hooked up to HDMI 2 and the stupid cable sticks out where you can see it - so if you plan to use more than two inputs, buy some right-angle HDMI cables!
In general I like the picture now that I've got it adjusted (Note: I do not think this has the same make of panel or remote control as the 46" model that CNet reviewed - their settings were off what I ended up with via DisplayMate and my own eyes).
My real problems with this set are all in the interface and remote: both are very poorly designed, so much so as to make using the remote an exercise in frustration. The central control is a 'select' button & 4-way rocker pad surrounded by a ring of six direct function buttons, and I guarantee that you will mistakenly skip over the rocker and accidentally hit one of the function keys every other time you pick up the remote - the buttons are simply too similar and close together. Oh, and there's that 'hidden' power button on the bottom of the remote? *** Sony, seriously?! (OK, we all know I hate the remote now. :D)
The on-screen menu is way too obtrusive for a 1080 res. display. It could have been half the size and still perfectly legible, and it's just transparent enough to be annoying since you can't really see through it. Plus, the input display features a gradient that covers the entire top 15% of the screen just to show tiny input text that says things like "HDMI 1". And this display hangs around for nearly ten seconds after you turn on the set! Very annoying when you've tuned in late for something, until I discovered that hitting Display twice dismisses it.
Otherwise the set produces a pretty good picture when 'calibrated' (I don't have an Eye One sensor yet, so DisplayMate and my eyes are it for now). Off-angle is better than many sets I've looked at, and vertical angles are decent (it goes a tiny bit green when I lie on the sofa, but not too bad).
Unfortunately, the SD upscaling is really pretty lousy, with lots of artifacts and noise - but who watches SD any more? :)
You really want to turn off every picture 'enhancement' the TV offers to get the best picture - I found the picture artificially 'soft' when any of the noise reduction, Motionflow or even the CineMotion options are turned on.
Here are the current settings on my 40EX500, in a somewhat light-controlled room with two floor lamps (30w GE Reveal bulbs) flanking the set for 'movie time':
Picture Mode: Custom
Color Temperature: Warm 2
Noise Reduction: Off
MPEG Noise Reduction: Off
Ambient Sensor: Off
--Advanced Settings menu--
Adv. Contrast Enhancer: Off
Black Corrector: Off
Clear White: Off
Live Color: Off
--White Balance menu--
Wide Mode: Full
Auto Wide: Off
4:3 Default: Off [grayed out]
Display Area: Full Pixel
Horizontal Center: 0 [grayed out]
Vertical Center: 0 [grayed out]
--Scene button (no Home menu or button on this set's remote)--
Anyway, I do like the picture, and the graphic EQ in the audio section is a nice feature if you use the TV speakers. And once I get around to programming my learning remote for the TV's controls I won't have to deal with the Sony one any more. :D
The TL:DR - Good eye-pleasing picture for the cash (remote sucks hard). :D
Updated on Dec 15, 2010
"Best TV Ever!"on by saxguyck
Pros Awesome picture, darkest blacks, vivid colors and the price can't be beat. Best value of any tv.
Cons None at all.
Summary This has to be the best tv I have ever watched tv on. I bought this tv about 9 months ago and I still get excited to watch tv on it. I live with a few guys and their tv's don't compare (Sharp and Samsung). This tv is so much better. It is great for playing video games on, great for watching sports or a movie. I could not have been happier
Also, to the reviewer who couldn't find out how to hook the audio up - You can either connect the audio to a home theater system via the Optical output OR through an HDMI cable. With the HDMI cable, you can use the Bravia Sync feature with other Sony products.