18-7-2016 Gwyndaf blurb for Sony Bravia KDL40WD653 40" Full HD Smart TV with Freeview, HDD Rec and USB Playback (Electronics)
First off let me be clear about which one I'm reviewing here as there's a lot of hate going for the 32" model because it's lacking full HD, which isn't clear in the listing. Unfortunately they way Amazon have bundled the models under the same review isn't a true reflection of the 40"/48" TV's.
This review is purely based on the 40" model which is full 1080p HD.
I'm not too fussed about smart TV functions at this price (Prime day £329), and yes, there are other manufacturers out there which offer more 'Smart' features for the same price - LG for one are very good in this department. For me though, the whole 'Smart' thing is obsolete as I like to use a common platform across all my devices which is currently Amazon Prime and a Chromecast. These covers all of what I need.
So the reason I purchased this one is that it's a mid range HD TV. I'm not looking at 4K yet, so I wanted a decent 1920×1080 TV with good specs and a nice rich picture. This seemed to fit the bill and it's delivered on all those fronts.
I used a Blue Ray DVD and a 1920×1080 MP4 sample video to test the picture quality - the results are pleasing. The colours are rich but accurate and the picture is crystal clear at my viewing distance (approx 10-12 feet). I was impressed with the overall quality.
The set does a decent job of dealing with fast moving action scenes. It's rated at 200Hz - but I get the feeling there's a fair bit of post processing being done by the 'Motionflow XR' software. My MP4 sample was at 60fps and it was flawless on the TV which is what I would expect. I didn't test a high fps mostly because most things are at 60fps or less. Blue-ray for example is at 24fps, so it's more about how the Sony's software handles and processes the picture that pure frame rates. I did feel at times that there might be over sampling by the 'Motionflow XR' feature, however I'm not surprised as it was trying to cope with 24fps form the blue-ray player. Overall it was pretty good. Movies on streaming services were pretty awesome too so overall I had no major complaints - especially at this price.
I'm a stickler for good sound and the on board speakers are ok. Not fantastically brilliant, however they are clear enough (you should play with the sound settings a little to fine tune).
To put it in context though I have a sound bar, and after switching that on you do see quite a difference - you realize that the on board sound on the TV is a little lacking in areas. Again though, this is to be expected at this price/technology level. Good sound needs lots of space, and the modern slim TV's have very little so none of them are really brilliant. I recommend a good sound bar to any modern TV. Mine has a built in blue-ray player too - minimal clutter and cables.
To summarize, this TV did everything I wanted it to do at the quality I wanted. It's an 8.5/10 rating as it didn't go over and above in many areas, however value for money pushes it towards 5* - it's a well put together TV with the Sony badge and for this price you can't argue.
Sony website - £450 Amazon Prime Day - £329
Havoc blurb Hiisense H40M3300 - My experience.
I've been shopping on Amazon for years, but never left a review. I had such a positive experience that I felt I had to.
I'd been looking at upgrading my TV, on and off for the best part of last 18 months. I was using a 32"Samsung HD LCD screen which I bought for £800, ten years ago.
The Samsung had been perfect, It had Free-view but not free-view HD, but was mostly used for Sky and gaming with a PS4. To say it was ten years old, it was perfect. The Samsung set did me well, it worked flawlessly still, but I wanted a bigger screen, a better picture and something a bit more modern.
I wanted a 4K Smart TV and kept looking at replacing it with a Sony or a Samsung, but I couldn't justify the £500 -£700 price tag, that many of them came with. As much as I wanted one, I decided to wait and wait and wait.
So enter the Hisense H40M3300.
I'd never heard of Hisense, but two things introduced me to this Chineese brand. The first seeing their logo on the Euro 2016 Finals in France and our next door neighbour ordering a Hisense TV, which was delivered to our door as they were out.
I was intrigued so started looking at Hisense models and came across the Hiisense H40M3300.
A 40", thin bezel design that was a 4K Smart TV, with a two year warranty. And the best part was....it was half the price of the nearest competition. I couldn't figure it out? This was a brand sponsoring the Euros, Red Bull and Tennis competitions. Was I missing something?
I started shopping around and many retailers were selling this model between £300 and £380. When I first looked on Amazon the price was £300 and I was tempted to purchase from Tesco to take advantage of the their points. But, as fate would have it the price lowered to £249.00 as I was about to order. I thought it was too much of an opportunity not to take them up on, so I placed the order with Amazon.
That night I was having second thoughts. I couldn't find any reviews from magazines or online sites.The Amazon reviews seemed to reference different models and I'd normally, Id only purchased the big brands and was now worried that I'd about to receive a lemon, from the Chinese brand Hisense.
I convinced myself so much, I even tried to cancel it, but Amazon said it was too late. So I thought...I'll just have to send it back.
Well thank god I didn't cancel it, or send it back. I decided to give it a go!.
It arrived the next day, wrapped up securely, with no damage to the box or contents. Everything was well wrapped (Well done Hisense and Amazon).
The bezel was thin around the edge of the set and screwing on the feet the build quality felt sturdy. It may not be a premium build like Sony, but it doesn't (to me) feel cheap. The TV is light for the size and the instructions included were informative. I never felt uneasy setting this up.
The setup was quick and easy to. The wizard takes you through all the steps, from choosing your language, connecting to the WiFi, It's not complicated at all. The remote is simple to use and the onscreen menus make it easy to navigate around, changing inputs or using the Apps.
One it was all configured (within 5 minutes) we were away. The HD pictures were clear and sharp, The images were colourful and bright. I'm no TV expert, but all I can say was I'm very happy with the free view HD image. I can only assume that if you're using SKYHD you will get some amazing pictures with this TV. I then used the PS4 with Destiny and was blown away. It looks amazing...there's no input lag and the display brings the game to life. I have yet to try a blu ray, but I will do this week. If you have a good HD feed, either by a HD source or 1080p game, you will be pleased. I still have sky analogue so switching between Freeview HD and Sky Analogue is vastly different. Then there is the added benefit that this will support the 4K Xbox Project Scorpio when it comes out.
Just to note. We sit directly in front of the TV, we don't view it from the sides, so we are in the best position to view the TV.
So yes, I'm pleased with the TV and the brand so far. I registered online for the Two Years warranty which was also easy.
I came from an older set than most and maybe I'm more of a realist of what to expect. Its leaps and bounds better than my old one and I believe is punching well above its weight for the price. You would easily pay £400 or £450 for this and feel happy.
Yes, the viewing angles aren't as sharp as say some other brands. If you view from the sides the clarity and colours are not as vivid or clear from the front. But this happens with other costly brands to. If I change inputs to say hdmi 2, and nothing is connected, I can see a slight blackbleed around the corners on the black screen.. But again, these arent noticeable when an image is displayed. And yes, the TV may have fewer Smart Apps than the big brands and the user interface may not be as slick. But are you expecting too much?
What this TV does, is provide good quality images, with 4k support and Smart features for a fraction of the cost that you would pay for a more premium brand. The build quality is good, there's a two year warranty for piece of mind. And most of all, you are paying a fraction of the cost.
Please don't listen to those idiots who are trying to compare this to the £500 -£700 Sony's or Samsung models.
If you pay £600 to £249.00 you better hop you have abetter image or more versatile viewing angles.
Yes they will have, perhaps the better viewing angles, sharper blacks and more polished Smart TV software. But you are on most occasions, going to pay nearly triple the amount for their 4K Smart TVs.