Sony KDL-40S2530

25th Mar 2007 | 00:00

Sony KDL-40S2530

Sony ups the feature count on its latest Bravia LCD

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

A vast improvement on Sony's previous Bravia S range in all the right places


<p>Good feature count</p><p>Two HDMIs</p>


<p>Some motion smear</p><p>Muted colours</p>

While Sony's Bravia LCD range has enjoyed considerable commercial and critical success, Sony itself seems to have tacitly acknowledged there was room for improvement in the launch of the 40S2530. This 40in screen seems more of an upgrade to the (still available) 40S2000 rather than a wholly new model.

That's not to say the modifications aren't potentially significant, though. For starters, the 40S2530 boasts two HDMIs versus the 40S2030's one - and improvements don't get more immediately welcome than that.

The 40S2530 also introduces an advanced Dynamic Contrast function, whereby the light output of the set's backlight can be adjusted to suit the darkness levels of the image being shown. This ups the contrast ratio claimed for the screen to 5,000:1 from the previous 1,300:1 - a major leap.

The final significant difference is the 40S2530's use of Sony's Live Colour Creation system. Originally only found on the company's V Series models and higher, Live Colour Creation processing works to boost the naturalism of reds and greens. Please note, however, that the S2530 doesn't sport the Wide Colour Gamut backlight technology found higher up the Sony range.

These new tricks join an already fairly extensive features list that includes noise reduction, manual backlight adjustment, a black level corrector, MPEG noise reduction, a white level booster and gamma tweaks for good measure.

First impressions aren't great - images look gaudy and noisy. But this turns out to be largely down to the 40S2530's 'Vivid' image preset. Push the contrast and backlight intensity down and you see an immediate improvement.

In fact, pictures improve to a standard clearly beyond that of the S2000 models, mainly on account of noticeably darker, richer black levels that give new authenticity and scale to dark scenes.

Colours are perhaps more subtle in their rendering too, and other Bravia strengths have been retained, such as impressive detailing and clarity from hi-def sources and topnotch video noise suppression.

While the picture quality has improved greatly beyond that of the original S series, we're not completely sold on it. Recent advances from the likes of Philips and Sharp highlight a slight pallor to the Sony's colours and signs of smearing during motion with standard-def feeds.

We also found traces of 'light pooling' during very dark scenes. Still, we applaud Sony for not resting on its laurels. This set should definitely be added to any 40in LCD list for its sterling audio and more than solid pictures.

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