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Sony Bravia EX703 (KDL-46EX703) review: Sony Bravia EX703 (KDL-46EX703)

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The Good Comparatively great sound quality; user-friendly menu system; good high-definition picture quality; impressive eco-friendly features.

The Bad Standard-definition picture is unimpressive; too expensive; Wi-Fi hardware should be built-in at this price.

The Bottom Line The Sony Bravia KDL-46EX703 is a pretty decent performer and would be a great choice for many people. But you can buy a bigger TV that offers much better performance for significantly less money

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8.3 Overall

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Sony's Wi-Fi-ready, 46-inch, 1080p Bravia KDL-46EX703 LCD TV with LED edge lights costs around £1,200 online, and can receive high-definition broadcasts over the air via a built-in Freeview HD tuner. It also features Sony's Web functionality, allowing owners to access online video services like LoveFilm, Demand Five and, eventually, BBC iPlayer. But it looks pricey, so is it worth it?

Slim but not beautiful
A TV should really be judged on its performance, rather than how pretty it looks in the corner of your room. But we still can't help feeling a little disappointed by the KDL-46EX703's appearance. Don't get us wrong -- it's far from ugly, and the black plastic bezel is pleasant enough to look at. But the slightly odd grey plastic strip below the screen detracts from the TV's overall appearance.

We like the oversized remote control though. It has a pleasant curve that makes it feel rather space-age. It also has a button on its rear that allows you to put the TV into standby mode. We aren't sure why it's there, but we like it all the same.

On the back of the TV there are two HDMI inputs, with another pair of the digital sockets on the side of the set. These socket clusters actually sit fairly close together, and accessing them shouldn't present much of a problem. We assume the slightly irregular layout is a result of the TV's slim build.

We like how thin this TV is. It's not as visually impressive as some sets we've seen recently, but it still looks cool. It would look especially good mounted on a wall. 

Hurrah for XrossMediaBar 
Like most modern Sony products, the KDL-46EX703's interface features the company's beloved but ridiculously spelt XrossMediaBar. The purpose of the bar is to make navigating through the TV's menus much simpler. We have to give Sony credit, because using this TV is a super experience, and the bar makes configuring it and accessing its extra features much easier.

This television is admirably slim, and wouldn't half look corking mounted a wall

We like the way digital TV programmes are listed in a long vertical strip, enabling you to see which shows are on which channels without leaving the menu system. We also like how you can browse the TV's multimedia features from the bar, letting you access videos, photos and music.

Setting up the TV is easy too. It will automatically tune both analogue and Freeview HD channels. It doesn't take especially long to get up and running, and the out-of-the-box settings are pretty decent. We changed a few of the picture settings, but they didn't require as much of an overhaul as those of some TVs we've seen.

Eco-aware TV
With polar bears looking ever more distraught on their tiny blocks of ice, reducing power consumption must be a priority for all of us. Even if you hate polar bears and want them all dead, you'll appreciate the savings to your power bill.

Sony's eco mode works really well, and we're very impressed by it. The TV's 'presence sensor' will know if you leave the room for any length of time, and the set will then turn off the picture, leaving the sound on, which is handy if you're still listening to a programme from another room. After longer periods of absence, the set will switch itself off completely. That's good news if you're one of those people who leaves the room to get a drink and then gets distracted by something in the kitchen.

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