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Sony Bravia KDL40E4500 review: Sony Bravia KDL40E4500

The Sony Bravia KDL40E4500 is a competent television at a good price, and features network playback, clean styling and a proficient picture.

Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
4 min read

Editor's note: the KDL40E4500 is based on the KDL40W4500, but features a different bezel design. Otherwise, the two televisions are identical.


Sony Bravia KDL40E4500

The Good

Excellent HD pictures. DLNA support. Subtle styling.

The Bad

Occasional artefacts even with MotionFlow off. Poor off-axis.

The Bottom Line

The Sony Bravia KDL40E4500 is a competent television at a good price, and features network playback, clean styling and a proficient picture.

For one reason or other, the middle of each year is television season, with all of the manufacturers releasing their ranges for the coming year. The KDL40E4500 has been out for a few months, but it's survived as part of the 2009 line-up. It's got all the mod-cons like network streaming and 100Hz, while missing LED backlighting. Let's take a closer look.


The new E series is similar in appearance to the EX series with its white styling and clean lines. We prefer the look to the W4500 with its useless "peek-a-boo" clear panel and glittery finish.

Not much to say about the remote really. It's the same design as Sony has used for donkey's yonks and is reasonably ergonomic.


Apart from the provision of an Ethernet port, the KDL40E4500 is fairly mid-range in its feature-set. You get a 1920x1080-pixel resolution, three HDMI ports, and a native 3000:1 contrast ratio. Picture processing — one of Sony's strong points — is catered for with the Mark II version of the Bravia Engine and the company's Motionflow 100Hz technology.

Fittingly for a "Picture Frame" TV, the E4500 comes with a Picture Frame mode, with a selection of art on-board including Van Gogh. It's not the greatest system, however, as slideshows are slow and unintuitive. But at least your TV can look like it belongs at the Met. Or something.

As we mentioned, the TV comes with an Ethernet and USB port, and is a DLNA-compliant device. Chances are, if you're buying a TV with a DLNA client on-board (or even know what this means!) then you would be the type of person who would already have a networked media box — be it a PS3 or a media centre PC. We're not yet convinced that a networked TV is at the stage where it can supplant a more fully featured device.

Sony's proprietary and — if done well, user-friendly — XMB makes an appearance on the KDL40E4500, and we're happy to say it's one of the better ones. Unlike some of the company's attempts at a purely vertical menu (say, like on the STRDA5400 receiver) the KDL40E4500 has both a horizontal and vertical axis. It's easy to use, and allows access to most functions.

The telly comes with a number of "tweaks" that assist in its general ease of use. These include integrated cable management within the stand (handy given the window), a side-mounted HDMI port for easier connection of consoles and the like, and a swivel stand useful for wide rooms.


While we were generally impressed with the performance of the E4500, it lacked any sort of distinction that would help it emerge from the flood of mid-year releases. Nevertheless, it performed all tasks as it should.

Being a 1080p screen, it naturally coped well with Blu-ray material. Mission Impossible 3 had a sensible mix of image depth — provided by decent black levels — and fine detail. The screen also supports 24p, and we found that there was very little judder when enabled, but also surprisingly little without it, too. The on-board speakers sounded a little thin but conveyed all of the excitement of the disc.

While 100Hz modes are well known for their unpleasant artefacts, we strangely encountered them on this TV even when MotionFlow was switched off. While we didn't get any of the "encased in jelly" effects, we did see some "unnatural" motion — but only in small spurts. It seemed as if the engine was turning itself on and off periodically. We noticed this mostly on standard-definition content like Foxtel, and as it was only occasional it wasn't unpleasant, just odd.

Switching to DVD, we noticed the black levels weren't the finest we've seen on previous LCDs, but the screen still provided decent contrast. The TV put in a relatively realistic performance in King Kong; the rich sunrise that opens the penultimate scene, Kong's Last Stand, was painted in a muted, but realistic colour palette. There was also very little colour noise in the river, where it can tend towards a murky green colour, and little MPEG noise.

If you're looking for a television with a wide viewing angle, then it's best to keep looking. At certain angles the TV washes out and becomes faintly polarised, and so it's probably handy the TV comes with a swivelling base.


A good, if not great television, the Sony KDL40E4500 puts in a good performance for the money, but rivals such as Samsung offer better picture to boot.