Sony Bravia KDL40EX1

The Sony Bravia KDL40EX1 is the company's "wireless picture frame TV" that also features wireless connectivity, four HDMI ports and a USB port.

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
2 min read

Considering that this isn't an LED-backlit model like Sony's ZX1, we were quite surprised at the unit's thinness — only 4.9cm for the 40- and 46-inch versions. It's no wonder then that Sony calls this its "wireless picture frame", and we have no doubt its white and silver looks would be quite attractive mounted on a lounge-room wall.

Like the ZX1, the EX1 uses "Bravia 1080 Wireless" technology to transmit content from the media box to your TV. The technology is based on the WirelessHD specification and uses a high frequency 60GHz signal to shoot your content from the media box to the TV. However, the TV isn't completely wireless as it still needs a power socket to plug into.

Features include a full 1920x1080-pixel resolution, the 100Hz version of Motionflow, 24p support, Picture Frame mode (natch), and four HDMI ports including one on the television itself. Though it lacks the Ethernet port of some rivals, there is a USB port for viewing photos.

We saw one on display recently, and were impressed by the blacks the WCG-CCFL backlight could achieve — especially in comparison to the ZX1 by its side. We were surprised by this, as LED-backlighting — as on the ZX1 — is supposed to provide better blacks. Of course, the ZX1 uses edge lighting to achieve maximum thinness, and this appears to be to the detriment of the contrast levels it achieves.

The "Bravia 1080 Wireless" is only 1080i and not 1080p, and this may worry people who want the highest possible video quality. Though, on a screen of this size it's difficult to tell the difference between upscaled 1080i and native 1080p, but it also depends on how good the Sony's scaler is. Nevertheless, if you plug a device directly into the TV you'll get 1080p.

The EX1 series is an attractive-looking television set perfectly suited to mounting on the wall. While you could buy it for using it in the normal fashion, we really don't see any point. It's good to see a TV that thinks a bit differently and can attempt to capture the very popular digital photo frame market as well.