Price (RRP): $3,199
This review of the Sony Bravia KDL-40WE5 LCD TV was as part of a collection of 5 reviews for the article Eco TVs – how green is your TV?. The 5 reviews have been gathered together in the article 5 eco TVs tried and tested.
Sony’s Bravia KDL-40WE5 LCD TV combines a number of power saving features with a whole bunch of high-end facilities. You can plug it into your home network (or use a USB stick) and play back video, audio and picture files. It has a number of art works programmed in already so you can use it as decorative piece… although that would fly in the face of saving energy.
The TV offers full high definition resolution, has four HDMI digital inputs, and both HD digital and analog TV tuners. The HD tuner is Freeview compatible, so it will support any future MPEG4 broadcasts.
As an explicitly eco model, there are a host of energy saving features.
There is a four-position ‘Power Savings’ option, providing ‘Off’, ‘Low’, ‘High’ and ‘Picture Off’. The first one disables the option. Using a 50 percent grey screen, the power usage was, respectively, 113, 103, 66 and 52 watts. The last has a completely black screen, and the ‘High’ setting produced such a dismal picture it would be suited only to those who prefer to wear sack-cloth.
However the ‘Low’ setting – the default – produced modest savings with very little effect upon the picture quality. It seemed to be equivalent to putting the backlight level to ‘6’ on the picture menu.
One clever trick is the TV’s ‘Presence Sensor’. This will switch off the picture – halving power usage – if no one is present after a predetermined time (5, 30 or 60 minutes). This works by some form of motion detection, and unless you are an unnaturally still watcher of TV shows, shouldn’t accidentally cause the picture to go off. A warning message is popped up a few seconds beforehand, so you can quickly wave an arm to avoid interruption.
There is also a hard-wired power switch on the side, to eliminate standby power usage without the need for power point contortions.