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Sony KDL-42W705B review

 Review: June 2014  
 

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: Sony's W7 range offers the benefits of the W8 series at a lower price, but without 3D. It's a great option for Xbox/PS4 gamers thanks to its low input lag, and it also provides versatile family viewing and Smart TV.



 

Design & looks

On the outside, Sony's 2014 W7 range is pretty well indistinguishable from the more upmarket W8 range (and is almost identical to last year's W6 range.) There are four key aspects to the design. Firstly, the very narrow black bezel surrounding the screen that creates a "floating in air" effect and is a very contemporary look. Secondly, the open-style chrome stand, which enhances the airy feel, but means that the screen can't be rotated. Thirdly, the illuminated core with Sony logo immediately below the screen, which lights gently to provide subtle visual cues when changing settings with the remote control. And fourthly, the extremely slim profile along the top edge of the screen. The screen does bulge out quite a lot in the lower half, which could cause problems if you plan to wall-mount the screen, but is otherwise not a problem.

Overall the W7 has a stylish, contemporary design.

A conventional remote control is supplied with the TV and an optional One-Flick remote can be purchased as an extra, for use with Smart TV.

Picture quality

The 42W705B is essentially a slightly cheaper version of the Sony Bravia KDL-42W829B, with lower motion processing capability and without 3D.

This places it in the lower end of mid-range, but it manages to hold its own against rival Series 6 TVs from Samsung. Contrast is good, with black levels a match for the Samsung UE40H6200, giving the screen a reasonable dynamic range. Viewing angles are moderately wide, which is a bonus for family viewing, as you don't have to be sitting exactly in front of the screen for best effects. In addition, Sony's X-Reality PRO processing engine does a good job of upscaling standard definition broadcast material as well as displaying high quality Blu-Ray.

In Game Mode, input lag is very low, so this TV is a good choice for gaming.

It's the motion processing that lets the screen down, with the settings missing out on the more sophisticated options of the W8 series, and an effective processing speed of 200Hz, which can lead to some jerkiness and motion blur at times.

Audio quality

The audio capability of the W705B is the same as the W8 series and isn't the most impressive, even at this price. With just 8Wx2 power output the compact bass reflex speakers struggle to deliver immersive sound. We'd strongly recommend adding one of Sony's wireless subwoofers that are designed for use with their television range, or perhaps a soundbar for better results.

Smart TV

Like the W8 series, the W7 TVs come with integrated Wi-Fi and an ethernet connection, so they're easy to connect to the internet, giving you full access to Sony's Smart TV functions. These include Catch-up TV from the BBC iPlayer and Demand 5, YouTube, Twitter, Netflix and Amazon Instant.

TweetView lets you watch what people are tweeting about the current programme - you don't need a Twitter account to use this.

The TV is Skype-ready, but you'll need to add an optional camera to make use of this feature.

Connectivity

We have no issues with the range of connectivity options available. As well as Wi-Fi and ethernet (including Wi-Fi Direct), there are 4 HDMI and 2 USB ports, ARC compatibility, plus a good range of legacy connections. The TV also has the benefit of NFC display mirroring with compatible smartphones.

Freeview HD and satellite tuners are built in.

Conclusion

The W7 delivers almost the same capabilities as the W8, but with a cost saving of around £50. Despite the lack of Motionflow control, the overall picture quality of the W7 is not worse than the W8. It's just that there's no 3D option, which is a feature most users probably won't miss. For that reason, the W7 could be a very good choice for many families, eager to get the most for their money.

The KDL-42W705 is particularly recommend for gaming, thanks to its low input lag, and the screen size of 42 inches gives it an edge over Samsung's 40 inch screens. In addition it has an attractive, airy design, good Smart TV and excellent connectivity. Audio quality isn't the best, but you could use the money you save towards buying a separate speaker system, which will benefit any LCD TV. Recommended!


Sony KDL-42W705B features include:

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Sony KDL-42W705B user reviews

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Average rating from 5 reviews:

Reviewed by George from Bulgaria on 9th Sep 2015
I got some nice settings for Sony kdl-42w705B/706B

picture mode standard
backlight 6
contrast 90
brightness 50
colour 42
hue 0
color temperature cool
sharpness 57
noise reduction auto
mpeg noise reduction auto
dot noise reduction auto
reality creation auto
smooth gradation low
film mode auto

ADVANCED SETTINGS:
black corrector low
adv. contrast enhancer low
gamma 0
auto light limiter low
clear white low
live color low

WHITE BALANCE (V.IMPORTANT):
R Gain 0,G Gain minus 3, B Gain minus 1
R Bias 0, G Bias 0, B Bias minus 0

detail enhancer low
edge enhance low
skin naturaliser on
LED motion mode off
SOUND:
sound mode cinema

Enjoy!
Rating:

Reviewed by roger. from tel.aviv on 2nd Mar 2015
very nice quality tv. easy io set up brilliant picture.
Rating:

Reviewed by Dez from Netherlands on 12th Jan 2015
What wonderfull motion options does the 42W829B have then over this? "Nothing", exactly ...
Nor is the 42W829B an IPS panel so you probably tricked yourselves into the wide viewing angle and poor contrast ;)
Rubbish reviews all around ... 50W705B has motion capabilities like the 50W829B, the 42 does not ...
Rating:

Reviewed by Steve M from UK on 29th Nov 2014
The thin stand supplied makes this product very unstable it could easily fall over and break the TV. The obvious solution is to wall mount it, but the back is not flat and I can't find a suitable wall mount that will tilt and swivel, which is essential in the chosen location. The stand supplied can be converted to wall fixing, but only flat to wall which is no good to me. How could the Sony engineers not notice that the stand system is completely impractical?? I would never have bought this model had I any idea of this appalling design.
Rating:

Reply by Fern10 from UK on 28th Dec 2014
Just found out Sony do a "add on " bracket to fit the back of the KDL tvs so you can use any standard 200mm x 200mm wall bracket
you can find it on the SONY web site its a SU-WL40 bracket
and I know you can get it from John lewis

Reviewed by Hugh from UK on 19th Sep 2014
Great TV. Instructions are screen based and are written for those who understand the TV already! You have to work many things out yourself. But great picture, sound a bit weak though. Why should I buy a sound bar as an extra.
Rating:


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