The Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100's front is relatively straightforward. The 40-inch display dominates, obviously, and is surrounded by a glossy black bezel. Below the bezel you'll find the speakers and nestled in between are indicator lights and infrared receiver.
The front of the televisoin sports a glossy black bezel and the speakers below
The only features you'll care about on the back are the ports, most of which are located there.
The back has ports, plenty of ports
On the right side of the Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100 you'll find the on-TV controls. On the opposite side you'll find some side facing ports.
On the left side you'll find more ports and on the right the on-TV controls
The television's stand is relatively simple. It felt stable, but does not swivel. It can also be wall mounted if you wish.
The stand doesn't swivel
The Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100 won't win first prize in a beauty contest, but it has a simple and elegant design that most will appreciate.
Display Size & Technology
The Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100 has a 40-inch LCD display. Unlike other new Sony televisions this line does not features LED backlights, using the standard CCFL backlights instead.
There's a 40-inch LCD display on the KDL-40S5100
Format & Resolution
The KDL-40S5100 has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, which means that it supports full 1080p HD content. You'll need to pick up a Blu-ray player to view this content, however, as that's the only place you can get it. Don't worry, though, the KDL-40S5100 will handle lower quality HD content at 1080i, 720p and event standar definition content just fine as well.
Brightness, Blacks & Contrast Ratio
Sony hasn't made any information available on the KDL-40S5100's maximum brightness, deepest blacks or contrast ratio. On the floor we noted that blacks looked deep, especially for an LCD HDTV. We'll find out if that first impression holds up when we get the television into our testing labs.
Refresh Rate & Motion
Another feature missing from the Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100 that we saw on it's higher-end siblings is 240Hz motion. In fact you won't even get 120Hz refresh rate, but will have to settle for the standard 60Hz. That said we did see some action scenes on the KDL-40S5100's screen and there weren't any obvious blurring or artifacts.
We were quite impressed with the Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100's viewing angle. From what we saw on the floor you get very little fading even at oblique angles and the colors hold up very well. This is impressive for an LCD HDTV, which generally struggle with viewing angle.
On the floor we noted bright and vivid colors on the Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100. We'll have to get it into our hands and calibrate it to our standard specifications before we can be sure that those colors will hold up in real life, however.
Audio & Video Ports
The Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100 has ports in two locations. On the left side you'll find a VGA input, 3.5mm audio input for your computer, two HDMI ports, S-Video port, analog video input and analog audio input. We should also qualify what we meant by 'side' here as the ports aren't located right on the side of the television but are actually tucked into the back a bit. They do face out towards the left, however.
*Ports are found on the left side and the back.
On the back you'll find the rest of the Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100's ports. These are located very close to the left-facing ones but face out towards the back. Here you'll find two more HDMI ports, two component video inputs, two analog audio inputs and the antenna input. You'll also find a digital audio output and two analog audio outs.
Media & Other Connectivity
The Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100 lacks any USB, media card or internet connectivity features that would allow you to get media onto it. It is Bravia Link compatible, however, so you can buy an additional box from Sony that will add some of these features.
We liked the placement of the ports on the Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100. Both sets are within easy reach around the left side of the HDTV and are well labeled.
The Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100 has speakers located on the front below the bezel. Unfortunately we don't have any specifications for the speakers.
We weren't able to get our hands on the Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100's remote.
The on-TV controls on the Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100 are located on the right side of the television. From top to bottom you'll find Power, Channel up/down, Volume up/down, Input and Menu. The buttons are simple plastic nubs, but we do like that the volume and channel buttons are connected into a rocker design.
On-TV controls are located on the right side
We weren't able to get access to the Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100's menu system.
The Sony Bravia KDL-40S5100 is at the lower end of Sony's new lineup of Bravia HDTVs. This is a television for those who want the basics, including a full 1080p resolution and a decent selection of ports. What it doesn't have are additional media features, internet connectivity, 240Hz motion and LED backlighting, all of which are found higher up Sony's lineup. We hope that it will be priced more appropriately given the lack of features, but we'll have to wait until the Spring whe it's released to find out if that expectation is justified.
Meet the tester
Alfredo Padilla is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.
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