Sony 40-inch BRAVIA BX420 Series LCD HDTV Reviewed

Published On: July 11, 2011
Last Updated on: October 31, 2020
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Sony 40-inch BRAVIA BX420 Series LCD HDTV Reviewed

Home Theater Review managing editor Andrew Robinson got the Sony BRAVIA BX420 40-inch LCD HDTV in for review and discovered that to make this television affordable, Sony made many sacrifices.

Sony 40-inch BRAVIA BX420 Series LCD HDTV Reviewed

  • Andrew Robinson began his career as an art director in entertainment advertising in 2003, after graduating from Art Center College of Design. In 2006, he became a creative director at Crew Creative Advertising, and oversaw the agency's Television Division, where he worked for clients such as TNT, TBS, History, FX, and Bravo to name a few. He now has one of the most popular AV-related channels on YouTube.

Sony_KDL40BX420_LCD_HDTV_review.jpgSadness is getting an HDTV in for review and discovering that it boasts better specs and performance than your longstanding reference and does it all for a quarter of the price. That's what happened to me when I checked out Sony's 40-inch BRAVIA LCD HDTV (model KDL40BX420) at $729 compared to my reference 40-inch Samsung HDTV that sold for $2,999.99 when new.

Additional Resources
• Read more LCD HDTV reviews from the staff at
• Explore Blu-ray player options in our Blu-ray Player Review section.
• Look for a soundbar in our Soundbar Review section.

The BX420 is part of Sony's BRAVIA lineup of products and features a full 1920x1080 pixel display. The BX420 is a traditional CCFL backlit LCD design with a 60Hz refresh rate. The BX420 features an automatic backlight and picture adjustment technology called LightSensor, which adjusts the image on screen based on your room's ambient lighting. The BX420 itself measures 39 inches wide by 24 inches tall and three and three quarter inches deep without its stand and 10 inches deep including its table stand. The BX420 weighs an easy to manage 30 pounds without the included stand and 34 and a half pounds with it. The BX420 build quality is first rate and among the best when compared to its direct competition.

In terms of connection options the BX420 has a few, with two HDMI inputs, one component input, two composite video inputs, a PC input (D-Sub) with mini audio in as well as three analog audio inputs and an AC power receptacle. The BX420 also has a single USB 2.0 input on its side as well as an RF input to be used with its internal broadcast tuners. There is an analog audio output as well as a digital audio output on the BX420's rear too.

There are a host of internal image and processing features but a few of the highlights include 24p True Cinema Technology, CineMotion Reverse 3:2 Pulldown Technology, MPEG noise reduction, Live Color, Bravia Sync and more. For a complete breakdown of the BX420's specs and features please visit Sony's website.

I've been on an affordable HDTV kick recently and of all the no-frills HDTVs I've demoed, the BX420 is far and a way the best in terms of its overall image quality. The BX420's image is rich and appropriately dynamic, possessing solid blacks and brilliant whites with every color of the rainbow in between rendered faithfully and naturally. Motion is smooth and artifacts and noise are all but non-existent when viewing HD material. Edge fidelity is also crisp without seeming artificial and contrast appears to be on par with HDTVs costing more. The BX420 is easy to setup, use and live with day-to-day and while its screen size is on the smaller side for its asking price, its image is superior to a lot of other budget HDTVs.

Read about the high points and low points of the BRAVIA BX420 HDTV on Page 2.

Sony_KDL40BX420_LCD_HDTV_review_martial_arts.jpgHigh Points
• The BX420 industrial design is clean and its build quality is better than a lot of its affordable competition.
• The BX420 is easy to set up and even easier to live with, making it an ideal HDTV for a bedroom or den or for the consumer not wanting to become overwhelmed by a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo.
• The BX420's image quality is very good overall, possessing rich, textured blacks and brilliant colors that do HD content justice, be it broadcast or Blu-ray.

Low Points
• The BX420's lack of inputs, especially HDMI inputs is alarming and not enough in my opinion for today's modern consumer.
• The BX420 cannot connect to the Internet nor playback 3D content, so those of you in the market for those features should look elsewhere.
• The BX420's light sensor technology is a novel idea but noticeable (at least to me) in its operation.

Competition and Comparison
It seems that not too long ago one would've paid big money for a 40 or 42-inch HDTV. Nowadays we're putting those same size displays in kitchens and bathrooms. While consumers may want bigger screens there are still a few notable 40-inch or so HDTVs worth considering, starting with LG's 42LK450, which is a 42-inch LCD display that retails for $699. The LG is equally impressive in comparison to the Sony and boasts similar specs though its image, thanks to its ISF Calibration controls is just a touch more refined.

Possibly more impressive is Vizio's newest 42-inch LCD HDTV, which retails for $729. Unlike the Sony the Vizio can connect to the Internet via its built-in WiFi not to mention play back 3D content. I'd like to say the Sony has a better 2D image but the two seem pretty evenly matched with perhaps the edge going to the Vizio.

For more information on HDTVs including the latest news and reviews please check out Home Theater Review's LCD HDTV page.

It wasn't long ago that a 40 or 42-inch HDTV would cost you three grand or more; hell, that's what I paid three years ago when I bought my Samsung. Times are a-changing and prices have dropped dramatically since then and today's consumer is poised to reap the rewards. The Sony BRAVIA BX420 is one of those rewards, possessing performance that bests once reference level displays and leads much of the pack among its current competition. While the BX420 may lack some connectivity options and features such as Wi-Fi or 3D, it's still a good HDTV worth checking out if you're in the market for a no nonsense HDTV to put in your bedroom, den or secondary system.

Additional Resources
• Read more LCD HDTV reviews from the staff at
• Explore Blu-ray player options in our Blu-ray Player Review section.
• Look for a soundbar in our Soundbar Review section.

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