I have a twenty year old 20" Sony Trinitron TV. It still works and the colours especially are good next to any modern TV (well LCD ones anyway). But a few years ago I decided to upgrade it. It was a tossup between a Panasonic Plasma and what I actually bought a Sony KDL40EX503. I regret this purchase. Clearly they have rushed out a "Smart TV" but failed to finish it properly so features work without causing major irritation. Of course I've spent time on the phone and all I've been offered is that somebody could come out, look at it and charge me because there's nothing wrong. Technically there is no fault it's just that the product wasn't finished in the first place. They've also asked me to Factory Reset, Service Search etc. Not only has this failed to fix anything but taken time but lost whatever I had setup.

So I'm venting my spleen about it on the interweb.

About my network. It's wired 100Mbps from the TV to my Virgin Media hub thing and _measured_ 20Mbps or so down and 2 up. March 2014 Have measured 37 down at quiet time.

TV details

Model KDL-40EX503
Serial Numer 9067388
Software Version PKG4.117EUL-0108 (updates are enabled)

Presumably somebody at Sony decided this product was ready to ship. Or was it never tested properly or has the corporation lost all interest in making usable products ?

In their favour they did fix one or two nasty crashy bugs. For example it used to keel over badly when moving between Text and Guide. This bug was repeatable.

Long standing bugs

YouTube works but if I access its "My Account" then "Favourites" or "My Videos" or "Subscriptions" or "Playlists" it says Network Error. It thinks I am logged in since there is a "Log out" option. Clearly the error message is rubbish since other stuff (Popular, Featured) is available as are the other online video services. I can Log out and Log in again and then it works. But re-logging in every time I want to get at my Playlists is a real pain. The entry grid for entering text is really unpleasant.

Videos played over DLNA are really really jumpy. No wireless is not involved, the network is wired 100Mbps (and up) and I do design networking equipment that it is almost certainly the case your mobile operator, ISP and bank all use. In any case playing YouTube for example never suffers this. So DLNA video is a broken feature.

Major irritations

Unwanted channel change. Unfortunately when my PVR (connected to Scart AV2) starts no matter what I was watching (say iPlayer) it changes to AV2. I then have to find my way back (see below). This behaviour doesn't seem to be configurable.

The whole user interface is slow sluggish. For example select "Guide" and it takes a few seconds to think about it. I suspect some of the online service slowness, as opposed to the Guide just mentioned is because the device accesses stuff on the west coast for some services. No I don't mean Wales but of the US. Yes that is the case. I have PCAP captures to prove it.

Once the Guide has come up for some channels, particularly the new HD ones it claims "No Event Information" at least initially.

iPlayer does not remember searches. There are a small number of programmes I watch on iPlayer regularly yet this simple usability feature hasn't been implemented. It is made worse when the AV2 switch as above happens. My friend's Panasonic does remember searches.

iPlayer doesn't remember position in a programme and navigating back to it is slow and clunky.

Some of the online video services have hundreds of videos (says so in the corner) yet actually navigating to see what is available is painfully slow with the result that these videos may as well not be available.

Intermittant/new bugs

**** NEW March 2014 **** . iPlayer search sometimes hangs, sometimes doesn't find anything and sometimes throws up episodes from a month ago without the current ones. For example a couple of days ago on searching for "Hol" it presented me with one episode of Holby City from mid February. Right now (20/3) I see "Exit Strategy - Part 2" but trying to play it gives "This content does not seem to be working". To be fair I find this one is actually the Beeb's fault. Thank you Twitter.

iPlayer pause doesn't always. See

Failure to return to TV properly exiting Text. I've only seen this once or twice. The text goes away but the picture stays in the corner.

Failure to shut down properly. I know this because usually if it has not been switched on for say an hour the ethernet link is down and there's a Sony Logo at switch on. But recently (March 2014) I've noticed that it starts very quickly and without the Logo. This was the case until I unplugged it for a few seconds. I therefore strongly suspect it wasn't entering its proper low power state though have yet to measure this. I wonder how many millions of Sony TVs out there are consuming substantially more power than they should be because of this.

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