The Sony KDL-40R450 is a bit of a throwback to simpler times when TVs were just TVs. You remember, way back in about 2009, before TVs became "Smart" with connections to the Internet and a store full of apps crowding the screen.
Ah, the good old days when you just plucked the TV out of the box, plunked it down, plugged in an antenna or cable box and started watching the big game or your favorite telenovela.
If you long for that simplicity, the KDL-40R450 fits the bill. With no Internet connection and no apps, the menu system is cleaner and setup is faster.
Of course if you desire the Smart experience, you can always plug in an Internet connected device like a Blu-ray player or Roku box.
No matter what you feed the KDL-40R450, prime time programming or streaming Internet content, the TV's picture quality is very good.
With "only" a 40-inch screen, this Sony is not a great candidate for your home theater, but I wouldn't kick it out of my bedroom. In fact, since it weighs less than 17 pounds (with stand), you could easily carry this TV to any room in the house.
(Editor's Note: Currently Sony makes only one size of the R450 series, this 40-inch KDL-40R450A. The 32-inch KDL-32R400A is a 720p TV and the soon to be released R550 series features Internet connections. Therefore this review only applies to the KDL-40R450A.)
Our Star Ratings
The Sony KDL-40R450 employs a Direct LED backlighting system that does not produce the picture quality of a local dimming edge-lit TV or a plasma display. Still, the picture quality is quite good. And the audio oomph from the integrated speakers is surprisingly strong.
With no Internet connections (wired or wireless), and no apps, this Sony may seem featureless when compared to today's Smart TVs. But with two HDMI inputs (with ARC and MHL support), the 40R450 provides all of the features that many need.
Ease of Use: 5.0
Since there are no network hook-ups to fret over and no apps to install, this TV is easy to set up and use.
Considering that the KDL-40R450A just hit the market, it's interesting that Sony is already offering it on their site for $499, which is $100 less than the MSRP. Even at that discount price, the marketplace offers a number of larger, more feature-laden options. But I find value in this simpler Sony 40-inch TV.
Star Ratings Description
Ratings are relative to when the review was written. The obvious example is Value, what you could purchase for $2000 two years ago or even two months ago would seem like a bad value for that price now. We give very few 5 Star ratings, which we reserve for truly outstanding accomplishment.