The 26-inch KDL-26V4000 LCD TV, with an HD Ready resolution of 1,366x768 pixels, is that rarest of things: a Sony Bravia set that can genuinely be described as affordable. But we hope Sony hasn't sacrificed too much in the way of features and performance to achieve the price tag of around £400.
The price of the 26V4000 isn't much more than that charged by budget brands like Goodmans and Bush for their 26-inch LCD TVs. It seems Sony has finally released the affordable LCD TV that hard-up fans of the company have been praying for.
The set's provision of three HDMI ports is better than you'd expect at this price, and there's a D-Sub PC input as well, so you can get even more value out of the screen by doubling it up as a PC monitor.
The 26V4000 also features Sony's respected Bravia Engine video-processing technology. As we'd hoped, this helps the 26V4000 to produce some of the best pictures we've seen from a 26-inch TV.
Thanks to a killer combination of bright, rich colours and some of the deepest, most convincing black levels we've seen on such a small TV, the 26V4000's pictures look startlingly vibrant and dynamic.
They're bright, too, making the 26V4000 a great option for a bright room or conservatory. The fact that the picture can produce deep blacks without having to seriously compromise on brightness means the set can display plenty of the shadow detailing that gives dark scenes their depth.
We were pleased to note, too, that the 26V4000 gets real mileage out of its HD Ready resolution, delivering clarity and detail in spite of its relatively diminutive screen size.
The Bravia Engine comes into its own when handling standard-definition content, enabling the TV to produce programmes from its Freeview tuner with a level of noiseless sharpness that most rival sets can't match.
Even the 26V4000's audio isn't bad by 26-inch standards, offering more bass than we'd usually expect, and vocals that sound clear and clean.
Finally, the 26V4000 is extremely easy to use, thanks to a pleasantly laid-out remote control and some foolproof on-screen menus.
The most serious shortcoming of the 26V4000's largely excellent pictures is motion blur. It's not excessive -- many other 26-inch LCD TVs suffer much more from this problem -- but there's no doubt that objects moving across the screen can suffer some loss of resolution.
Camera pans, meanwhile, can look slightly juddery, and we spotted evidence of moiré noise over fine lines and cross-hatch patterns when watching standard-definition material.
More general niggles are that the 26V4000 is low on options and features, rather bland to look at, and lacks any USB or SD card slots for instant photo viewing. But, given the set's price, perhaps we're being harsh with these points.
The set's sound is also slightly brittle and harsh when it's pushed hard by a Hollywood action scene.
Any concerns we had that Sony couldn't make cheap TVs have been emphatically laid to rest by the Bravia KDL-26V4000. In terms of features, it's fairly bare when judged by Sony's usual standards. It performs outstandingly well for the price, however, and that's all that really matters.
Edited by Charles Kloet