Next on the 40V2000's tech list is Super Vertical Pattern Alignment (SPVA). The main objective of SPVA is to tackle LCD's customary viewing-angle problems, whereby contrast levels and colours tend to reduce dramatically when viewing an LCD TV from the side. SPVA works by incorporating into each individual pixel a trio of smaller subsections that are used to refract the light over a wider angle as it emerges from the screen.
Sony's final key innovation for the 40V2000 is its hefty-sounding Wide Colour Gamut technology -- part of a colour system Sony dubs Live Colour Creation. Sony has redesigned its LCD backlight system using newly developed phosphors with better light-emitting properties, resulting in, so Sony claims, the reproduction of a much wider section of the visible colour spectrum the human eye detects in the real world.
So, do Sony's new technology tricks make a difference? Indeed they do. Colours, in particular, show huge signs of improvement over Sony's previous LCD efforts, finally managing to match its customary vibrancy with natural tones.
Also much easier on the eye are the Bravia KDL-40V2000's black levels. Previous Sony LCD offerings have tended to look washed out and flat where dark parts of a picture are concerned, but here dark areas not only deliver a genuine sense of black but also have enough subtle shadow detailing to add real depth to the image as a whole.
Yet more key improvement can be seen when things get moving, as the smeary look to motion seen on previous Sony LCDs gives way to a much cleaner, sharper impression. There's still room for improvement -- but not much.
Connected to this is how fantastically sharp and crisp the 40V2000's pictures look with high-definition sources. In fact, if there's a sharper, more detailed HD TV around, we haven't seen it. The Bravia Engine also earns its stripes by making standard-definition sources look clean and sharp too -- even pretty ropey stuff from the built-in digital tuner.
Particularly impressive in all this multi-source sharpness is the fact that it's achieved with precious little sign of any accompanying processing noise, leaving the picture clean and direct.
Finally in the positive column, watching the 40V2000 from even quite extreme angles results in far less image degradation than with most LCDs, proving the worth of the new SPVA system.
Only two small negatives warrant a mention. First, even though colours are much improved over previous Sony efforts, a trace of orange can still occasionally slip into rich reds. And second, sharply contrasting edges can sometimes appear with a glowing 'echo' around them. But neither of these issues is hard to live with in the context of all the positives.
The 40V2000's talents extend to sound as well as pictures. Its two 12W speakers deliver more sheer power and dynamic range than practically any other LCD TV in its class, meaning it can rise effortlessly to the challenge of even the most cacophonic of movie action scenes.
In fact, whichever way you look at it, the 40V2000 is not only the finest big-screen LCD all-rounder we've seen to date, but also a scarily high benchmark for other pre-World Cup LCD wannabes to aim for.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Nick Hide