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As most of you already know we moved house in July of this year, but what you won't know is that about six months before that the switch on our old television broke. Dave's immediate reaction was - lets get a new television - he had by longing to get an up to date TV for ages! I pointed out that, since we were moving house, it was a bit daft to get a new TV to suit the lounge in the old house, when it might not look right in the new house. The real clincher however was when I reminded him that the new lounge might be larger than the current one and thus he could choose a larger TV! Well, that did it, we fixed the switch on the old TV so that it was permanently 'on' and switched the set on and off at the wall. When we moved into our new house there was some building work to be done on our lounge as it had been partitioned and used as two bedrooms by the previous owners who ran a bed and breakfast establishment, so the purchase of the new television had to wait. I will say at this point we have a portable in the bedroom - I couldn't do without my Corrie Street and Eastenders! Once the building work was complete and even before the decorating began we set off in search of the dream TV!! After much deliberation and discussion we found the one we wanted in Currys. It is a Sony KV28LS35 and we paid £915 for the television, a video recorder and a DVD player all in a purpose built cabinet. So, finally, I'll actually get round to telling you something about the television! About time too, don't you think? The whole package arrived in numerous huge, very well packed boxes, and the first job was to construct the stand and put all the appliances on the correct shelves. Dave did have to pop back to Currys at this point as the cabinet had arrived with two right hand doors and obviously we needed to swap one for a left hand door! Incidentally the only left hand door they had got wa
s on the display model, so if you go in Currys in Llandudno and see a TV cabinet with only one door - we've got the other one! Anyway once the cabinet was complete the TV had to be lifted (no mean feat!), placed on the top and slotted into two retaining bracket things to hold it firm. There is also a strap at the back of the TV, which is then attached to the back of the cabinet to stop the TV accidentally rolling forward off the stand if it were to get knocked. So now we needed to set the thing up so that we could watch it. No problem - it has an automatic set up facility! I leave this sort of thing to Dave, as he is more technically minded than I am, but even I could have coped with this. The only thing to 'fine tune' was the sound - bass, treble and balance are all adjustable, and picture - contrast, brightness, colour, sharpness and hue are the adjustments for this. So basically you customise the picture and sound to your own requirements. Whilst we are on the subject of sound, this is where the real clever part of this TV comes into play, and the reason for the title of this opinion. We had discussed the possibility of having a surround sound TV but had decided against it as we didn't want the speakers round the room, so we went for the next best thing with this TV as it has Virtual Dolby Surround. I have to admit that I didn't expect the effect to be anywhere near as good as surround sound would have been but I was wrong! I often sit in the lounge watching TV and think that someone has walked into the room behind me, because I can hear the sound all round the room. It's quite weird sometimes especially if there's a scene on TV in crowded pub or something of that ilk - I feel like I'm in the middle of it all, sadly without a drink! Shucks! The TV itself is a 28? widescreen, Dave wanted a big one (ooer!) and I talked him down to this size, and it?s a flat screen, which
makes it comfortable to view from anywhere in the room. I'm told it's the Sony Trinitron Tube design that does it, so there you are! As for the actual appearance of the TV, it is silver in colour and designed with the minimum of lines or fuss about it, which suits us as we are trying to recreate a Victorian feel in the room (the house was built in 1896) and so we wanted the TV to be as plain as possible. We'll eventually house in some sort of cabinet but for now we didn't want some big fussy looking monster on show! The remote control is pretty standard although quite long and thin, but easy enough to use, which is what you want after all. So in conclusion I would thoroughly recommend this TV - the sound and picture quality are superb. We do have one problem though - our signal comes from across the Menai Straits on Anglesey and the picture quality does deteriorate when the tide is going out!!! I suppose that's the price we have to pay for living by the sea and it is the conditions and not the TV that are at fault. We are even connected to digital TV via an expensive new aerial but the tide still rules I'm afraid.
History: I had to return my first set because of a very noticeable geometry problem - the top left quarter of the screen was squashed down by about 1cm. The replacement is better but not what I would call perfect - the picture is horizontally bent and there's pincushion distortion in the 14:9 mode. Otherwise the set is very good. Setting up: This is dead easy. Turn it on and a language select menu appears, then you can adjust the picture tilt, then it search for and labels all the channels. It only takes a couple of minutes and it's all done. The enclosed stand is quite nice, the sides and doors keep the noise from my video down and hide most of the wires. There are just two SCART sockets at the back only one of which supports RGB, the other has composite and S-Video and supports the video Smartlink. There's also composite/S-Video inputs which pop out from the side. Picture Quality: The picture is good given my not so great reception, the contrast and colours are great. The picture from DVD's is very good. There are various modes for displaying normal and widescreen pictures. The 'Smart' mode does a good job of filling the screen from 4:3 and 14:9 transmissions. In some modes the picture can be moved up or down to make sure subtitles are visible. Features: There aren't many fancy features on this set but there are a few useful ones: There's a menu option to turn off the TV speakers and the TV volume control affects the stereo phono outputs on the back (and the manual says this does not apply to sound via the SCART socket). The picture tilt can be adjusted to compensate for the earths varying magnetic field and when viewing an RGB source a menu entry lets you adjust its centre position. The remote control can also handle a video and dvd player but only supports their basic features. For example, you can program even a Sony video with it, nor can you
skip to the next chapter on DVD's or navigate the menus. Problems: I have tried to get the geometry problems corrected but my supplier (Unbeatable) were unable to find a service agent that was close enough. The nearest one 70-80 miles away would have had a callout charge of about £100 so instead I sent the set back (again). They were out of stock and I waited 10 days for a replacement before calling them and cancelling it. Summary: Overall I liked the TV, but they really should have put on an extra RGB SCART socket and the geometry should have been better. Maybe it was down to quality control and I had two from a bad batch but if they can't get someone out to look at it then I won't be buying another Sony. Rating: Given the problems I've had trying to get this set fixed I've revised my rating down a point.