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The purchase of my Sony Bravia KDF-E50A12U came after insisting that I had to have one if my wife and I bought a new flat. She got the flat and I got the television after much searching of the internet to find the best deal for the biggest TV we could fit through the door.
I had my heart set on a 50 inch rear projection after seeing a similar Samsung version in John Lewis but was determined that I wasn't going to part with more than £1,000 on a TV. After much searching I managed to find the Sony Bravia 50inch rear projection HD ready TV on www.argos.co.uk for only £899.99 with a free stand and free delivery.
The first thing to strike you on delivery is the sheer size of the TV, with all of the packaging it does literally take three men to deliver it, despite the total weight being only 30 kilograms however the stand weighs a staggering, and backbreaking 60 kilograms!
Set up is remarkably easy, and once the stand was constructed the TV slides onto it and has clips that ensure that it remains upright and doesn't fall forwards. These are needed because despite this being a rear projection TV, it doesn't have any real depth and is actually only 41cm from screen to rear. The visible screen itself is 119cm across and 83cm high. I was surprised to find that rather than being glass, the screen is more of a flexible plastic which means that cleaning has to be done very carefully so not to break it.
So, the TV is huge, is easy to set up and the ease and impressiveness doesn't stop there, with a plethora of features, sockets and functions the instruction manual will give you enough bedtime reading for at least a month so that you can find out everything that this beast does. I haven't actually investigated all the features so can only really comment on the actual picture, sound quality and what it is like when used for gaming.
The TV has the High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) interface slot which allows a PC or laptop to be hooked up to the screen. To be honest, I've done this once and the sheer size of web pages on the screen is too much, as is the brightness of white backgrounds. With a HD DVD player (which I don't have - yet) the HDMI allows the playing of such DVDs with clearer, crisper pictures, not that there is anything wrong with the picture when playing DVDs from a normal player or Xbox 360.
The screen has the capacity to produce a picture comprising of 1080 lines and this is what sets it apart from normal TVs and competitors alike. HD gives a better, clearer and crisper picture as instead of using pixels, the picture is produced in lines. The more lines used by the TV to make up the picture, the better. In reality, the TV only uses a 720 lines but this has no detrimental effect on picture quality.
So what is the picture like in comparison to a regular TV I hear you say well, it's very hard to describe how impressed I was with the picture. It was the first thing unpacked in my flat and once wired up I had to try out a DVD and I found that for an hour and a half I sat in front of the screen saying quite loudly "look at that blue/red/green", "look at the detail" and "f^&k me this is awesome". The size of the picture was fantastic, not too big and it allows for an amazing amount of detail to be projected onto the screen and the colours are mind-blowing. I find myself watching films and spotting things in scenes I never knew where there before. I am still in awe of the picture quality and cannot believe I took so long to convert to HD.
When watching sports there is no distortion with the picture, even as players move around quickly and this I find impressive as I get incredibly annoyed when watching football on plasma screens and players seem to have a blur following them around the pitch. With the Bravia this thankfully isn't an issue and this is all without a Digital HD box from Sky or Virgin Media.
Playing games on the Bravia is an out of this world experience and adds to the power of the XBox 360, but the size of the screen comes into it's own when playing games on the Nintendo Wii due to the size of the characters and the realism when playing tennis, baseball or ten pin bowling. With two SCART sockets, the two main consoles I use don't need to be continually swapped around.
The sound quality I have to admit is a little disappointing, and can only be described as average with an output of 20w. The one and only speaker is located at the bottom of the screen and although the audio is clear and has the ability to deafen an OAP at a 100 yards, the sound quality is definitely better when used for gaming and I would recommend a surround sound system to fully appreciate the Bravia and it's potential.
The remote is very basic and allows for the changing of channels (obviously), allows access to Teletext (in a choice of languages) and has the ability to move the picture around the screen. This is only really helpful when watching football or cricket and the score either at the top and bottom of the screen can't be seen without moving the picture up or down.
The only problems I have are quite obvious due to the size of the TV. It uses one hell of a lot of electricity to power this beast and it attracts enough dust to fill a hoover in days. The vents between the projector and the screen need to be hoovered on a weekly basis and the screen needs to be wiped down once every 2-3 days.
Overall I am delighted with my purchase. It has taken my viewing pleasure to another level and for the price that I paid some 6 months ago I really feel that I have received exceptional value for money and would highly recommend the Bravia range and in particular the 50 inch to any serious gamer or lover of films.
Thanks for reading and rating.