Product Type: Sony 3D LCD TV
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Sony with Issues
Member Name: Doglovers
Date: 25/03/12, updated on 07/07/13 (141 review reads)
Advantages: Crystal clear Picture Full HD
Disadvantages: Abysmal sound
Sadly my much loved TV gave up the ghost a few weeks ago and I had to find a replacement quickly.
My hubby could not last the night without a TV ( football ) so I chose the Sony Bravia under pressure as normally I do loads of research and spend time looking at the TV's up close.
I was quite confident about my choice as I have a Sony laptop and desktop and the picture quality is excellent on those. Plus I had looked at this while helping a relative choose a TV.
This model is 32" as any larger would dominate our average size living room.
This was well packed in a slim line box and it came out without a fight and I could easily lift it as it weighs in at 8.7kg.
It comes with a matching stand that the TV slots into, TV remote and batteries and the power lead. No other cables are supplied.
The stand was easy to put together although I asked my hubby to do that and he didn't swear once, so it must have been simple. You do need to stand this on a unit or wall mount it as the stand is just something the screen slots into. We bought a TV stand as we didn't want to wall mount.
There is a guide with basic instructions.
I didn't use the paper instructions; I simply switched on and followed the instructions on the TV, which involved confirming the language and then running auto tune to locate the channels. This is very straightforward and my mum has a Sony and she managed this at nearly 80 years young, so I think it is very user friendly.
The most difficult part of set up is dealing with the spaghetti junction of cables to the Sky and DVD recorder. I somehow managed to leave them plugged in to their respective boxes and it was simply a case of attaching those to the TV. Luckily Sky and the DVD are connnected in such a way that I only had to use one scart in the TV, lucky because there is only one scart socket in the TV.
I should have purchased HDMI cables as this job would have been easier than maneuvering scarts , something I did a few days later.
This model is 32" LCD TV with full HD freeview and it is a Smart Internet TV. This means it has built in WIFI so you can watch iPlayer , YouTube and Skype. I hadn't realised it had this feature when I bought it , I simply wanted a TV , but thinking about it , it will be good to catch up using iPlayer and watch on a 32" TV.
I haven't tested this yet as I understand you need a Sony dongle ( probably expensive) to do this. Or presumably I could connect my laptop , this isn't something I have experience of so will look into this , but for now I am happy to have a TV that works.
My review therefore is primarily about the TV.
What I like about this is the connectivity . It has 4 HDMI sockets so plenty for my needs. What I did notice is how much the picture improved when I swapped from using a scart to HDMI , so I would recommend that you ditch your scarts and invest in HDMI cables as you won't really see the benefit of HD.
I still need to play with the connections as the DVD recorder only has one HDMI socket and so it connects to the Sky box with a scart, which I think is probably unnecessary , but as it all works I am putting off the cable tidying up that is needed.
We generally watch on the channel that links to our Sky box and don't really watch the digital TV channel. For the purposes of this review I have switched to Channel 3 and need to turn the TV down as it is much louder , but the picture quality is the same.
The remote is black . slightly on the big side, but the keys are easy to read and navigate and as yet I haven't had to stare for hours looking for a key that I can't find.
It is really easy to switch from TV to HDMI via a key at the top left on the remote, but you can switch from Sky to Tv simply by typing in the channel numbers.
I haven't spent a long time exploring all the menus , but like most TVs you can change the display size , colour contrast brightness and other features if you wish. Also you can change the sound , bass treble etc, which I have done and it was very easy to do.
The picture is fantastic , crystal clear and I have not noticed any glitches in the picture. The technical specification is a Full HD 1080p display resolution and the full spec is 1920 x 1080 pixels , so quite a lot of pixels which is why the picture is so crisp and clear. That is about my limit on knowledge of pixels.
The refresh rate is 50Hz and there is a viewing angle of 178/178 degrees. I think that explains why there are no glitchy bits and you can watch from some angles but not all. I don't know how this compares to other models , but our set is in a corner, so no one has to watch from an awkward angle.
It also has one scart, pc input , headphone and 2 USB sockets. There are other connections which include a component video socket, Ethernet, composite and DNLA compatibility. I know what some of these are for , but have no idea on the others but have included them for completeness.
It has a sleep timer , child lock , picture in picture (PIP), picture and picture (PAP) and a great on screen TV guide which is really clear and easy to navigate and much better than the Sky menu. I have no idea what PAP is!
So all good so far a really fabulous TV picture with lots of connectivity.
The TV itself is in a black surround is a Piano black finish and looks really smart. The other benefit is that it is really slim and much easier to move around than the old tank we had. It is a nightmare to dust and I have yet to find the right cloth that picks it up first time, but that is not a major issue.
What is a major issue for me is the sound quality,( perhaps that is where PAP comes in ) or should I say lack of sound quality.
It is absolutely horrendous, like listening to one of the old style transistor radios that came out in the 1960s. I am sure there are 2 tin cans in there.
I had been warned that I would notice the sound quality would not be as good as my old tank CRT TV, but never imagined it would be this bad.
It literally makes me wince. I have tried everything to improve the sound but it is still TINNY!
Sony you really need to work on this. I have a smaller LG TV and the sound is much better.
We haven't got cinema surround speaker systems as there has never been a need for them . We did once buy one, but realised it was just too much for our small living room and have been perfectly happy just listening to the TV.
According to the blurb this has a Dolby sound system with 10x 10 watt outputs. Whatever that is , it is totally inadequate and sounds rubbish.
As a result I have now ordered a sound bar that will hopefully address the sound issue and minimise the number of cables/speakers we need . Plus I am sure I have developed loads on new wrinkles with all the frowning and wincing I do when any music comes on.
It can't come soon enough for me!
Would I recommend
I think that is quite tricky as the sound quality issue is a real problem for me , but if you have a cinema surround type system you can use with the TV then I would say yes. Plus I suspect that sound quality is an issue with most LCD TV's.
This currently costs around £350 at Argos . It was on sale for £500 so they say there is £150 off, but this is the price most people are selling this at.
I think the Sony Bravia really does deliver in picture quality, it is impressive and I have no quibbles with this and I do think I am hard to please. It has loads of connectivity , so for those that play lots of things via their TVs , no more scrabbling about disconnecting things.
All the connections are easy to access, down the side and at a reasonable height on the back. HDMI cables are much easier to connect than scarts and improve the picture quality in my experience.
Did I mention the sound is rubbish!
Summary: Fabulous TV , but you need a sound system to go with it
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