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When moving into our new flat I managed to get the main television, a 50 Sony Bravia KDF-E50A12U from A to B, up 3 flights of stairs and through a narrow doorway without any hassle at all, but managed to completely destroy our bedroom television, therefore a replacement was needed. After being extremely pleased with the ease of set up, down right amazing performance and relatively cheap price of our other Bravia we decided that the replacement should also be a flat screen rear projection HD ready television and, if possible, a Sony Bravia. After much searching we couldnt find a rear projection television cheap enough so opted for the Sony Bravia KDL-32U2000 an LCD television purchased for £540 from www.cheapelectricals.co.uk in January 2007.
In an ideal world I would have opted for another 50 Bravia, alas financial and space constraints meant that we would have to settle for a 32 television and was slightly concerned that I would struggle to adjust to such a smaller display. My wife made the comment that it would look like a handheld console. These concerns turned out to be completely unfounded as soon as it was delivered and removed from the protective packaging, as the display looks deceptively larger than it actually is thanks to the silver finishing.
The first and only mistake Ill hold my hands up to here is that I didnt even think about a stand or wall mounting when ordering the television and assumed that it would sit quite nicely on a set of draws. What I hadnt calculated was that the base to the television would actually be longer than our sets of draws, so positioning it was impossible and a further purchase of a wall bracket was required. This added a further £150 onto the price and large amounts of DIY trying to fit it into the wall with screws roughly the size of my forearm. Thankfully the weight of the entire television is only 14 kilograms so positioning and movement doesnt require an army of helpers. Now with hindsight, and if we had room within our bedroom I would have purchased a stand, as they do work out cheaper at only £79.
The television can be mounted onto a wall without any sort of hassle at it lacks the depth of the larger Bravia models. At its deepest point from the bottom speaker to the rear of the television is only 12.5cm, whilst the visible screen is 54.8cm high by 79.7cm wide. The screen is made from what feels like a very thin layer of glass which means that any form of cleaning has to be done very carefully and that it should be positioned well away from any sort of knocks or bumps as I can see it cracking if subjected to any sharp knocks. I am petrified of falling and head butting the display when drunk as it is now at face height!
As you would expect from Sony just looking at the television mounted on the wall switched off is enough to give you that warm and fuzzy feeling as it does just look so impressive and this experience was only intensified as soon as I started playing around with the features setting it up. The instruction manual and useful tips leaflets will give you enough reading for a few days and I would recommend that after you have got the television tuned in that you take the time to read through and learn what your new television can do as I promise it will add a few inches to the perma-grin any new owner will sport for at least a month.
The KDL-32U2000 has only one High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) interface slot that allows a PC or laptop to be hooked up to the screen. As the television is positioned in our bedroom we havent done this, but if used in a lounge environment it would be a very useful little feature and from experience with my other Bravia, the quality and sheer size of web pages even on a 32 screen would probably be too much, but if used to watch films or video clips I can vouch that you will not get much better. The HDMI socket will also allow you to attach an HD DVD player with even clearer and crisper pictures.
As the television is High definition, the pictures projected onto the display are made up from 1080 lines giving a better, clearer and crisper picture instead of using pixels. As a simple rule the more lines used by the television to make up the picture, the better. The entire LCD display resolution is 1366 X 768 pixels.
In comparison to a regular, run of the mill television the Bravia KDL-32U2000 is streets ahead in terms of picture and audio quality. I have to admit that my levels of amazement were not exactly at bursting point but this is because I already expected crystal clear images and stunning amounts of detail as this is the second Bravia in our household, so there were no looks of disbelief at the amounts of detail being displayed in pictures, but in terms of quality it is on a par to the larger rear projection Bravia KDF-E50A12U and one of the best pictures I have seen from any television set without a digital HD box attachment. Every colour you could possibly image is produced without any effort. As with my other Bravia I still spot items of images within films that were obscured or not visible when watching on a normal television and that is what impresses me. When I am relegated to watching sports in the bedroom in favour of soaps I am not bothered in the slightest as there is no distortion with the picture, even as players move around quickly.
As the wall bracket we have has grooves things like DVD players or consoles can also be mounted just behind the display. Playing games on the Bravia is an out of this world experience and in all honesty, playing games on the 32 in comparison to the 50 is actually much better something I never thought I would say when writing my previous television review. At the rear are two SCART sockets, so it is possible to attach a console and a DVD player at once without having to keep removing wires and messing about. From a personal perspective, I just attach my Xbox 360 and use it for gaming and as a DVD player.
Unlike the larger Bravia I have no problems at all with the quality of the sound produced by the two 10w speakers located at the base of the television. Whilst it has the same output (20w) as the larger Bravia is seems clearer and has more clarity when trying to distinguish certain noises whilst retaining the ability to deafen the students who leave 3 doors away. Again, if using this as a main television in a lounge environment I would strongly suggest a surround sound system to fully appreciate the viewing experience.
The television comes with the standard yet very basic Sony remote control that allows for the changing of channels (obviously), access to Teletext (in a choice of languages) and has the ability to move the picture around the screen. In addition to this, the Bravia KDL-32U2000 has a freeze picture feature and if attached to a suitable aerial access to digital channels thanks to integrated Freeview.
I have had no problems with the television and continually find myself discovering new features despite believing I had read everything there was to know about the Bravia KDL-32U2000. Like other larger televisions it does use up a touch more electricity but not that much that you will see a huge increase in your bills. My 50 attracts dust like a magnet, the Bravia KDL-32U2000 does not which is a relief and cleaning is only required on a fortnightly basis.
Overall I am delighted with my purchase but disappointed that the total cost came to £690 when the wall bracket cost is taken into account. If you have the room to purchase this without the need for a stand or a wall bracket I would say that £540 is an absolute steal, and would highly recommend the Bravia KDL-32U2000 as a great television for either the lounge or bedroom. It enhances viewing pleasure with a superb picture quality and has a sound system that will make you feel as though you are involved, especially when using it for gaming.
Thanks for reading and rating.