A brand new TV is one of the most expensive purchases you can make, therefore, you want to know what you're getting is worth the hundreds of pounds you're likely to be spending, right? With internet shopping now accounting for a big percentage of the UK's purchases you'd be crazy not to research online when making big purchases such as a new TV.
That's what we did when purchasing a new living room TV around 12 months ago, after trawling the internet several times, continuing to look in the high street whenever possible before repeating step one we finally settled on the Sony Bravia KDL-46V2000AEP.
*** Availability ***
Sony is one of the biggest makes, not just in the world of TV's but in electronics, period. Therefore after being captivated by the look of this LCD screen we were pleased to be investing in such a well known, respected and most important of all, trusted brand. We first found this set in Comet which I've always considered to be a catastrophically over priced electrical store however after looking on the internet (for the 12 thousandth time) we finally settled and forked out £1,350 for this 46inch LCD TV.
Ok so I tell a lie, the TV on its own wasn't £1,350, it was infact £1,100 on its own but we decided to opt for the matching stand, HD DVD player and a free Sky HD box all included in the bundle. I've been looking on the internet recently to see if the TV is still on the market and I've had trouble finding it, however it is *currently* available from Ebay for around £700, which is a bargain.
*** Setting Up ***
For a TV of this size I would recommend letting professionals install it, we went for the stupid option and tried to do it ourselves. The most difficult aspect was of course getting the TV out of the box due to the sheer size and relatively heavy weight. If you're planning on placing the TV on the wall all the relevant equipment is placed in the box.
For those of you, like us who prefer to do it the old fashioned way with a stand it can be a bit tricky, the TV needs to come out of the box and then placed face down somewhere (we used the sofa) whilst the stand was installed, I assumed the stand would already be in place and we'd simply have to adjust it, however the stand needs to be screwed on. This all sounds simple enough but the stand is very long, obviously to be able to withstand such a wide TV and it will require a lot of fiddling around before the stand can be put into place as it needs to be screwed into the bottom of the TV. Once that's done it's all pretty straight forward, you'll obviously need two people to place the TV on the stand and it may need some adjusting to put it in the right place. Just be sure to lift from the TV and not the stand.
There are three scart sockets which is ideal if you're planning on playing video games and the like however two is normally sufficient for the average user. We only require two, one for the DVD player and another for Sky HD.
Once everything is in place and plugged into the wall socket (you may want to purchase a multi plug socket to ensure there are no accidents if the TV cuts out for any reason), all that's needed is to turn the plug on. You'll have to turn the TV on using the top buttons, you must then adjust the TV so it's on channel AV4 then it will automatically tune. This takes approximately 5 minutes and then as they say - you're good to go!
*** Remote Control ***
The TV control, although important to some will be irrelevant to most people who these days utilise the power of Sky or Virgin. You will however need the TV control, so keep hold of it but fortunately you'll only need one button. When turning the TV on it automatically is on channel AV3 (even if Sky is turned on) therefore you'll need to press the top left button on the silver control to switch to AV4. AV4 simply positions the screen properly as although you're still able to watch TV on AV3 you'll notice a slightly pixelated picture.
Overall there are no real problems with the control besides looking a bit dated, however as aforementioned if you've got Sky you wont need it much. The buttons are mainly circular and there is no problem with them sticking when pressed as only a light touch is needed and is always very responsive. There are all the appropriate buttons (volume, channel change, numbers 0-9) and if you're unlucky enough not to be a customer of Sky or Virgin then the supplied control is quite sufficient. The only problem is it doesn't come with batteries (2xAA).
*** Picture Quality ***
Possibly the most important aspect about the TV besides the price and the size is of course the clarity of the picture. With the invention of HD and Sky HD which enables you to utilise it, it's been a constant battle between the TV manufacturers to come up with the best picture possible for their TV's. Sony's middle finger to the competition comes with the introduction of Bravia, which are their new range of HD TV's, built to give the 'perfect' picture.
Whilst I wouldn't say the picture was perfect I would say it's pretty darn close, all the colours are brilliantly detailed and with a screen so big you'll see every imperfection (not always a good thing). Unfortunately there is no way of telling how strong the signal is in your area, however I have found that when Sky is turned on and in use you receive a much clearer picture than when it's not in use.
*** Sound Quality ***
The speaker is situated at the bottom of the TV under the silver bar and there have been no problems whatsoever on the sound front. Sound is crisp and clear at all times (without sound surround), infact we were thinking of getting surround sound when we bought the TV as we have a very large living room however the sound is of such a high clarity there was no need.
*** Overall ***
This is simply a fantastic TV, despite being on the market for a few years now it still remains very sleek and modern. At only an inch thick it's perfect to fit on the wall or indeed on a stand. The picture and sound quality are both superb, of course the HD channels are where the TV really shine - simply phenomenal. There is a control panel situated at the top of the TV which allows you to adjust the channel, volume and of course turn it on and off for those of you who 'lose' the remote on a regular basis. The only downside is the lack of integrated Freeview which more modern LCD TV's now have, obviously this isn't a problem if you have Sky or any other digital TV provider but if not then it's something major to think about as I've always found Freeview boxes very ugly.
With a clear instruction booklet which explains step by step how to set up (although it may not even be needed) this TV comes with everything you'll need (depending on whether you have Sky or not) and as the price continues to decline you're likely to pick up a bargain.
Unprecedented color accuracy, wide angle viewing that really works and the power of the BRAVIA ENGINE - introducing the BRAVIA V-Series. The new BRAVIA V-Series is a breakthrough in the art of color reproduction. Exclusive Sony Live Color Creation technology opens up the spectrum of colors on the screen to breathtaking effect. Significant boosts in the range of red and green in the picture brings what you see closer to the true colors of nature than ever before.
Key to broadening the spectrum of color the screen displays, or widening its 'color gamut', is the V-Series' specially redesigned backlight. The new Wide Color Gamut (WCG) CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) is an exclusive Sony design employing improved light-emitting phosphors originally developed for the Trinitron CRT. These actively extend the red and green spectrum components the backlight emits. Matched with precisely optimized RGB filters within the LCD itself, the WCG-CCFL completely transforms the characteristics of the screen. Live Color Creation also relies in part on the remarkable power of the BRAVIA ENGINE to enhance signals, even HDTV, before it actually appears on the screen. The intensive real-time frame-by-frame digital processing carried out by the BRAVIA ENGINE visibly enhances color and contrast and cleans up noise in the signal which could result in imperfections in the picture.
The screen itself is equally special. Each panel is cut from the very latest 7th generation glass featuring S-PVA (Super Vertical Pattern Alignment) molecular control for a wider viewing angle and picture quality that doesn't fade away as you move to the side. S-PVA also delivers a huge contrast ratio of 1300: 1 - from dead black to pure white and everything in between. The result is detail, clarity and depth to do justice to the finest cinematography. The V-Series' audio capabilities match its visual quality perfectly. The all-digital amplification suppresses noise (hiss), and BBE Digital enhancement algorithms bring absolute clarity to dialog and ambient sounds alike. SRS TruSurround XT signal processing expands audio into enveloping virtual surround sound with no need for external speakers.