Another year another telly!
Once again my wife got the itch to get a bigger screen size so after much shopping around I found this on richer sounds website at £479 witch is pretty good value as this used to retail over the £700 mark. to be honest Feb./march/ April is one of the best times to get a bargain as the shops want to get rid of there old sets (in this case 2011 models) to bring in the new.
We went for this as my wife wanted a slim led and I wanted to dip my toe in to the world of 100hz tv, a plasma would off been nice but alas all the bargains on them have disappeared.
anyway we reserved this and bought it as soon as we had chance.
Unboxing and installation
Been an led its really light which is a good thing considering its size! setting it up was relatively simple. you get a sheet showing you how to assemble the base and how to attach it to the TV. Allen key is provided and its not rocket science. the only thing I wondered about was why the base is so big! I'm Sure a smaller one could of handled the TV's load just fine
The TV its self is very attractive with a slim bezel bezel and a brushed metal effect strip at the bottom.
switching on was painless I.e. no second hidden on off switch. once powered on it asks you if want in on home or shop mode. I hope to god no one ever chooses shop mode (or vivid mode for that matter). unless you want garish pictures and a bigger electric bill!. as with all TVs it asks your language and offers to auto tune or to skip. I have virgin media so I skipped Freeview tuning.
On the whole its good with a bit of tweaking. the image is very sharp with lots of detail, the contrast is much better than the Panasonic it replaced, one good example was when watching "underworld: rise of the lycans", for first time I could actually watch the movie and see everything that was going on! as the movie is 95% night time/ in dark castles the panny struggled with it but on the Sony I didn't have to mess with the brightness or draw the curtains to be able to watch it. but that is to be expected as they both use different types of panels but what's not so good is that the colours aren't as good as the panny and the image to be honest is a little dull and the viewing angels aren't as good ether. its a common complaint from looking at others peoples opinions on it, however with a bit of tweaking you can get around that to some degree. one thing I'm really pleased with is that there is no backlight bleed at all!
One of the main reasons I wanted this TV was its 100hz (or in this case 200hz) mode. this stops the picture from losing detail and going blurry when there's a lot of movements. its a bit hit and miss on lcd TV's but in the case it works really well. keeping the picture sharp (if you use the clear setting) no matter how fast things move. and for most of the time there is very little "soap opera" effect
NOTE: the 40 inch version of this TV has a S-PVA lcd panel other models such as the 37" and 46" models have a AUO panel and as such will perform differently.
Well its an led and so the speakers have to be smaller and as a consequence the sound lacks bass and oomph. mind you its not bad for its size and the mid range is good. update: the sound from the speakers is as i said above, but if you connect it to a hi-fi the sound is excellent! and that not just because of the hi-fi its because of the quality of the sound been outputted from the TV
I couldn't test this at first but as I now have a long enough cable ive final had a go.
the TV offerers a range of services such as youtube/ iplayer and for the most part im happy with what my virgin tivo box has to offer with the exception of you tube witch is much better. what I found a really joy and you really have to try this is that I can now send pictures and music from my phone to the TV witch has transformed my phone in to a jukebox for my Hi-Fi. in addition if I press_ track id_ on the remote the artist and album of any music playing on TV say in an advert will be displayed on screen. very handy!
It has a generous 4 HDMI sockets. scart and component connectors as well as usb and optical out. the only caveat is that it has no audio out sockets so I cant connect it to my amp yet I could but I need a headphone to phono lead and alas my virgin box isn't helping me much out with that ether.
update: ive since found that the headphone socket can be set to "audio out" so that it can be conected to a reguler hi-fi (with the right cable/adapter). and the sound that is output to my hi-fi is very good. much better than the sound i got sorted from my virgin box.
Menus/ease of use.
I'm not sure I quite like how its all laid out and I'm not going to bore you by explaining how it works but it can be a bit idiosyncratic sometimes. its not hard to use but methinks a rejig on next years models would make some things easier.
If you want the best from this TV I have found this site witch has some professional settings near the bottom of the page for you to try.
I recommend these as they give the most accurate and natural picture and really help with the colour.
Also gamers, if you want the fastest response from this TV try this.
switch over to what ever input your game is on. press home then scroll left to settings then scroll up to system settings, go in to scene select and chose standard game. from there change the colours/ brightness to your own preference but make sure you turn off any kind of picture enhancements finally set i/p perfernce to speed. and you will find the TV is wonderfully responsive with games
I like this TV on the whole it exudes class. and looks great and in many ways preforms very well. but be prepared to spend some time with the settings to get some vibrancy in to the picture and it will reward you.