on 4 August 2009
After months and months of deliberation I finaly settled on a new computer, my previous laptop had served me for 6 years, but the move into HD camcorder necessitated the need for a better computer, as my laptop would not even burn DVD discs.
Now I do IT for a living, and so I can't stand Microsft Vista, love XP, hate Vista. So I decided the Apple MAC was the way forward. So I really thought I would plump for an iMAC 24 inch, because all the good things that people say about MACS,and I really wanted a change from the Microsoft OS.
However the iMAC as I discovered had some very seriuos flaws for me, these being
1 No Blu Ray reader or writer built in. Yes we can go and buy an
external one, but I wanted a one box solution with
only 1 wire, which both the Sony and the iMAC are but I
have a PS3, and a a nice collection of HD films, but I can't
watch these on the iMAC and even if you had an external Blu Ray
disc player which the iMAC does support it won't allow you
to watch the movies on there. That for me was a very big let
Both the iMAC 24 and the Sony are the same price, but the Sony
comes with a Blu Ray writer and I can also watch my
Blu Ray movies on it which is good if the wife is watching the
2 The iMAC cannot deal with native full HD, so when you hook up
your camcorder to the iMAC, you can import from the
camcorder but programs like iMOVIE downscale the resolution to
1440. You cannot export out the footage at the same resolution. So if you have one of the AVCHD camcorders your
going to loose quality when you import it.
The other problem here is that the iMAC will not out of the box
play the files directly from another source, you have to
present them to the iMAC via the camcorder, so if like me you
have the files on your PS3, you have to get them back onto the
camcorder to present them to the iMAC, there is a way round this
but it requires the files to be converted, shame.
The Sony will just play them either via Windows Media Player 11
or the Picture Motion Browser.
3 No TV tuner in the iMAC, not a great deal really, but its a nice
to have for a one box solution.
The Sony has a better performance for the price, but smaller hard drive capacity, does have Blu Ray reader and writer, and the same 24 inch screen, although this is widescreen. I like the Sony, but I hate the mouse design, looks very cheap, but the keyboard is okay.
There are plenty of connections with the Sony too, 5 USB, and these are not used by the mouse or keyboard, memory card slots and Wi Fi and Blue Tooth.
I think that if this particular model had not been released with the Blu ray, I would still be deliberating over an iMAC, but this box ticks all my requirements for a new computer, and brings me right up to speed with being in the high definition era of both viewing HD movies but also being able to watch and edit my HD home movie content.
Don't get me wrong, i am not Apple bashing, and I really really wanted a MAC, I wanted something fresh, and the design of them is brilliant, but the Blu Ray and lack of proper HD support were too big of an issue for me.
I will be getting Windows 7 as well to remove this disgrace of an operating system called Vista.
on 1 December 2009
I have had this machine since January.
This is a good machine that is strongly recommended as a media centre. The only issue I have is that the speakers are just adequate, which is fine for my usage but no good for usage as home media centre. With the wireless functionality across the board it would be nice to see a wireless speaker system as an option.
The screen is very bright, although this can dominate the space it is in.
The Blu-Ray drive is good, insofar as it does its job, I haven't written to a blank blu-ray yet as they were £30 each when I got this machine and I made do with other options, which i am still doing now.
The games performance is just ok, it'll run anything (empire total war ok, spore - very good, Mass Effect - OK, Kings Bounty - good), but overall it is not great. This is definitely not a machine designed solely for gaming, so i would not recommend buying it for that
The HDMI input is a nice feature, but I feel that the system would benefit from HDMI out also, although it would mean more wires it would be good to send the sound out through HDMI as opposed to the built in optical digital out.
It is possible to record from a sky box via the s-video and line-in connections straight to the hard drive but you do need to trick windows media player to let you do this.
Don't let your kids get near the keyboard as they are expensive to replace.
The webcam and microphone have functioned perfectly and make skype seem unusually natural.
And yes it is VESA-wall mountable and looks good for it.
on 15 March 2009
DO NOT BUY THIS DESKTOP (See up-dated information). Having looked to see what was on the market, I came to the conclusion that this was the one for me, so I bought mine from Amazon. However, it turns out that it is not the "all singing, all dancing" unit that I originally thought. Yes it has got Blue Ray Burner/Player, which most other units do not have, but the Hybrid tuner is Digital/Analoge, which means that you can only record the TV programme that you are watching. Also, Windows Media Centre does not support Digital Teletext. If you what teletext, you have to be tuned into Analoge. I really think that Sony have missed something here. Having said all that, it still is an excellant machine - so far! UP-DATE. After 3 months, started getting problems, emailed Sony Customer Service..3 months later, hadn't resolved problems (when they bothered to email back). Called Sony tech. helpline...PC returned to Sony 14th.July 2009, called tech. helpline several times, but still haven't resolved problems. Say they will ring back....still waiting 3rd. August 2009 !!!! Contacted Amazon...after 3 weeks dealing with Sony, PC returned to Amazon who have given a full refund.
on 7 February 2011
Got one, was ok for 12 months, then blu ray performance disappeared. Can't watch blu-ray movies & can't read/write to blu ray media. Sony helpdesk is on the other side of the world and try to avoid dealing with the issues. Not fit for purpose and you should avoid like the plague!