It is very difficult to reach an overall conclusion regarding how good this CRT television is, as I will explain: Firstly, this is not a Sony Trinitron TV of old - it is made in Spain (not Japan), and the quality of internal components will not be as good, as a result. My previous Japan-made Sony Trinitron TV is 21 years old and still going strong! I do not expect this model to last anything like as long, but in fairness, I cannot say anything for sure about it's longevity.
Now to a serious "issue" which you would have to assume affects EVERY KV-21LS30U. I have discovered through my experience with this model that there is an inherent design flaw regarding one aspect of the picture display: During very dark scenes, any very bright areas of the screen will cast faint horizontal streaks of light to the right of the bright areas. The defect is subtle and when watching in bright rooms you will not notice it, but in the evenings, when viewing in dimly-lit rooms, any viewers with a tendency to pay attention to detail will certainly notice it at times. I have played about with the brightness/contrast and found that I can suppress the defect so that it is very minimal, but the drawback of this approach is that I have to have the contrast set a little too high for my taste in order for it to be minimised as far as possible. I've had my one in a Sony-authorised workshop for nearly a year and have had the tube replaced and every other possible cause looked into and it cannot be cured of this defect. The reason I say that it seems to be an inherent fault is that I was in a position to examine a second KV-21LS30U, and it showed exactly the same issue. I wish I'd have known about this inherent defect before spending money on having the tube replaced etc on my one because I'd have realised that there is nothing that can be done about it. As I say, you will only notice it when watching the kind of picture content I described, and in certain conditions (dimly-lit rooms, curtains drawn etc), but it is certainly an annoyance and not something you would ever expect with a Sony Trinitron TV. I don't know whether other Wega models of this era have the same issue.
Apart from this, the TV is good in most other areas: The cabinet design is very attractive and the Trinitron tube, being a Wega, is wonderfully flat. The sound is good, and with better bass handling than my other Sony Trinitron TV, the picture can be set to show anamorphic 16:9 widescreen broadcasts/recordings in their correct proportions and the remote control is well designed. If it wasn't for this inherent picture flaw, I would give this TV 5 out of 5 but I have to drop it two stars for this flaw as it will bug any viewer who pays attention to detail. So, to sum up, an inherent flaw with the picture but, if you can live with this, an otherwise good CRT TV. Just be aware of this picture issue if thinking of buying this model.Read more ›