Most helpful critical review
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Picture - Great. Sound - not so good.
on 23 September 2014
I purchased this TV for a couple of reasons, the main reason being - iPlayer is no longer supported and stopped working on my bedroom Sony Blu-ray player (BDPS-570) and my existing 2007 KDL-32D3000 not having any SMART capabilities at all left me needing a bedroom upgrade!
The TV itself is very well made, a small aluminium bezel around the edges give the impression the screen is actually bigger than it is, a very modern look. The power supply is from a block type transformer and the lead to it from the mains plug is quite short - luckily I had a longer replacement and that meant I was able to place the TV on top of a chest of drawers and plug the mains lead on to a trailing socket on the floor - sitting the block behind the TV. It would have pulled the lead out of the back of the TV had I left the block dangling down to the floor.
The picture is a big improvement on my 2007 model, its very clear and the colours are vibrant. HD channels really stand out and the motion seems a lot smoother. The screen is also no reflective which helps if its placed near a window or any other light source.
I used an Ethernet cable to give it internet access and set it an IP reservation on my router, it then went off and found a software update which downloaded and installed smoothly. The whole process took about 15 mins to set the TV up, and all you need is a cross head screwdriver to set the legs and stand up. It also comes with a wall bracket if you want to wall mount it.
I was quite impressed by the TV until it came to setting the sound up, I just can't get it to sound 'good'. I've tried many settings - and there are a lot of sound settings - but it always ends up sounding a bit tinny and hollow. You can get bass from the equaliser settings but it always just ends up sounding 'ok'. There's even settings to change from wall mounted to table top but I can't find a happy medium. If anyone reading this review is able to get theirs sounding good without having to purchase a subwoofer or a sound bar, please let me know your settings! My old 32D300 was really good for sound without having to play with any settings, this new TV isn't a patch on it. I should have know better I suppose, a lot of the reviews did mention this. My bad!
One other little niggle is the sleep timer. If you are viewing a external source such as a Freesat Box, you can use the sleep timer as usual, set it up from the remote and just fall to sleep. However, if you are watching anything from a Sony Blu Ray/USB key or streaming and want to set it up, you have to select another source first, set the timer up and then return to your content as the remote button fails to bring the sleep timer up on the screen. Annoying!
The SMART services are ok a little slow even with a very fast internet connection, but again still no ITV Player or 4OD unlike the new Samsung range.
You select the APPs you want and add them to your own list, Amazon Prime Instant Video is on there and does work well, and in fact the remote control has a separate NETFLIX button which is quite useful.
There is a built in Freesat box and satellite connecter next to the normal aerial plug but I'm yet to try it out - I still have a trusty Humax Freesat HD box for now.
I'll keep this TV for the bedroom (and have to keep fiddling trying to find a decent sound), but I'll definitely be looking at other brands in the future before committing to buy - Sony are no longer the top brand they used to be - in my opinion - they seem to be getting left behind by others.
From what should have been a 5 star product, I've removed 1 star for the sound quality and another for the niggles like the sleep timer, lack of ITV Player & 4OD and short mains cable.
I've had this TV for a couple of weeks now, and after many calls to Sony regarding the sound quality - the only help they can offer is to recommend I return the TV and try a different Sony model. Not what I'd expect Sony, shame on you!
Anyhow, I decided to keep the TV as the picture is great and some of the features are useful, so I invested in a Denon DHT-T100 soundbase rather than buy anything else Sony as they'd disappointed me with their customer support and I didn't like any of their sound bars. The TV now has great sound to go along with the great picture, the Denon sat under the TV looks good and you can't see any cables which pleased my wife. You can train the Denon to accept volume controls from the Sony TV remote easily, but once you set the audio output on the Bravia to Audio System, you'll keep getting a "TV Volume is fixed" warning message every time you adjust the volume - quite annoying if you watch a subtitled foreign film. Sony need to have a setting in the menu's to disable this message as its quite a common issue on A/V forums.
If I find a fix I'll update this review.