159 of 161 people found the following review helpful
Great family TV (a non-technical review from a procrastinator),
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This review is from: (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
We decided to upgrade our ten-year old TV to something a bit more modern recently and so (as is usual when choosing an expensive gadget) I spent many evenings reading reviews of all manner of TVs. A couple of weeks of this and my head was done in - way too many options, acronyms and features when all we were looking for was a nice family TV. So after the initial rush of storing 55"+ TVs in my wishlist, my search became a little more focused.
I used a TV size calculator (the Which website has a very good one) - which lets you plug in the size of the TV and will then tell you how far away you need to sit from it to be able to get the best viewing (or vice versa). We could have gone to 55", but went for the smaller size TV for a couple of reasons: cost and also because we have two young children and I'm not sure sitting a few feet from a relatively large TV will be good for their eyes or necks.
So after a bit more procrastinating, I had whittled down a shortlist to this Sony and the Samsung 6300 Samsung UE55ES6300 3D Full HD 1080p Smart 3D LED TV with Wi-Fi built-in and Freeview HD and 2 x glasses included (New for 2012). Both highly-rated manufacturers. In the end, the decision was made after a visit to the local John Lewis store. The Sony had a glass screen and the Samsung didn't - not sure what type of screen the Samsung had (seemed a little soft), but the thought of small kids poking their fingers into an expensive screen was frightening. The Sony's glass screen can take a fair bit of prodding and can be cleaned very easily. The Samsung also came with a whole load of "Smart" features, of which we would probably not use 99% of them. I have no intention of seeing family members on Skype in high definition, nor would I want to use the TV for logging onto Facebook.
Ordered the TV from Amazon because it was cheaper, but if you want additional peace of mind, John Lewis was a couple of hundred quid more expensive, but provides a 5 year guarantee.
The actual TV is amazing - with stunning picture quality for high definition channels. The colours are vibrant and the build quality of this TV is excellent. The kids love it as their cartoons look a million times better than our previous TV, my wife can enjoy watching dramas and soaps in high definition and I'm delighted when I watch Sky Sports - Formula 1 on this TV is incredible. The TV streams directly from various iPlayers, which means we don't miss out on any of the programmes we want to watch. If you have fast internet, you'll love watching iPlayer on this screen.
So far, we've not had to adjust the colour settings on this TV (we just plugged it in and started watching), but there are lots of websites out there advising on the appropriate settings you need for different types of TV programmes. You may need to watch out for some reflection on the glass - if it's in the line of sunlight, then you'll need to adjust your colour settings.
There are a three things that detract from an otherwise brilliant TV. Two of which may cost you a little more cash and one you can do nothing about.
Sound: the sound on this TV is astonishingly poor. The TV sits on a long silver metal plate, which doubles up as the speakers. The sound is tinny and the volume needs to be cranked up to make anything of it. I'd say that's the worst part of the TV. When we were in John Lewis, they had hooked the TV to one of these sound bars (Orbitsound T12V3 Spatial Stereo Sound Bar with iPhone Dock), which when switched on (you press mute on the Sony remote so you're not getting two sets of sounds) made a huge difference to the sound. This sound bar gives a much deeper and richer sound and there's no comparison to the rubbish Sony speakers. I forked out for the sound bar via Amazon, although it does mean I need to house the sound bar and the subwoofer somewhere. It also comes with its own remote, which is a pain as I now have a Sky remote, TV remote and volume remote. But it's worth it. When you see this TV in action, ask the salesperson to try it with and without a secondary speaker system - you'll notice the difference.
Tilt: When on the speaker/stand, this TV tilts slightly back at an angle. It's not noticeable when you view the TV head-on, but when you're sat at angle to the TV, you'll notice the lean. It's bizarre and I'm not sure why it's been manufactured like this. To get around this, we're buying a new TV cabinet with a cantilever arm so that the TV can be mounted and the Sky box, sound bar and games console can slot in underneath on the various shelves. The original speaker/stand will be relegated to a box in the garage.
Menu: the one thing you can't do is change the menu system. Using the Sony remote takes forever and the menu is just a pain in the bottom to navigate. We spent an hour or so entering WEP keys and setting the damn thing up. A more intuitive menu system would have been much better.
Overall, highly recommended as a great family TV. I've not seen another TV (bigger or smaller) at this price that is better. And given how much time I spent in Currys and John Lewis, I'd like to think I made the right choice - the family certainly thinks so.
***UPDATE 09 Nov 2012***
Just to let you know that 3 months after we got the TV, we're absolutely delighted with it. We still haven't manually adjusted any of the settings, but the picture quality is superb. Easy to clean little people finger marks and it was the right decision to get the secondary speakers, which provide a deep and rich sound. An excellent TV.
If you're still unsure, I'd recommend you go to John Lewis, Currys etc and see it in action, but please test the TV with and without a secondary sound system.
As I suspected, we're not actually using many of the 'smart' features, other than the iPlayers. We've got decent broadband, so there's no lag watching "iProgrammes" and the picture quality is excellent. Standard definition is good with this TV, but HD channels are where the TV comes into its own. We've also realised (but didn't notice at the time of purchase) that the TV has a dimming feature that apparently reduces the amount of energy consumed by adjusting the backlight levels to suit the picture/scene. Not something you really notice unless you're actively looking out for it, but if it helps reduce energy bills then great.
When we first got the TV, we tried looking at the web via the TV, but it was a pain in the proverbial with the menu and there was some lag between opening webpages, so we haven't bothered since. The criteria was always a good TV, not a giant laptop screen.
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Jan 2013 08:34:26 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 8 Jan 2013 08:34:48 GMT]
Posted on 8 Jan 2013 08:34:27 GMT
DIY fanatic says:
Many thanks for a great review from a layman's perspective. After much digression on which one to buy, I also went for this one in the end based on the fact, as you say, of one never really needing many of the the 'smart' features of the new Samsungs. I got John Lewis to price match Richer Sounds' offer with their +10% 5 year guarantee.
In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2013 19:46:51 GMT
You're very welcome and thanks for the feedback. We don't have a Richer Sounds nearby, which is a shame as I would have got our local John Lewis to price match. Well done on getting the 5 year guarantee too. Hope you enjoy the TV. We love ours.
Posted on 20 Feb 2013 04:27:12 GMT
What an analysis great job but omg the detail is just ott
In reply to an earlier post on 21 Feb 2013 15:20:51 GMT
Geoff, I figured if people are going to spend £1K+ on a TV they'd appreciate some of the finer details of my experience.
In reply to an earlier post on 12 Mar 2013 19:26:55 GMT
Gilly S says:
I totally agree, brilliant review! We've been looking at a Panasonic tv, but having read some less than favourable reviews, we've switched our search to Sony. Your review definitely helps, thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Mar 2013 10:20:33 GMT
Thank you for the kind comment Gilly - six months on and we love the TV. It's a great and I'm glad we went for the Sony.
Posted on 1 Apr 2013 21:47:10 BDT
CES Smiles says:
I'm in the early stages of trying to decide which LED TV to go for. There is so much out there it is proving difficult. However your comprehensive review has helped a great deal.
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Apr 2013 08:37:28 BDT
Thanks for the feedback @CES Smiles. I think the TV you choose depends on what you want to use it for and how much your budget is. For us, the primary consideration was a family TV - something that will work for all of us. The Sony fits the bill in that regard. Many TVs these days come with an array of features - we have friends who have these TVs, but they never use the so-called 'smart' features. The other thing to note is that new TVs come out all the time - the screens are getting thinner and they incorporate more and more new features on an almost monthly basis. Take your time choosing one, but don't give yourself a headache over it - as soon as I was getting to that point, I remembered it's just a TV.
I'm glad we picked this Sony. We've hd it about 7 months and it's brilliant. Exactly what we needed. Good luck in your search :-)
Posted on 28 Apr 2013 17:28:13 BDT
Martin W says:
Great review - thanks.
Can you let me know which tv cabinet/stand you finally settled on and whether it suits the TV.
Also, can I assume from you review that SD picture quality is acceptable and not too pixilated (depending on source of course)