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Customer Review

on 10 August 2012
Firstly, the picture. Holy mother of the television gods! It basically sends all other screens in the same price bracket to the corner of shame. There is nothing else I can add that will emphasise just how good it is.

There is a "simulate 3D" function which attempts to interpret 2D into 3D, quite fun for games such as Battlefield but not anything like true 3D by a long shot. True 3D is excellent. I highly recommend Despicable Me (Blu-ray 3D) as a good value and highly entertaining family movie for showing off the television. The 3D is used really well throughout with some very memorable scenes. Tron Legacy is also a cracking 3D title.

Be careful when purchasing the glasses. Amazon's prices do fluctuate, and sometimes the single pack glasses are cheaper than the double packs, as bizarre as that sounds. The TDGBR250 is the best on the performance/budget curve, but if you want to go all out with the best possible 3D image currently available the TDGBR750 Titanium Glasses are supposed to be a bit better. They cost about twice as much as the TDGBR250 glasses when bought singly. Do not buy the TDGBR100 or TDGBR50; they are out of date with more significant cross-talk.

Having on-board wireless and a Digital Freeview HD tuner is brilliant. I connected the TV to my wireless network very quickly and it downloaded a firmware update all by itself. Freeview was easy to set up, and it found a decent selection of channels including BBC HD (which has a brilliant picture). There's also a CAM slot in the back of the telly, so if you want to receive channels like ESPN without a package subscription you should be able to stick a viewing card in there (with a suitable CAM adaptor).

The on-board services like Youtube etc duplicate much of what I have on the PS3 and my Sony blu-ray player, so I haven't looked at them much. Judging by the rest of the somewhat sluggish menu system I think the PS3 will certainly give a faster and slicker experience.

For full 3D, you will need to connect your playback device (PS3, Sky+ box, whatever) to the television using a high speed HDMI cable that supports HDMI 1.4. I used the AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable with Ethernet which is cheap as chips and perfectly adequate. If you want to run your playback device through another device such as a surround sound receiver, then all links in the chain must be HDMI 1.4 compliant in order to play 3D content. That includes the cables, and the receiver.

If you connect your PS3 through another device and it does not detect a 3D-capable television, do the following:
1) Make sure your PS3 has the latest firmware upgrade;
2) Connect it directly to the television with a suitable HDMI cable, and go through the picture setup menu.

Here's what I don't like about the TV:

The speaker stand! While others have said it gives great sound, mine seems weak and tinny. I thought it was possible that I received a bad unit, but further research revealed a lot of people who think it's a joke. I had to turn the TV up to about 24 with films to be able to hear everything and this caused speaker vibration from the treble. I spent some more money on a Sony BDVE190 combined blu-ray player and surround system, and even this low-end 300W system blows the speaker stand out of the water. Switching between the two while content is playing reveals a truly drastic difference. I've now upgraded that to a BDVN790W, which is even better.
I know integrated speakers are always rubbish, but the "integrated speaker stand" is a substantially sized unit with high build quality, and Sony have missed an opportunity here to load it with decent hardware. Prospective buyers should be aware of its limitations.

The menu system! Slow, unresponsive, and can be awkward to navigate. Some options appear in various places throughout the menu system while others are difficult to find. Although most options which affect picture give you some degree of live preview of the changes, others don't. I recommend using the inbuilt I-Manual to learn about the various settings. Unfortunately the I-Manual doesn't give an explanation of what every single menu option does/means, but it covers a lot of useful features.

Neither of the above issues would stop me from buying this television again. It's a large and impressive unit with a superb picture. The "gimmick" of 3D, when executed this well, really does add a new dimension of immersion to films. OK sorry for the terrible pun. But it's true!
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