Top positive review
79 people found this helpful
So close...if only it was a 10-bit TV. Banding is a bummer.
on October 15, 2008
If you're looking for a great 37 inch HDTV, there aren't many choices. I found Samsung, Sharp and Sony as the highest rated in this size. Unfortunately all the best technology is only available at 40 inches and up, so you will be making some sacrifices to stay under 40".
One of the factors that influenced my decision was an Amazon review for the 37" Samsung, which compared it to this Sony and claimed the Sony was 120Hz. Let me make it clear -- this TV is NOT 120Hz. It is 60Hz.
Due to the fact this TV uses 8-bit processing instead of 10-bit, there is major banding of gradients. As a web graphics professional it is extremely obvious to me, to the point of being annoying and distracting when there are scenes that have strong gradients. But I may be more sensitive to this due to my profession. Had I known that 10-bit processing alleviates this problem I would have made that a must-have feature for my TV purchase. Other than the banding issues, I'm very happy with the picture quality.
The interface for the TV is sensational. Very adjustable, and very sexy and enjoyable to use. The only nit is the interface for changing inputs. If you are using a TiVo remote, you will find it tedious. Pressing the input button will first show you a menu of all possible inputs. The one you are currently on is highlighted. You must hit the input button again to highlight the next input. Then you must wait a few seconds, and the TV will select the new input. The interface insists on showing all possible inputs in the menu -- and there are ELEVEN! Unused inputs are grayed out and cannot be selected. Still, it's extremely annoying to see ELEVEN inputs when I'm only using two.
The bezel is nice and thin, which means this TV doesn't take up much space for a 37-incher. The Sony styling is very appealing -- much nicer than the best Samsung and Sharp in this size. However, the status lights ( in the clear area below the TV but above the speakers ) are almost impossible to see in a well lit room. It takes a while for the TV to turn on and it makes no sound when powered up. Without the feedback of a green light, it can be difficult to tell if you've succeeded in turning the TV on.
The TV is also quite thin and light. I had no problems mounting it on a stand myself.
It supports Bravia Link, which makes life with my Sony DVD player a lot easier. By using an HDMI cable, the TV is able to control the DVD player. The DVD player turns off and on automatically as needed and the TV remote can play, pause forward, etc. One less remote on my coffee table. Wonderful!
This TV is also has a DMEX connector, so you can use all the latest pricey add-ons that Sony is making, like the Internet Video Link.
The included remote is one of the nicest I've had with a TV in a long time. It looks beautiful, is simple, nicely sized, and doesn't feel cheap. I only use the remote when I want to watch a DVD, so I may not be the ideal candidate to speak about the remote. I did notice the channel and volume buttons are placed quite low and far away from the circular directional control.
You make sacrifices today when you get a TV under 40 inches. There's a lot to like about this TV, but it seems that the Sharp Aquos LC37D64U has 10-bit processing which makes a significant difference when there are scenes that require lots of subtle shades of the same color. This TV doesn't handle those kinds of scenes well -- lots of banding. I haven't seen the Sharp myself, but based on the tech specs I would advise anyone looking for a TV in this size and price range to check it out.