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Sony KDL-V(26/32/40)A12 - Ownership webguide!

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by xanderforce, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. xanderforce

    xanderforce
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    Welcome to the owners resource for the European version of Sony's latest V series range of LCD TV's: :thumbsup:

    Sony KDL-V26A12
    Sony KDL-V32A12
    Sony KDL-V40A12

    The purpose of this thread is to gather as much information as possible from user experiences. Therefore can owners please post any reviews, test results or tidbits of information that other owners or potential buyers could benefit from. Thankyou.

    I will be posting a thorough review of the KDL-V40A12 as soon as I take delivery mid September. I have already reviewed the V32 previously on another thread but for the benefit of newcomers I will re-post here.
     
  2. xanderforce

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    Ok, firstly let me start by saying that after my tests I pre-ordered the V40" of which is expected in a couple of weeks. They also said they'll swap it if it has any dead pixels, and that they'll give me some great discount to try to match online retailers. Can't say fairer than that and I don't mind paying a little bit more.

    On with the show.

    First test - built in freeview:
    Not a lot to say, looks better than the S series and is as good as I've seen so far. Picture needs adjusting as colours are over saturated on a couple of the default settings. From around 3 metres back it is actually quite clean and impressive. Thumbs up then but no show stopper.

    Second test - DVD (576p PAL PROGRESSIVE fed via good component cables) - test material "The Incredibles":
    I picked this movie primarily to test bold colour and motion response time. I also wanted to try a really good DVD transfer and boy this film looks good. The cave scene showed terrific black levels and beautiful contrast and graduation from the flame effects. This set has great blacks and no detail is lost achieving it. Edges were defined and colours great. The scene where Dash is chased is about the most testing response test I could think of and it was no problem at all for the Sony. This set has NO MOTION BLUR EVER! Overall I was impressed and although I noticed a some over saturation and jagged edges I can confirm that Wega Engine does work wonders and I put it down to the component connection and semi budget DVD player.

    Third test - Computer use / High defintion capability (Apple PowerBook via DVI to HDMI cable:
    First the bad news, I could not get the set to display a 1366x768 native desktop using either OS X 10.4 Tiger's built in support or Switch Res X custom settings, the Sony bottomed out to a black screen :-( however my graphics card is not the best and I hope someone proves me wrong.

    However I picked myself back up and continued to tinker. The set quite unbelievably was able to display a 1920x1080i (OSD showed 1080i) feed at FULL RESULTION. I had an enormous desktop and the text was readable. It certainly was good enough to use as a main monitor but don't expect the be all and end all PQ. Then I switched to 1280x720 without overscan (the image was displayed with a black frame to compensate for the native 1366x768). The display was crystal clear, stable and massive, and possibly as good as my PowerBook screen which I was running as a dual screen at its native 1280x854. Now I was getting excited, I fired up the same sequences on 'The Incredibles' using my PowerBook DVD player. My original suspicions were correct. Tiger upscaled the DVD to 720p and the HDMI connection showed its true colours literally. Jaggies were gone, and colour was perfect. Now I was itching to see it full screen so I hit the overcan switch and was expecting a diminished picture but wait; Wega Engine to the rescue. The TV scaled the image perfectly to the full screen with NO BORDERS and NO JAGGIES. It looked sweet. By now I was ready to hand over my cash but the next test sealed the deal. I fired up Quicktime 7 and ran a few samples from Apple's HD Gallery. First was the BBC Motion Gallery. This 720p sample looked utterly incredible. I was about 2-3 metres back and it blew away my PowerBook screen. The stop motion flower blooming and killer bee close ups were jaw dropping, and the stripy Zebra stood against a lush green backdrop was a mavel to behold . A crowd was forming and people in the store started asking me questions as if I worked there. People were asking the staff about HD all over the place and I was grinning. The Brothers Grimm trailer looked equally as good, the little red riding hood (with a very bright perfectly red cape) being chased through the forest showed pinpoint colour accuracy and high defintion detail. I'll never look at a DVD in the same way again!!

    To sum up, we all agreed it was awesome and I handed over my MasterCard. It's gonna be the longest couple of weeks ever for me!!
     
  3. xanderforce

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    I'm attempting to cover as many bases here as possible. Before I begin let me say that the Leeds Sony Galleria staff are truly exceptional and the manager gave me full access to the set for as long as I wanted to perform my tests for this review. They also stated that the price for my V40 would be no more than sonystyle.co.uk and open to further discounts depending on competing prices. Awesome. They will have stock around the same time too (mid-september).

    Ok, my plan was simple but extensive. Test the set with a current gen console, throw the most demanding games at it and see how it performed. For the most part I am happy to say that all concerns can be laid to rest, however I did find some unexpected bugbears that may cause problems for some people.

    Equipment:
    Japanese/US switched Nintendo Gamecube (output NTSC 60Hz/480i/480p).
    Nintendo component cable
    Gold plated S-Video/AV cable
    Games used - Eternal Darkness (good for black levels), F-Zero GX (perfect for motion response/colour), Mario Sunshine/Zelda Wind Waker (colour, 4:3 handling), Soul Calibur II (motion).

    Results:
    For my first test I connected the cube via a regular S-Video connection and outputted standard 480i. This emulates more accurately what most UK console owners are going to see, although I expect a typical PAL version console connected via RGB scart would be moderately better. Please do not be put off by my comments here as the review is quite long and you'll see that it gets much more positive later on.

    Running F-Zero immediately showcased the colour which was exceptional. Contrast and brightness were truly spectacular, eclipsing my trusty CRT. Motion was pretty good but I did notice blurring when making long panning left/right sweeps across the track. Detail was good. The blurring was an issue though and being a perfectionist I would not accept this it was quite distracting. Of far more concern was the quite apalling jaggies of which 'Wega Engine' only has limited effect with this quality of signal. Let this be a warning to UK console owners, there is no escaping this with most UK console setups.

    Mario and Zelda both were very much easier for the set to handle and looked great in 4:3 mode and motion was faultless. Eternal darkness revealed great blacks with fantastic detail and sharpness, but man those jaggies were horrendous.

    Soul Calibur II brought the most drastic results and I would say that the game was ruined with this connection. Motion was terrible with swords blurring and body movements completely unnatural. Colour was bold but didn't look right. This arcade title looks a million times better on my 29" CRT via RGB. Collision detection seemed off because of the blur and I quickly reached for the power button.

    Now this looks bad but bear in mind that I have used extremely demanding games here, most at rock solid 60fps. I have seen MUCH worse than this before with LCD TV and is the primary reason why I have held back for so long. I am extremely fussy and by no means should UK console owners dismiss the set without seeing it in action. The fast response time of this set and 'Wega Engine' do help but not enough IMO. Conducting the same tests with the component cable as I expected made the colour even better but the intensity of the image lowered quite substantially and overall I felt S-Video looked better. However........

    For my second test, switching the games into progressive scan mode via component revealed what must be one of the most profound reasons why harcore gamers like myself import NTSC version gear. The TV suddenly lifted itself up and stood proud as if to say 'now I'm ready, c'mon flyboy show me what you got'. What follows here in this test literally flawed me and my hands are actually still shaking as I sit here recovering while I type up this report.

    F-Zero looked frikkin' unreal on this thing, I mean the jaggies were still there but were so much reduced as to be almost a non issue, and this is only 640x480 remember! Standing 3m or more back actually eliminates them altogether!! Motion was completely the reverse with absolutely no blurring as I snaked along the winding tracks. Colour, OMG super bright clear perfect colour so intense and vibrant and mesmerising thanks to the incredible contrast you just wanna lap it up. This was widescreen gaming nirvana. Imagine what the Xbox 360 will look like in 720p (yes even the UK model too this time)!!

    Eternal Darkness had amazing detail in the texture maps and motion was so silky smooth it looked real.

    Soul Calibur II looked much better all round, motion was smooth although I must admit it will take time for me to get used to seeing arcade stuff like this on LCD. I grew up with Street Fighter, Tekken, VF and the like in arcades so it just looks very different to me.

    Mario had extremely bright and bold colour. So much so in fact that it was like being in a cartoon. Reds greens and blues are so perfect.

    Finally, Zelda. This was perhaps the most impressive of the lot. This cell shaded masterpiece looked absolutely stunning. Jaggies were practically non existent. Edge details on all of the polygonal characters were so defined against the background they took on a truly 3D feel. Colour as usual was completely out of this world, but best of all the contrast and intensity was so good it was like I was playing on Nintendo's very own canvas that they lovingly hand drew for me realtime as I played.

    It's also worth noting that I had a chance to make a very good custom PQ settings. Full backlight adjust is also great, but full horizontal position shift is also available without using the service menu.

    So there you have it. If you have progressive scan consoles, or intend to buy an Xbox 360, PS3 or Revolution I urge you to buy this set.
     
  4. mike7

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    This is a very welcome thread as I am keenly await the appearance of the V26. It has got to be really good to match its £1400 price tag. As a non-gamer I want to know how it performs on Freeview, Cable an SD Sky, as well as conventional DVDs. I want a set that will perform well in HD (I've seen the V32 and I'm convinced) but it will have to perform miracles with current SD sources for quite a while in my book. As a cable subscriber I'm going to have to wait quite a while for an HD source. Any offers on the tv performance of the V32 out there ?
     
  5. xanderforce

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    I know how you feel. I am forced into having NTL as I live in a pre-wired apartment block and I know of plans for them to offer HDTV anytime soon. Although they are going to be offering a 10Mb connection around Xmas time which suggests they may at some stage offer HD via other means. I can't even install a good aerial for Freeview or a MiniDish for SkyHD because I'm not allowed to drill through the walls. If anyone can think of an alternative method I'd be more than grateful.

    Regarding TV quality I can honestly say that this set is as good as it gets for LCD. I saw 'Home and Away' running via Freeview when I did my tests and although it was rather blocky close up, standing a good couple of metres back gave a perfect picture. Skin tones especially were a very realistic tan shade (lucky Aussies) and I was impressed by the ease in which the set handled complex chequered patterns on those horrible school dresses they wear lol.
     
  6. bad robot

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    Xanderforce

    Looking very much forward to updates and appreciate the time, effort and determination shown thus far, great stuff.

    Curious to your comments regarding a 1920x1080 desktop?
    How is this on a 1366x768 panel unless in some form of interlaced mode?

    Is it usable for PC usage or best to stick with native, appreciate your thoughts
     
  7. xanderforce

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    Sorry, did I not mention it was 1920x1080 interlaced? Even so, although obviously not as clear and sharp as a closer to native 720p, the HDMI did pick up the 1080i resolution with quite surprisingly good quality. Text was easily readable. I intend to investigate this further when I get mine. Can't wait to slap on my Jap GT4 running 1080i. I saw your pics on overclockers btw, I see you already tried this with your projector?

    Interested to see what results anyone gets with a 1080HDV camcorder...
     
  8. PrivateOnParade

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    Went out today to purchase an LCD and had the Philips 37PF5520D in mind. The store, luckily had this sat next to the Sony....

    I fell in love with the KDL-V32A12U which although smaller, just had the right look and feel to it. Having spoke to one of the staff I got him to hook up a dvd and play some films. If I was gonna spend that much I wanted to know what they both looked like ... He hooked up a DVD and we played a few films.
    Nemo and Gladiator looked very good compared to a Philips 37" next to it. The difference was noticeable and the Sony was ahead.

    He then hooked up a Samsung DVD-HD850 with is a HDMI player through a HDMI lead :) Both the above films looked so much better - apparently the player upscales the picture and enhances it - whatever it looked superb!

    Hooked I handed over the money there and then - on both items!

    My home setup includes a Sony DVP-S715 DVD player, Yamaha DSP Amp, surround speaker setup 5:1, Liteon LVW-5045 160GB DVD recorder, Cable box (Not Sky) and now the Samsung Player as above and the Sony LCD.

    After a bit of twekaing I got it all running. All three DVD players look great when playing Shrek2. However the Samsung provides a much better picture, especially when set to 720p mode. The pictures seemed much more vibrant and detailed. On 1080 mode and viewed from the side there are noticeable pixel lines, from the front though the picture is fine. 720p mode looks much better whatever angle u look at it!

    Used the Incredibles as well for the test, as well as sitting down and watching the whole of Seven. The Incredibles looks superb, not smear or ghosting and the picture just sings out to you. Tried to take a screen shot with the camera which probably doesn't do it justice bit thought i'd try .. Seven is a dark film at times and the blacks looked as they should, again the detail being spot on. Even the wife was impressed.

    Cable box looks best through a scart setup, even watching football the colours were vibrant and there was no smearing or ghosting. Most channels through the cable box look good - although some suffer due to the way they are being transmitted.

    Freeview - again the channels looked good although for me this feature is a bit redundant as the cable box has them all ...

    Overall as a step up from a top end CRT, although an old one, I am very impressed. The LCD is infact smaller then the CRT, although the screen is bigger, and the room now seems bigger. From my point of view this is the best LCD i've seen, and i've been here there and everywhere this last week looking!
     

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  9. Morris Schæffer

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    Those GT4 pics on overclockers are at 1080i? Looks pretty sharp. Would be great to have some of the same pics at both 720p and 1080i.

    This looks contradictory. Would a top end CRT be also an old one? I'm kinda hoping it means top end period.
     
  10. PrivateOnParade

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    Well the CRT I had was a top end model when i bought it - thats what I meant - though it's dated probably by todays CRT standards!

    The player upscales a standard dvd picture and imho makes the picture look better. running the player in 720p mode looks better than 1080p mode from the side - from the front there is no noticeable difference.

    does that make things clearer or have i just confused myself more :confused:
     
  11. Akcron

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    Hi Guys i was going to go buy TOSHIBA 27wl56 as it got good reviews when a pc is connected at 1360-768...question is has anyone put a pc on this sony at that res? and does it look good?.....hope it does as it looks like a great LCD for Films etc...but i will be using my pc on it a lot as well..thx for any answers..Akky :thumbsup:
     
  12. Morris Schæffer

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    Does the Xbox 360 upscale or is this issue still uncertain? Another thing. If I'm hooking up a PC via DVI-to-HDMI and HDMI is the best way to watch regular DVD's, does this mean I'll be switching cables all the time when I go from PC to DVD player? In other words, do switch boxes exist and are they expensive.
     
  13. chambeaj

    chambeaj
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  14. scrapbook

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    The last sony thread went off in about 20 different tangents. I would prefer this one to be a bit tighter, so if your post disappears then you will know why.

    Generally this will mean questions such as DVD players etc will be deleted as they should in theory be posted in the right forum so that everyone can benefit from the advice given.

    Thanks.
     
  15. TankTopLover

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    Thats good to hear,as i am very tempted to throw my cash at this set.

    I will be using it for the following:

    Sky Digital (is the pq good?)

    Progressive scan dvd player via component cable.

    Xbox360 Game System.This will either be through component or VGA connection.
     
  16. TankTopLover

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  17. xanderforce

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    Scaling is not the important point here, it is more the clarity of the digital HDMI as opposed to component. I clearly did see the difference on my test. Colour especially goes from being amazing to perfect. Either way DVD's look extremely good.
     
  18. andrewfee

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    While I'm sure the Sony does a great job, an upscaling DVD player will do a better one.

    Chips like the Faroudja DCDi are simply more advanced than you would find in an LCD. (and more expensive, which is why you don't)

    Here's a few examples of what the Faroudja chip can do:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (Taken from http://www.oppodigital.com/opdv971h_moreinfo.html)



    Xander, I'm wondering if the LCD backlight buzzes at all? I'm sure it will, but I'm wondering at what point it does, whether it's got to be quite low, halfway down etc.

    Another thing; are the speakers removable? I never use my television's speakers, and being at the bottom means they could be...
     
  19. freshcut

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    just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their opinions, turned out to be really useful I was about to invest in a new TV and I think these opinions have just made up my mind which one I am going to go for. the 32 inch model seems most fit for my flat but there was just a couple of questions maybe you guys that are lucky enough to own one already could answer,

    is there only 1 hdmi input? and is the pc input a dvi input?

    thankyou all for your time
     
  20. alpina

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    surely the big question is how good is the v40 when put up against the sharp LC-45GD6U?

    any takers? :)

    julie
     
  21. shaddow2005

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    Sorry Akcron

    Unfortunately the 'V' series screens (at least from xanderforce's testing in the other thread) do not seem to accept the native resolution over the DVI - HDMI connection).

    This is a very common problem with LCD TV's as the HDMI interface is only really expecting normal Video resolutions such as 720p 1080i, not custom ones (such is the Native resolution of 1366x768)

    You maybe better off with the new 'S' series rather than the 'V' as these have VGA input connectors and do accept the native res, its a lot cheaper but you will loose out on the WEGA engine ;-(

    I'm still yet to be convinced of the value of the WEGA engine after viewing both sets side by side in my local Comet store, I think after another viewing to confirm I shall use my money to get the 40" 'S' rather than the 32" 'V'.
     
  22. xanderforce

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    Hehe if Sony could get the V40 to me any faster it would be sat in my living room right now... :D

    Are you implying that the sound may have an adverse effect on the picture in some way? Surely not. Aren't they shielded against that sort of thing?
     
  23. andrewfee

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    Not the picture, but if all the internal sound processing is disabled, all it's doing is outputting the sound directly to the line-out on the back for a cleaner audio signal, so things should sound better, rather than splitting the signal and sending it to the built in speakers as well as external ones.

    Late at night I do occassionally use the built in ones, as they seem to be quieter, so it'd be nice not having to go and disable the internal mute all the time.
     
  24. xanderforce

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    Yeah I suppose this might be of relevance if you want to output the internal Freeview to a separate amp but all other sources will be directly connected to the amp anyway ideally.
     
  25. Kenny Glasgow

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    To be honest it would have to be badly engineered to have any effect on the "Line out" quality
     
  26. Drifty

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    As far as I know - the U is the UK spec TV (usually seen as 12U).

    This was a discussion point in the other V series thread.
     
  27. Max Reboh

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    Great Thread im really looking forward to getting one of these screens. 1 question though. Does anybody have pictures of the inputs on the back and sides of the set.

    Cheers
    Max
     
  28. gidso

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    Quick question...
    Has anyone seen any detailed technical specs for these screens. In particular, I'm after the precise dimensions of the V40. Need to make sure it will fit into the purpose built alcove in the lounge before I go ahead and order.

    Thanks
     
  29. xanderforce

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    For all those people looking for the dimensions, I can confirm that the width is 1014.5 mm.
     
  30. benlonguk

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    I don't know whether it is for this thread or not, but it would be useful to hear where people are buying these from and where the demo units are.
     

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