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Sony KV-32FQ86 Review

Discussion in 'TVs' started by HowieC, Jun 26, 2004.

  1. HowieC

    HowieC
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    Ive had the chance to live with one of the sets for a while and here's the promised review.

    Sony KV-32FQ86 Review.

    Cosmetics. The set looks much the same as the FQ70 principle difference is that WEGA has replaced TRINITRON top left of the screen. Some websites show the set with a black front, this is how the set will be supplied in all Europe except for the UK. Personally I think this is a shame as it looks good in black.
    The on/off switch suffers from the same silly point as in the FQ70 in that if you are standing close enough to use the switch you can’t actually see it as it disappears below the screen moulding. On the subject of the switch, it has a much more positive action than the one in the FX66. On switch-on the degauss noise is very subdued, much quieter than the FX 66.

    Set-up out of box.

    This is good news, the quality of set up of recent Sony models has been average to poor, this set was set up very well.
    Geometry was spot on except for the expected H & V overscan, with rotation and RGB centring adjusted other than the overscan my tweaking finger didn’t even twitch, however more later……

    Technical

    The FX66/FQ70 were chassis type AE-6B, this has an AE-6BA chassis but as I have yet to get hold of a service manual I don’t know the details of chassis differences, but operationally the changes are….

    The Menu system and general on screen displays have changed, no more green characters but a monochrome ‘words in box’ type system. One big improvement is that the picture and sound settings have numeric values as well as sliders.
    Picture Mode - The familiar Personal/Live/Movie options where IMO Personal is the only usable setting.
    Noise Reduction now has Auto, Off, Low, Mid & High Settings, Auto seems to work fine.
    Audio - The sound quality of the set sounds very like the previous models with the same range of adjustments. However the connection to an external audio system has been improved by the solving of the ‘speaker-off’ problem. There are now three settings for the on-board speakers, On, One Time Off (which is what previous sets had) and Permanent Off. With speakers off the output level can be adjusted by the volume control. The AV preset menu also now has provision to set sound level offsets for each AV input.
    PAP (Picture & Picture )
    Still single tuner but now two equal sized side by side pictures with black bars top and bottom to give reasonable picture shape. Audio can be selected from either picture. Its is possible to have the Headset output to the other screen at the same time.
    PAT Same as above but picture and text. You can have full screen text but it fills the screen and looks very stretched.
    Remote - Can be configured to operate a range of other devices, programming codes are supplied.
    100hz Mode - Selectable between Adv.Dig.Motion & Digital Plus.
    Service Menu - Usual access but much changed layout, most areas obvious, for some I will need the manual.

    Performance - I gave the set a couple of weeks to bed-in, then adjusted the overscan and brightness/contrast/sharpness. This is usually very straightforward but this set has ‘Picture Power’ circuitry which does its own thing with contrast and sharpness and therefore makes accurate setting up tricky. I suspect there is a way of turning off P-P, certainly there are adjustments for both sharpness and contrast parameters in the service menu.
    All the usual comments apply in relation to 100hz sets and poor quality sources, but with a half decent source the picture quality is very good and a good source produces stunning results. I found using the Adv 100hz setting overall better and after some initial switching back and forth, left it in Adv.
    The blurring of Horizontal scrolling captions has been sorted, and these are now ok. Picture Power works well with some reservations. Because it works frame by frame its possible for two successive shots to look very different. One can be just right for improvement and look stunning and the very next shot may look much softer. Like so many of these things you get used to it. When I get a manual it will be interesting to see if the system can be optimised in any way.
    As this is in danger of turning in to a book I’ll leave it there, but if you have any specific queries please post them.
     
  2. Benclarke

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    Good review. I'm about to buy a 32 inch telly and am undecided. At the moment it's between this and the Nemos 32. I guess my question is, how highly would you recommend the Sony?
     
  3. HowieC

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    Its a difficult one, the FQ86 shows as little in the way of artifacts as I have seen on any recent Sony set, but the picture is still clearly 'processed' if you are sensitive to these things. The secret is to avoid driving the tube too hard, the pic might seem a little lacking in punch at first but it will be much more accurate. I've had very little experience with Loewe but they seem to show the least processing foibles, but perhaps don't have quite so good CRTs.
    You need to find somewhere with both on demo, which might be difficult.
    The answer to your basic question is that the fq86 is a damn fine set.
     
  4. Benclarke

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    Thanks for the advice. You're right, finding a Nemos 32 to look at is fairly hard. No-one in the Leamington area seems to stock them. I'm leaning heavily towards the Sony anyway. Only slight concern is that there has been criticism of picture when watching footy through Sky (elsewhere on the forum). Have you seen this? I plan on watching a fair bit of footy so this could be a problem.
     
  5. TV Headache

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    HowieC - I saw the FQ86 next a DX200 in JL last week. Both were run from The Hits channel off Freeview and in my opinion the DX200 with its 'good old' DRC looked the more natrual. Did you get a chance to compare?
     
  6. HowieC

    HowieC
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    The problem with giving opinions on features such as DRC and the various 100hz's is that the reaction to them is very individual. I find the DRC / Pix+ type enhancement systems the most objectionable particularly in conjunction with Sky/DTT. This I find inevitably gives rise to enhanced artifacts which I find very annoying. The whole 50/100Hz argument doesn't really have an answer as some people are sensitive to 50Hz flicker and some hate the inherent 100Hz lag. One thing that I do know is that it takes a while for the brain to aclimatize to either system. If I look at a 50hz set for the first time in a while I am very aware of the flicker, but give it a couple of hours and I no longer am. And conversly if you are used to 50hz, then 100hz initially looks really smeary, but somehow the brain seems to compensate.
    Of course it goes without saying that setting up any set properly is essential. Quite often the various enhancement systems are only really functioning properly with picture parameters properly set, for example Pixel+ V1 is very sensitive to how hard the tube is being pushed, reduction in Contrast settings can make remarkable improvements. Simplifying madly, overdriving the crt puts pressure on the power supply while at the same time causing the various enhancement circuits to work flat out. Not a good combination.
    Looking at sets in shops is problematic in that most sets are adjusted 'out of box' for showroom performance and are running 'flat out' so what you are comparing is which set copes with overdriving the crt the best, whch has little bearing on how it will perform in your lounge.
    I know this doesn't actually answer the questions raised, but thats probably because there is no straight answer.
    Back to the FQ86, one thing that has impressed me with this set is that it has very good HV stabilisation, often an indication of a good power supply design. The picture show no signs of geometry changes with picture content, even with extreme test patterns. This is really quite unusual on a domestic TV.
     
  7. mattz

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    I have recently purchased the FQ86, and am very disappointed in the picture when vieing from a SKY digital source. Very blurred images on football and horizontal scrolling text. Can you give me an idea of the settings you had on your system ?

    I have tried lowering the sharpness to min and reducing the contrast, and also both of the PP settings. Do you know how to turn off PP from the service menu ?

    Many Thanks,
     
  8. Normandez

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    Thanks for informative review. For me as a novice with FQ86 it was interesting to read about overscanning. I think I have the same effect in my set. I tried some methods to get a service menu usually recommended in web but I failed. Can you please advice me how to do this with remote RM-945? I promise to be very careful, to write down everything before changing, etc. :)
     
  9. ventoboy1000

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    Hi, I have this set, and I will try and explain how to get into service mode.
    First of all, put the set on standy.
    Then press the following combination of keys on the remote quickly !
    i+ button
    no "5" button
    Volume "+" button
    The button near the top of the control on the right hand side underneath the arrow button, its an empty square which is the best way to describe it.

    The tv will then turn on in service mode.
    Just press the "menu" key at the bottom to have a look around.
    There are 3 areas, Design, service and error.
    I have just had a look at it, but not changed anything.
    By the way how are you finding this set?
    I've had 2 of these and had problems.
    The first set used to switch itself off intermittently.
    The engineer had a look at the error log and the tv had done over 60,000 hours. He said that it should read "0" hours and so the tv went back.
    Got my second set, the hours problem was solved, but the tv again switched itself off.
    I could live with that, except that the picture has a pink tinge all over it.
    Very visible in the corners etc.
    Spoke to Sony and they said that there is a problem with a tube.
    I'm not sure if that is correct as some other people using this forum have also noticed the pink effect on the tv !
    Will have to go for a different model probably.
    I hope your set is ok !
     
  10. john.hem

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    How do you exit the service menu.

    Thanks, :) John
     
  11. ventoboy1000

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    Oops I forget that bit !
    Just press the "Menu" key to return to the screen which displays the "TT" and a load of green letters etc.
    Then just put the set in standy.
    When you switch it on again, you will have returned to the normal TV mode.
    :thumbsup:
     
  12. john.hem

    john.hem
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    I to have the same problems as you, ventoboy1000, the television has turned itself off & on twice since I took delivery of it last Saturday 14/8/04. Plus the buzzing from the set is terrible. This set was a more expensive replacement for a ‘Sony KV32FX68’ that had vertical lines and buzzing. I’ve just about had enough with ‘Sony’ televisions their quality control must be terrible. :mad:
     
  13. ventoboy1000

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    That's right John, quality control is terrible.
    At least im not the only one with this tv intermittently switching itself on and off.
    I thought there was something wrong with the mains, but its not, its the tv !
    I'm not sure though what I'm going to do next.
    Probably will choose another make of tv as I can't risk another Sony.
    Can I just ask, what picture settings do you use, ie brightness, contrast etc.
    I've just adjusted the brightness to 54, as the factory preset is too low and the picture is very dark
     
  14. john.hem

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    On my personal settings I have: - Contrast 69, Brightness 50, Colour 53 & sharpness 30. How many times has your television switched itself off and on? So far my sets done this twice, I’m happily watching a program then it just switches off and then back on. But the funny thing is that the buzzing has reduced somewhat, and I don’t know if this has happened because of the above or just pure coincidence and the buzzing will get louder again.
     
  15. HowieC

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    For the record the correct way to exit service mode is to return to the TT page and key 00.
     
  16. ventoboy1000

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    Hi, this second set that I have has only done it once.
    It had only been on for half an hour in the morning and then it tripped.
    The first set I had did it loads of times.
    Thanks Howie for that update re service mode.
    :)
     
  17. stroboscopic

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    I have always used the TV button (the one with the little screen). What's the difference?
     
  18. HowieC

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    There probably isn't a difference but 00 is the prescribed way in the service manual.
     
  19. Colin-D

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    Hi Guys,

    Fortunately I do not have the 'intermittent switching on and off' problem on my 32FQ86, but I do have 59,554 hours of usage!
    I am not over impressed with the picture on this set, however this is my first 100Hz TV and perhaps I didn't do my market research properly. Hopefully I will get used to it.
    Can anyone explain what is an 'artefact', what am I looking for?
    My set does come on with a very load degauss noise. HowieC says in his review that his was subdued compared to the FX66, mine is not what I would call 'subdued'. Is the degauss noise on your sets loud?

    Colin
     
  20. ventoboy1000

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    Hi Colin,
    Well its good that your tv doesn't switch on and off, one less problem to worry about.
    With regards to the noise when you switch it on, mine makes an absolute racket.
    My original set which went back to Sony because of the hours log (60,000) was silent compared to this set.
    This shows that there is no quality control and concistency with these tvs.
    Also, when you use teletext, the picture reverts back to advanced digital motion (Which looks like everything is in fast forward) even if digital plus has been selected in the menu options ???
    :)
     
  21. HowieC

    HowieC
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    I have just checked the point you made re teletext and my set stays put on Digital Plus??!!
    Even more bizzare the 40000 odd hours on the clock are COUNTING DOWN.
    Wonder what happens when it hits 0.
     
  22. ventoboy1000

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    I would throw that question at sony technical !!
    The engineer that replaced my original set said that he spoke to Sony and they said that there was a probably a software corruption or a faulty chip ???
     
  23. headstate

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    hi,
    i'm taking delivery of this sony kv-32FQ86 on saturday 21st august.
    i found howie c's review very interesting indeed!!!
    however howie c states:
    "Geometry was spot on except for the expected H & V overscan, with rotation and RGB centring adjusted other than the overscan my tweaking finger didn’t even twitch, however more later……"

    howie c :
    can you explain more on how to adjust the H+V overscan ???
    also can you explain more on:
    rotation and RGB centring ?????????
    i.e do i need to adjust these .

    sorry if these are dumb questions, but on saturday when it arrives i obviously
    want it set up for top notch viewing.
    regards
     
  24. john.hem

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    My daughter just informed me, on arriving home from work, that the tv has again switched itself off & on this morning. Now what do I do, a replacement or a refund and look for an alternative make. :confused:
     
  25. ventoboy1000

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    Hi John, sorry to hear you are having problems.
    I'm going to most probably go for the kd32dx200. Didn't want a freeview box, but I can't risk going for this model again.
    We had a 29" Sony TV that lasted for over 12 years with no probs.
    It's just pot luck now buying a tv and whether you get a good or a bad one.
     
  26. john.hem

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    Hi, decided to get a refund, as I just can’t justify lifting another Sony 75kg television in and out of the box to find it’s faulty again. I know it seems to be a hit and miss affair getting a decent television, but Sony will be at the bottom of my list, as their quality control seems non-existent. Now it’s back to reading reviews and forum members opinions on other makes to see if I can find a decent 32inch set. :thumbsdow
     
  27. ventoboy1000

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    Hi John,
    My TV is also going back next week. I'm not sure which model to go for but I am thinking about the kd32dx200.
    I know that its another Sony, but I'm hoping that it won't have the same probs as this model due to the chassis being different.
    Also it doesn't have the advanced digital motion, just 100hz digital Plus.
     
  28. micks_address

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    well my 86 is sitting at home in the box waiting for me... the next 3 hours will be hell :) i'll put it through its paces at the weekend. I'm really hoping there wont be any problems with it... has anyone placed the tv on a cabinet as opposed to the tv stand? we bought a widescreen cabinet a few weeks ago and the 28" phillips we have fits on it with about 5 inches to spair each side. Its a corner unit so i'm hoping the tapering at the back wont be to severe so as the 32" sony wont fit... ah well we'll see
     
  29. john.hem

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    Best of luck I'm sure there are some good Sony sets but it just seems a hit and miss affair in getting one. Let me know if your set buzzes loudly as mine did and I hope yours doesn't switch off and on. Mine has done it eight times so far, I'm waiting for it to collected for a refund. Once again I hope your set is a good one! :thumbsup:
     
  30. ventoboy1000

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    Thanks John.Hopefully next set will be ok.
    Maybe these sets get tired after a while and need an energy boost !
     

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