The time came to replace my trusty old Sony 21" TV about twelve months ago. It had served me well for the last seven years but was starting to show signs of wear and tear. Anyway, my TV situation needed bringing in line with the rest of me home cinema kit. I'd got a new house, new amp, new sub and a new DVD player, so I'd thought a new tele seemed like a good idea. I only had a few 'must haves' for me new box; 28" widescreen, flatscreen, 100Hz, Nicam, RGB scart, audio out. Nothing odd there, loads of choice out there with prices to suit all pockets. That is until I added two incredibly simple cosmetics to the equation, at which point the list of sets reduced to slightly less than one! Firstly, most people buying high end CRT TVs are usually the sort of people like you and I that also possess amp/receivers and are well aware of the benefits of piping the audio from the TV to the amp. So why do manufacturers insist on giving us no choice in the speaker department of TVs? Why no sets with either detachable speakers and consequently improving the overall appearence of the set rather like those sexy plasma screens? If that's too cost intensive why not a slightly different model with no speakers at all? Just imagine it, the super sexy silver Sony KV28FX65 and it's twin the KV28FX65NS (no speakers!!) side by side in the glossies. Don't tell me they couldn't afford it, with the proliferation of new sets about today any costs would soon be swallowed up by enthusiasts keen to save space and enhance the appearance of the set. And secondly, my real bug bear, the pain in the arse of all pain in the arses. If speakers were annoying but tolerable the next issue is certainly intolerable. Bloody silver! Why oh why does every new TV, especially widescreen models, have to be silver/grey?! It just doesn't make sense. A ot of people already have black kit, for that complete look I'd like me tele in black as well please. Most seperates come in a choice of black or silver/gold so why can't the big electronics boys spray a few TV cases black in the factory and give us consumers a little bit of choice? I mean, what would it cost, sod all. And the real draw back of this is in the tele's most practical application of watching images. Half the time I'm watching widescreen presentations on my old black Sony box I don't notice as the bars fade away into the case of the tele. If you watch virtually any image on a widescreen grey/silver tele in it's original proportions you'll get black bars. And don't those black bars just sing out at you! Sorrounded by the bright colours of the image on one side and a lovely shiney silver case on the other they just can't be missed. Looking at it another way, when I go and watch The Mummy Returns tonight at me local UGC cinema, I don't somehow think the curtains around the screen will be silver. Oh no, black will be their colour, and rightly so. Add to this common problems in geometry of many sets that appear exaggerated on a silver set and a black set seems like a decent option. Why then do manufacturers not give us a choice? In part, because top critics constantly tell us in their glossies how sexy silver sets are and how drab black sets are. This is a little annoying as the same people often preach about the great choice of kit available to us but hardly ever touch on the lack of black tellies, a little greenhousish me thinks. Couple with this the fact that the consumer is only given a single choice in the shops, silver or nothing, the big electronic boys must have fallen foul of their own egos and believe it's only silver the customer wants. I'm not saying burn the silver sets, simply give us a choice. I'm waiting for a black set with slim line or no speakers. Hurrumph! PS I'm not holding me breath tho!