Terrific picture; easy set up
Lacks the bells and whistles of higher end Bravia's
This was our first HDTV and we've had it for just about a week. We were a little bit skeptical about going with a Sony, since we had had some negative experiences with their laptops, but Sony's history with tv's is much longer and I'm happy ... Read full review
This was our first HDTV and we've had it for just about a week. We were a little bit skeptical about going with a Sony, since we had had some negative experiences with their laptops, but Sony's history with tv's is much longer and I'm happy to report that we're completely satisfied with this product. In the interest of full disclosure, we don't spend a great deal of time watching tv, but we wanted to be ready for the all digital broadcasts in 2009. So we entered the HD market not wanting to spend more than $800 on a new tv. For us, the toughest call was whether to go with an economy brand (Vizio, Insignia, or Olevia) in a slighter larger size (37 inch) or to go with a higher quality image in a smaller size (the 32" Bravia L4000).
Once we got to the store (Target), we compared the Olevia to the Bravia, and that moment sealed the deal for us. The image quality on the Sony was so superior that we were blown away. In addition, we just felt that if we're upgrading to HD, the whole point was to get a good, quality picture - and that's exactly what we found in the Bravia.
Sony's L series Bravia is their new entry level HD tv; while it lacks the bells and whistles of the higher end Bravia's, she's got it where it counts. Picture and sound are terrific on this unit and the set up was really simple. We didn't really change the settings at all; just plugged it in and connected our existing rabbit ears, Sony did the rest. The TV scanned for digital channels in about 10 minutes, and that was it. We went from pulling down maybe 6-8 channels of analog tv to over 30 channels of over the air, free HD tv (we live in the Bay Area)!
The inputs and output are more than adequate for the average user. Admittedly, we didn't have to worry about hooking up cable or multiple A/V devices; just ran our existing antenna in, plugged in the DVD via an S-video input, and ran the audio out from the TV to our stereo. The tv speakers are fine for everyday viewing, but the audio output through surround speakers is fabulous.
The remote is pretty basic, but we like the slim elegance of it. And for the more technophobic, there's something nice about not feeling overwhelmed with the number of buttons on the remote. Aesthetically, we liked the matte finish on the casing around the tv and there's a fancy clear panel at the bottom that has a floating LED indicator lights (the glossy finishes on the higher end Samsung just never really did it for us).
I suspect that this TV lacks the horsepower that many may be looking for these days. It only has 2 HDMI's and the screen size may be too small for those hoping for a true theater experience. But I think a 32" is big enough for most average living rooms, and it's less likely to put you into serious debt (especially during these tough economic times). The set can't display at 1080p (most sets under 42" can't, and from what we're told, you can't tell the difference at that screen size), but according to the specs, it can convert a 1080p signal to 720p.
We highly recommend this tv and would buy it again in a heartbeat! We didn't find it available at a lot of places (amazon wasn't shipping it until June 2008; the Sony site had it available in early May 2008). Our local brick and mortar Target had it in stock for the MSRP of $699 (although, their floor model was actually last year's M series Bravia). If you can, go find a floor model and just take in the picture quality of the Bravia. The colors are richer (the whites are cleaner, the darks look more black than grey or blue on the Olevia), the backlighting creates a brighter image than the economy brands, and the lines are sharp without jaggies.
Because the L series is so new, you won't find (m)any reviews. Hoping this review will be helpful to those of you considering this tv!