Pros Terrific picture; easy set up
Cons Lacks the bells and whistles of higher end Bravia's
Summary 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!
Pros The posting by stephenhocken is all that most will need when deciding to buy or not to buy the KDL-32L4000. Kudos to him for taking the time to post such a thorough review. PRICE, IMAGE QUALITY, SOUND, EASY HOOK-UP is A+ for general daily viewing.
Cons The remote doesn't have universal capabilities to program its use for VCR/DVDs, stereos, satellite/cable boxes, etc. No audio/video jacks on front or side of unit for easy hook-up of plug-n-play games and the like.
Summary Our analog TV's screen was failing which prompted us to look for a new TV and of course moving into the next generation was exciting. Without having researched any brands and with minimal knowledge on technology I set out to surprise my husband with a new TV. With limited time on my hands I stopped at a Best Buy feeling certain I could walk out with a TV because they are known to have a large selection and the tech geeks should be able to offer advice. Due to the lack of time I found myself overwhelmed by the large selection and the reps were scarce. I still had to stop at Wal-Mart for groceries and the excitement to surprise my husband took hold so I swung by the electronics department. What I first discovered was the pure enjoyment of looking at various TVs simultaneously to compare image quality. Based on image, features and looks I narrowed the choice to 3 units. Once the clerk broke down the technical differences and offering recommendations...both personal and word of mouth the deal was made and after three weeks of daily viewing I have NO REGRETS!Correction notice. I inadvertently misspelled a name when referring to a previous post. The correct spelling is STEPHENHOCHEN. My sincerest apologies.
In conclusion, more isn't always better. By all means, if you have time on your side, check out the warehouse dealers but you might enjoy spending some of that time searching the internet in the comfort of your own home when narrowing down your choices. I do not endorse or knock either Best Buy or Wal-Mart but the latter earned some long lost respect overall.
Updated on Oct 23, 2008
"Very Good Sor Far."on by writerr5
Pros Features For Price with the Sony Brand Name
Cons First unit had dead pixels
Summary I cashed in an annuity payment and with a portion of the money, I wanted to get a new HDTV. I had a 32 inch Tatung HDTV Ready Monitor, but it had no HDMI, only DVDI-D with HDCP and the contrast radio was teriible at 550. So while bright colors looked fine, dark films like AVP-R looked so muddy that they were almost unwatchable.
I have an Olevia in m home office and that TV blew way the Tatung, but it is only 27 inches and for group viewing, it is a bit too small. So I decided that since now I have an opportunity to buy a true brand namme HDTV, I'd buy a Sony and the Sony Bravia KDL-32L4000 fit the bill in terms of overall value for dollar and while not a huge step up, it is still better than the Tatung, which I have packed away as a "just in case" TV and the Olevia, which is still in my home office.
The first TV had dead pixels at the lower right hand corner so I returned it and exchanged it for another. I never realized how soft the image quality of the Tatung was before I bought the Sony. For the record, this is a 720p TV with a maximum visual resolution of 1080i via RF, VGA, and two HD component video inputs. Picture quality is sharp and the sound output is surprisngly full. I like the manner in which the screen menus are handled too.
I have a Sony BDP-S300 hooked up directly via HDMI and a PS3 as well as a Toshiba HD DVD Player HD-XA1 hooked up via HDMI sound and video through an Onkyo TX-SRS605(S) AV Receiver with both Sony BD players set at 1080p/24p and according to the menu on the TV, it says I'm viewing 1080p/24p.
Am I? I don't know for certain, I think I am viewing a virtual 1080p mode more than likely like 16 by 9 mode on Sony Wega TVs in the 90s. However, the Blu-rays have never looked better to me and the HD DVD and regular DVD titles look great too.
Using a high quality HDTV amplified indoor VHF/UHF antenna pulls in local HD and DTV stations in NYC, Long Island and New Jersey very well. Some stations I get over the air are not on Time Warner HD Digital Cable, which I also hooked up to the TV.
I have a fiber optic audio cable hooked into the receiver and the 5.1 broadcasts over the air sound just as good as the cable and somehow the TV seems to be able to pass through sound being sent VIA HDMI through the Fiber Optic as long as you are not on the Tuner channel itself. It's neat extra or quirk.
Outside of these things, I'd say I'm very pleased as long as it keeps woring well. I've only had it for 5 days or so anything can happen. I hope the TV lasts me a long time because as is, I love it. Thank you.
Pros Price, Picture Quality, Accepts 1080p input
Cons No DTV Channel Guide, Only 2 HDMI inputs
Summary I've had this TV for about a week and I love it. I have watched a couple of BluRay movies with the player set to output at 1080p even though TV downgrades it to 720p the picture is better than I've seen with my older HDTV at 1080i. Cable TV picture quality is excellent even though its only a 2000:1 contrast ratio instead of the 3000:1 my old TV had. The remote is simple to use though it does take some getting use to on the input switching. I have comcast digital cable and ran the channel setup and I did find all the over the air stations in both standard and hidef as well as the Music Choice channels. I guess comcast scrambles all other HDTV content though thats what my HD Tivo with cable card is for. My only minor gripes with this TV are there are only 2 HDMI inputs and there is no DTV channel guide like you get with some set top boxes. The No Guide made labeling channels a Pain as Comcast doesn't send the channel names with all channels so you have to manually label 90% of the channels. My only other minor complaint is that on the search I found 2 or 3 versions of the standard def Over the air NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, CW channels (I blocked the extras) Overall I love this TV and find myself more of a "couch potato" than ever. This is definitely worth the money.
"Best LCD TV yet"on by ryank82
Pros Design, Speakers, Brand, Connections, remote
Cons None I can think of
Summary I got this tv on sale at Best Buy for $570. I really like the look and design of this tv. Also the picture quality through my pc to this is incredible. I have tried to use other tv's as monitors but this just blows away the competition. I have my Xbox 360 connected to it via hdmi and that also works very nice. For only built in speakers I think the sound is really good. Overall I can highly recommend this product.