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Sony 52 inch W4500 LCD TV - Initial review

, posted: 4-Feb-2009 15:04

Two weeks ago I took delivery of a new TV, the 52” Sony W4500.  The W series sits below the top-of-the-line X series (and kind of below the Z series, which is just a W with 200hz refresh).

After several months of looking and debate with my better half, the W4500 was settled on as the best compromise between looking good on the wall and high technology.  Initially I pushed for a plasma TV, either a Pioneer or a Panasonic, but neither of these passed the looks test, so the Sony it was.

The Sony replaced my 32” widescreen Loewe (which is now for sale on Trademe should anyone want it!) which is a fantastic set but getting a bit old, and with the purchase last year of a PS/3 the need for a HDTV arose.

First things first, this is a BIG TV!  52 inches is very, very large, especially when coming from ‘only’ 32 inches.  Unpacking was quite easy and the set is not too heavy considering its size; it was easily put into its (temporary) place by two of us.  After plugging in the PS/3, Mysky HDi and the aerial (for Freeview HD), turning on the set revealed a very nice menu system that first asks if the set is in a shop or a home.  After choosing the home option and set then tunes in all the Freeview channels and then all the analogue channels, and it ready to use!

However I did find the picture very bright and it took a few days of tweaking to fix.  One ‘gotcha’ is that the picture settings are per input, so even though Sky looked great I then had tweak the PS/3 settings.  The set currently sits on my Hi-fi rack but is to be wall mounted once I have finished cabling the multitude of cables that TV's seem to need these days; heck it even has an Ethernet port!

The picture can look fantastic, especially on HD transmissions.  I was watching Sky Movies (Men in Black, classic!) and at certain points it did have that '3D' look.  Blacks are very black, especially after some tweaking.  I cannot compare this to Plasma blacks except for demos I have seen in store, but they blacks are definately NOT a dark grey, they are a definate black.

As for the 'backlight' bleed people have been complaining about, I have only noticed it so far when changing inputs; the set goes black for about a second and in the top right I can see a patch of light, and then only in a dark room.  Personally I am enjoying the TV too much to look for problems!

Sound quality would be the biggest complaint so far but that's only because my Loewe had 4 speakers plus an inbuilt sub-woofer and produced great sound; the Sony is limited to tiny speakers in a very thin shell.  Still, that's what my amp is for!

I have eight sets of cables running to/from the TV: 2 x HDMI, s-video plus audio, optical (for Freeview from the set), Ethernet, composite (yeah I know, but better safe than sorry and I can always change it to be component with use the stereo pair from the s-video connection) plus aerial for Freeview.

I have not spend too much time with Freeview as we have MySky HDi, but TV3 is definitely better on Freeview.

More to come!


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TVNZ offering HDTV in July next year

Comment by dean miller, on 2-Nov-2009 17:16

thanks buddy for the review.

Comment by Wall Mount Lcd, on 13-Nov-2009 02:27

Thanks for the review.

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timbosan's profile

Tim Anderson
New Zealand

I work in IT in the software field, and I am also lucky enough to review products for a local technology magazine. I have a passion for technology in all respects, from it being an integral part of everyday life to providing fun such as games.

I try to blog about the products I review and post them here, so keep an eye out.

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