Bravia screens have been receiving a lot of attention. There's that bouncing ball advert for a start, and all of Sky's HDTV demonstrations have used Bravia LCDs to display it's potential. Why all the fuss?
Because Sony's second-generation screens are some of the finest examples of LCD TVs that we've seen. We can only question the limited connectivity, and the fact that they're more expensive than your average display, but ultimately the KDL-32V2000 is worth every penny.
We have always held Sony designs in high esteem and the Bravia range is the epitome of understated elegance. The design uses subtle finishing and superior build quality to make a style statement that doesn't need to try too hard to impress.
Unlike typical glossy designs, which are often used to distract attention away from compromised constructions, the frame is finished in matte gunmetal grey. This gives the screen a discreet appearance that will agree with any living space, whatever your taste in interior design.
Although the design deserves recognition, the accompanying connectivity can only be considered average at this price. The greatest disappointment is the inclusion of only one HDMI input, especially when many less expensive models are arriving with dual digital connections. It means you can only connect a single HD source at a time -- unless you use the component inputs or invest in an HDMI switching device. Nonetheless, there are two RGB Scarts and the component inputs support progressive scan video, which will please conventional analogue users. PC users will be able to use the screen as a monitor or connect to a media system using a recently incorporated VGA input with audio options.
All these connections are arranged in a central position across the rear panel, but there's also a set of standard AV inputs that can be easily accessed from the side. They are useful if you want to temporarily connect a device like a games console without having to blindly fiddle behind the screen. Close to these connections is a CI card slot that can be used to receive limited subscription channels from TopUp TV, although it could play a greater role in the future.
Like the screen, the remote is attractively designed and extremely user friendly. Controls have been kept to a minimum, leaving ample space between keys and allowing absentminded operation.
On paper the specification seems underwhelming with little intimation that this screen offers anything out of the ordinary. The 1366x768 resolution is high-definition compatible and there's an integrated Freeview tuner, but features like these are almost standard nowadays. So, why is Sony claiming this is its best LCD ever?