Our only other minor complaint is that the on-screen menu system is a bit of a mess. The KDL-46W5810 uses the standard Freeview and Freesat programme guides. These are perfectly straightforward, but the controls for adjusting image quality seem to be all over the place. The Options button on the remote control activates the main on-screen menu, which lists separate Picture and Scene Select sub-menus.
Sony's first Freesat delivers on detail
The Picture sub-menu allows you to switch between the Standard and Vivid presets, as well as adjusting a number of other settings in order to create your own custom preset. There’s also an Advanced option in this sub-menu, but this is deactivated for certain presets, which means you have to scroll back and switch to another preset before you can even see what additional controls it offers.
Somewhat confusingly, the Scene Select sub-menu provides an alternative selection of presets for content such as games, movies and sports programmes. However, selecting some of these presets often deactivates some of the other settings that are available in the Picture sub-menu, so you can’t quickly switch between the various presets without constantly moving back and forth between the Picture and Scene Selection sub-menus.
We were happy enough with the Vivid preset, but perfectionists who like to tweak the image until it’s just right might get a bit frustrated by the poorly organised menu system. Incidentally, there’s also a Theatre button on the remote control, which seems to provide yet another preset that isn’t listed in any of the on-screen menus.
An untidy menu system isn’t the worst sin that an HD TV can commit, and the image quality of the KDL-46W5810 more than made up for that minor lapse. It may not have a top-of-the-range spec, but the fine detail that it captures in HD images means that this Freesat Bravia really makes the most of its 46in screen size. In fact, it shows off BBC HD so well, that newcomers to HD might finally understand what all the fuss is about. ®
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Sony Bravia KDL-46W5810 46in LCD TV
Not 100% certain that this is exactly the same as my W5500 in LAN functionality, but there is currently no support for iPlayer on the TV. Only a very small number of widgets (the best of which is a poor RSS feed reader) exist on the TV. The main use my LAN connection gets is for viewing all my ripped films via DLNA, but even that is restricted to MPEG2 (i.e. a straight rip with no additional compression == big files). Your Homplugs should be suitable for any use such as this.
If you want a one box solution with iPlayer, I suggest you wait a few years! TV widget technology is in its infancy.
declutter my lounge
I've been looking to upgrade my TV to one with freesat built in , so i can declutter my lounge and get rid of my stb. this looks like jsut the job. I'm assuming I'll still be able to use my AV homeplug adaptors (I'm currently using the devolo ones) to connect to broadband over the mains wiring and get BBC iPlayer?
W5500 with Freesat - Pays your money, takes your choice,
This is seemingly just a W5500 with a Freesat Tuner built in. To me it's a simple choice - buy a TV with a tidy integral Satellite tuner at a hefty premium, or buy the same TV minus the Satellite tuner and buy an external dual tuner PVR for half the price difference. For most people, the second option is better, but for some the first is what they want.
Personally, I prefer the flexibility offered by an external tuner. My £180 Technisat HDFS has recently had the capability of recording to a USB stick added via an automatic upgrade and is getting new features frequently. Sony are unlikely to ever offer such upgrades to firmware. I have had a W5500 for 6 months, with no 'feature' upgrades.. i.e. no new widgets, no support for more video codecs via DLNA etc.
As for Freeview HD - if you live in a valley that can't see the main transmitter, you will only get a small subset of channels on Freeview from a retransmitter mast. I live in just such an area, and we've had the switchover... With limited bandwidth, what's the likelihood of HD services coming OTA?
Vivid mode is really designed for in shops and under bright lights focussed on being eye catching rather than accurate. Were you testing in an office or in home conditions? Each to their own though.
As mentioned the "Options" menu is basically shortcuts. The main menu is the Xross Media Bar.
The Scene Select is a capability to have presets for particular usage types with settings that are pre-configured although they can be changed by the user. Settings are also unique to the input in use so inconsistent input devices can be compensated for.
Personally the only picture setting I feel the need to do on these sets is to change Sharpness to 0 although I suspect the reviewer will disagree given that they liked Vivid mode. I don't think edge enhancement is a good idea with digital pictures. Depending on the input I also normally turn down or off the noise reduction functions but they are less important.
Just because I can connect to external sources doesn't make the built in ones redundant. I would rather not have a box for tuner external to the TV. My next TV will get rid of the ugly HD Cable receiver I have as it'll be built in to the TV - use less power and make the living room that much more attractive.
I listen to the TV 95% of the time through my AV system. 95% because TV speakers will never match a decent setup for sound - but when I want to play on the console and my other half wants to listen to music we can. TV for console sound, stereo for music.
Maybe what you want to by is a monitor with a HDMI input to use as a display only, not a full fledged TV. In which case no TV on the market is going to not have 'redundant' features...