A few days ago we finally shifted to our new apartment. I have to admit that it was exciting – with new environment and new neighborhood (which friendly neighbors all around). It’s great to know that we have good communities, just like the old ‘kampung‘ days – and I appreciate that this kind of community still exists and glad that I am also part of it – not like some ‘rotten’ modern living where you don’t even see or know who your neighbors are.
So, new place should come with a little bit of new stuffs. And I am delighted to review the Sony Bravia 40″ EX43 LED which we bought recently at Jusco / Aeon during their Aeon Members day for RM1599.
Normal retail price for this unit (at this moment of time) is RM1899 / RM1999. But I am sure the price will drop within a few more months if you have missed the offer.
Product Specifications at a glance
Screen size 40″, 16:9 | Full HD 1080p | 1920 x 1080 | 2 HDMI inputs | USB input | USB Play (Video, Music, Photo) (USB viewer supports FAT16, FAT32 and exFAT file systems) | Motionflow XR 100 Hz | Digital Noise and MPEG reduction | 24p true cinema mode | Dolby® Digital | Audio out | FM Radio | Teletext | Picture In Picture (PIP) | Dynamic Backlight Control | Power Saving Mode | Lightweight around 6.9kg with stand.
What I personally liked…
First of all is the anti glare screen surface – If you are buying any TV, make sure you have this feature on. Most display units are placed in a very well brightly lit area – with the addition of a bright, slow moving images or videos as their promotional jiggle. These are situations that are not that very common when you bring the unit home – as it was tailored for marketing purposes which purpose is to show off / making it look good / at it’s best behavior.
When you bring the unit home – in a dim light environment, glare can be your number one enemy. Especially when you just bought that expensive floor lamp which your wife has just placed it next to your sofa, facing the TV. Soon you will go nuts when you realize that your TV has just turned into an all expensive mirror!
If you have bought a TV unit which glare (like most Plasma type do) – well, there are still hope – like buying an anti glare screen protector (eg. Sarowin AntiGlare) – but of course, why spend extra money when you can have it all in the first place?
It’s light! The full unit with box weights just around 8kg – I can carry the unit with ease all by myself – walking (probably) half a km to my car, with no sweat.
Then it is the excellent picture quality. When I first assembled and setup the unit – I went through some sample media. And the first thing I opened is the sample images / pictures that was pre-stored in the unit. And my first and only word at that time was ‘Wow‘. That is how good it is which left me speechless.
With 2x HDMI input, connecting my PC (converted to a HTPC) is a painless effort. I did bought a good gold HDMI cable to ensure no jerkiness or pixellated issues. Watching HD content was a pleasure – although some black parts did show some pixel trace – but it could be that I have not setup my PC media player codec or encoder properly.
The unit also supports USB drives and external HDD via it’s USB input. I tested this with my 500GB external HDD and have no issues playing back almost all of my medias with the exception of my own encoded WMV videos which does playback but without audio. Overall I am satisfied with the media capability of this unit. Here are a snapshot of supported formats from the manual :
Update 20/12/2012 : After using the unit for quite some days, I am now convinced that it is a good buy (minus the not like below – which I can tolerate still). The ‘black’ on this unit shows real BLACK, and I truly appreciates that. When viewed side by side with my 20″ Acer LED monitor – the Acer displays a greyish black, while the Sony displays true black like those seen on Plasma.
What I personally do NOT like
Is the terrible sound quality that this unit produces! At some times I was near to it’s maximum volume to really understand what I was listening – by then it’s just too loud when background music and other sound effects are added. Yes there are the sound settings for ‘speech’ but that just made everything else worst. The speakers are directed behind the unit, which made it echoed and lost it’s way to where it supposed to go – to our ears! Setting volume normalization on my PC media player settings helped a bit (there are also normalization and EQ settings built in the unit, FYI), but still I must say that the speakers on this unit is ‘severely below average‘ and that you extremely NEED to get a decent external set of speakers to accommodate your viewing experience.
Would I buy this unit again?
I probably will – if it were to be bundled with a decent set of external speakers at a reasonable price.
Would I recommend this unit to others?
If you are looking for a unit with good picture quality and plan to watch more HD content than SD, and do not mind much about audio quality nor it’s under performing set of built in speakers, and in a budget – then definitely YES.