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Sony FD Trinitron WEGA 27" Flat-Tube Standard Definition Digital


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Sony FD Trinitron WEGA 27" Flat-Tube Standard-Definition Digital TV



After spending the last two weeks reviewing as many $300-$400 27" tv's as I could find (that were also for sale locally as I refuse to purchase such an item over the internet and have it shipped), I finally went off to Best Buy last night.


They had this television, and a nice Samsung SlimFit 27" tube SDTV, as well as a couple of Insignia and Samsung and Toshiba tube HDTV's (both 4:3 and 16:9).


After wandering around the tv department for almost two hours, I finally made the girlfriend happy by selecting one. For $405.99, and being a Sony Trinitron, I decided this was the best deal going. I liked the Samsung 30" widescreen 720p HDTV, but didn't want to spend $699.


The main reasoning is that it is replacing a 12+ year old Sony 19" tv + vhs combo unit. We have DirecTV TiVo in the bedroom, and a dvd player, and an original Xbox game console. The old tv just wasn't cutting it anymore, and the menu/description text on the TiVo was almost unreadable.








We hooked it up, fooled around with it a bit, and I have to say I am extremely impressed:

  1. The picture is definitely the best non-HD tube picture I've seen. After staring at that 19" Sony combo for almost 12 years (we do have a 42" Mitsubishi HD as our main tv for NHL hockey and Xbox360), I'm still sort of amazed.
    I'm using the DirecTV TiVo unit with S-Video out + the RCA audio (white/red) into the S-Video and secondary RCA inputs
  2. The Xbox games...you can actually see what is going on clearly, and you can read all of the text in all of the games properly! The Xbox is plugged into the Component input with Monster Cables (we had it plugged into the 42" HD until Xbox360).
  3. The DVD still looks fantastic. I wish I could set it (and the Xbox) to Progressive Scan mode (480p), but honestly, it is just a bedroom tv after all, and I didn't want to pay anymore for a better LCD/Plasma/HD-tube tv, and I didn't want to buy a weak LCD/Tube HD unit for around the same money ($500-ish is where they were for 24" to 27" tube and LCD HD's).




I have the DVD player plugged in with the audio/video RCA cables to the front inputs on the tv.






A great looking television, but there were some issues:

  1. Tickers from CNN or ESPN, etc, they were very blurry/fuzzy at the bottom right and bottom left corners on Vivid and Standard settings.
    Movie sharpened up most of these lower artifacts, but left the picture too dark.
    Pro lightened up a little over Movie, but not much, and the colors were "cool" instead of "warm".
    Raising Picture and Sharpness and Brightness would correct this, but then the top half of the picture would get a bit blurry or fuzzy during fast action (we watched a bit of the Predators vs Coyotes NHL game as well as news where we could see real skin tones, and ESPN Sportscenter for some basketball highlights, all good ways to judge color mix to get it right)
    A little tweaking in Pro and Movie however, fixed this right up. Got a little brighter, but still not as bright as Standard (and Vivid is just awful anyway). The entire picture seems evenly sharp and clean, the colors are not really all that warm overall but a lot warmer than before, and the color tones are still a little dark but after spending 10 minutes watching anything, you tend to stop noticing (and then turing on the Xbox...you forget all about it as the Xbox is bright and shiny like it should be!)
  2. Everytime you turned it on, it wanted to go through initial setup and wanted me to connect a coaxial cable (again, I have the DirecTV box hooked up via S-Video). Finally I did, just to shut it up (I'd have done it anyway if this was a PiP model as the tv doesn't have enough inputs to accept anything more than coaxial).
    Just for testing, we watched a bit of each channel for a while for about 15 seconds on the coaxial, and then switched it to the S-Video and you could instantly see the picture sharpen up. It wasn't really bad with coaxial, but it definitely is noticeably sharper with S-Video and Component Video inputs.
    The message went away at least.
  3. Digital...I guess since I am using digital satellite, I have no need of this (and I have no digital antennae anway). I wish I could turn this off though so I wouldn't accidentally have to go into the menus then back out once in a while.
  4. As previous reviews have said, not enough inputs, and especially no side inputs. Front inputs are still great for DV cams etc, but side inputs or enough rear inputs is necessary with every darn device a lot of us have these days (PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, Wii, DVD, DV cam, VHS, TiVo, etc).
  5. Audio outputs are missing too, and that is a shame, but not as bad for us as for some others. I wish it had headphone jack more than anything as I have a nice pair of wireless headphones for late night watching...or gaming (she sleeps like a rock thankfully but I'd still like to have something better than whisper-low audio!).
    It isn't really all that bad because we'll be hooking up an older bookshelf stereo unit to it, placing the speakers on either side of the headboard of the bed so the volume won't need to be loud, and then I can also use my headphones.
    A home theater setup in the bedroom though...not interested.
  6. 16:9 setting. I've tried with DVD, Xbox, satellite, and I haven't found a real use for this yet. At BestBuy, the display was set to this 16:9 mode, but I'm very sure because the entire feed through all of the display units was in HD (all of the HD units displayed the exact same video as the ED and SD units).
    It looked very sharp in the store. Our living room tv has the HD box, and the bedroom the TiVo, so we'll probably never use this feature (and if we wanted HD there, we'd have purchased the HD model(s) for extra).





Overall, I am very impressed with this television. Our main use is watching recorded TiVo bits like Dexter and The Wire (hockey is for HD on the main tv) and our Xbox.


I would highly recommend this television to anyone that isn't ready to jump to HD, or wants a second television that doesn't have to have all the HD features.


I especially recommend this to 18-35 year olds (like me, 33) who have a game console and want/need a television for it. This is the best non-HD television in my opinion.


If you want HD though, it will be superior (provided you get an HD television and have HD programming or HD game console)




wrote this review for Amazon.com and a couple of others.

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