capsule review

Sony Bravia 40W3000

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Bravia 40W3000

    TechHive Rating

    The Bravia is a very good set with a nice freeze-image function, but its price is out of line with comparably featured sets.

There's nothing wrong with Sony's 40W3000 LCD set that a good price reduction wouldn't cure. Well, not much, anyway. I noticed some lackluster details in the broadcast high-def tests, but overall the images looked good (in our November issue's HDTV roundup, the Sony came in fourth out of twelve TVs in our picture-quality tests). If I hadn't been scrutinizing the image in a testing environment, I doubt I would have found anything wrong with it.

The 40W3000 combined a freeze button and picture-in-picture in the coolest way possible. Press 'Freeze', and the TV goes into PiP mode, with the big picture frozen and the little one continuing to display a live feed. Because the 40W3000 has only one tuner, however, you can't use PiP to watch two broadcast channels. Sony includes a headphone jack on the set for your late-night viewing pleasure.

Rather than put the controls below the screen as most manufacturers used to, or on the side as most do these days, Sony places them on the top of the unit. That's extremely convenient if you're not mounting the TV too high. Most of the inputs are in the back facing outward, and well over to one side for easy access; the rest are on the side of the set for even easier access. Only the coaxial connector faces down.

If only the on-screen controls had been as carefully thought out. The remote lacks a menu button; and to reach the main menu, you have to press Home--not the most intuitive of options. The menus seem to have been designed to look cool and different rather than to be useful, and they often left us wondering which direction we should scroll in to find an unseen option. Some choices require the user to push way too many buttons.

But that will cease to be a problem once you get the hang of the menus--or once everything is set up and you don't use the menus much anymore.

Sony's remote is very long, which makes some buttons difficult to access. On the other hand, it's programmable and backlit.

Lincoln Spector

This story, "Sony Bravia 40W3000" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    The Bravia is a very good set with a nice freeze-image function, but its price is out of line with comparably featured sets.

    Pros

    • Very easy to set up and use
    • Ffreeze feature uses PiP

    Cons

    • Expensive
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