It feels like we’ve been waiting for Sony’s ‘proper’ new Bravia LCD TVs for an eternity now. We’ve tried to fill the time by checking out various upgrades to Sony’s previous Bravia range, but all the time we’ve been secretly holding a flame for the real second generation deal. So it’s a darn shame that now the first of the true ‘Bravia Mk IIs is finally with us, in the shape of the 32in KDL-32D3000, we’ve come away from it feeling just a teeny bit let down…
The reasons for our slight disgruntlement aren’t immediately obvious, however. For the set is quite attractive in its uncompromisingly robust, no-nonsense black finish. It looks and feels like it means business and that’s exactly the sort of impression we like our AV kit to exude.
It scores a major hit with its connections, too, by including a heartening three HDMIs – just the job in these days of Sky HD boxes, HD disc players and digital games consoles. These HDMIs are joined by, among other things, a D-Sub PC port, SCARTs, a component video feed, and a digital audio output for passing surround sound tracks, received via the HDMIs, onto an AV receiver.
The HDMIs are also equipped with something called Bravia Theater Sync, which is basically a fancy name for the AV world’s CEC functionality, whereby the 32D3000’s remote can control any connected CEC-enabled source gear.
A rather more interesting trick of the HDMIs is their ability to take in 1080p/24fps feeds output from one or two HD disc players, such as Pioneer’s BDP-LX70 Blu-ray deck and Sony’s own new BDP-S1E. Most films are mastered onto HD discs using the 1080p/24fps format, so the thinking behind a TV also being able to receive this format is the increased possibility for a cleaner final picture, as there’s less need for fancy scanning-rate processing. To further this end, the 32D3000 features a proprietary ‘24p True Cinema’ system that doesn’t require the TV to process the picture up to the usual 25fps (for PAL).
We’re not done with the HDMIs talents yet, either. For we’re mighty pleased to report that they’re HDMI 1.3 compliant, enabling such extra tricks as auto lip synching and compatibility with the ‘Deep Colour’ enhanced colour palette system (should any HD discs start to be mastered with Deep Colour onboard).