In case you haven’t heard, the KDE-W50A12U is the last plasma TV Sony is ever going to build. The Japanese megacorp announced recently that it was now going to focus exclusively on LCD. So let’s just hope that Sony’s plasma swansong turns out to be more a fond farewell than a case of good riddance…
The fond farewell option certainly seems more likely from the way the TV looks. It’s truly a sight to behold with its sexy see-through glass strips to top and bottom, and bold blend of black and silver elsewhere. In fact, even though the set is already over 50in across, the design is so nice that we could happily have lived with even more of it!
This style-meister’s connectivity is mostly good, with one big disappointment. The good stuff includes HDMI and component sockets for digital and analogue HD sources respectively, three SCARTs (all of which, superbly, can take top-quality RGB signals), and a slot via which you can add subscription services to the set’s built in digital tuner. The bad news is that there’s no sign of any PC connectivity, shattering our dreams of playing World of Warcraft on a 50in scale. This really does seem a bit of an oversight on what is, after all, one of the costliest 50in plasma TVs in town.
As you’d expect of a big flat panel TV costing in the region of £4k, the W50A12U is fully HD Ready, with its native pixel resolution coming in at 1,366 x 768. It can also handle the key HD format duo of 720p and 1080i, though 1080p is not an option.
A quest for more features starts with the digital tuner we mentioned earlier, a tuner that’s backed up, we’re happy to say, by support for the Freeview 7-day electronic programme guide. What’s more, you can filter the listings in this EPG according to genre, and immediately set recording events simply by selecting desired programmes in the listings.