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8/10

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Sony KDL-20S2020 20in LCD TV

TVs don’t have to be big to be HD Ready. Sure, the biggest part of the HDTV market is inevitably based on screen sizes of 32in or more. But there’s still a healthy market out there for folk looking for a small TV for a study or kid’s bedroom where it might well need to be able to play host to such ‘second room’ HD delights as a PC or an Xbox 360 games console. Or maybe even an HD DVD/Blu-ray player, if you’re really lucky.

Usually it’s left to budget brands like Goodmans or Bush to cater for the smaller end of the flat TV market. But not today, for in front of us right now sits a 20in LCD TV, the KDL-20S2020, from no less a big-name brand than Sony. But can such a diddy effort really achieve the same sort of picture highs witnessed on many of Sony’s current large-screen LCD TVs?

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It certainly lacks the design panache of Sony’s larger efforts. The monotone silver screen bezel is really pretty drab, and the build quality feels unexpectedly flimsy and cheap. The sculpting, too, is hardly a work of art. Hmmm.

Things start to look up pretty sharply with the 20S2020’s connections, though. Inevitably given the set’s HD Ready status there are single HDMI and component options for digital and analogue HD sources respectively. But there’s also a D-Sub PC jack - far from a given at this screen size - and even a CAM slot for adding subscription TV services that reveals the presence of a built-in digital tuner.
The digital tuner is no half-baked effort, either. Investigation reveals that it’s backed up by full seven-day Freeview Electronic Programme Guide support, and the facility to set recording events just by selecting programmes from the EPG listings.

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