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The 32S2010’s other great behind-the-scenes advance goes by the name of Super Patterned Vertical Alignment (or SPVA for short). If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because we also mentioned it in our review of the Samsung LE32R74BDX a couple of days ago. How come Samsung and Sony are sharing a technology? Because Sony actually sources its core LCD panel technology from Samsung.
But before you jump to the common conclusion that this means that Sony and Samsung LCD TVs must therefore perform identically, we should say that from our experience, the picture processing a company uses – DNIe in Samsung’s case, or the Bravia Engine here – makes at least as much difference to the final picture quality as the core panel structure.
Anyway, getting back to SPVA, it’s a way of constructing LCD pixels via four sub-sections all tilted at slightly different angles so that the pixel’s light is distributed over a wider area. This hopefully increases the effective viewing angle of the LCD panel so that it can be watched from the side without the customary drop off in colour saturation and contrast.
Other facts and figures for the Sony’s LCD panel design include an HD-friendly native resolution of 1,366 x 768 and a very healthy claimed contrast ratio of 1300:1. Interestingly Sony didn’t used to quote contrast ratios for its LCD screens on the grounds that it felt the figures were meaningless, which kind of makes you wonder if its about-face on the idea means that Sony finally has a figure it can feel proud of!
Moving to stuff you can actually play with yourself, the most significant finding is a digital tuner. This comes complete with 7-day EPG support, with you able to use the EPG to directly choose programmes for up to 12 timer recordings, as well as filter the listings according to programme genre.