Yet more good news for the 22E5300 finds its pictures looking impressively crisp and sharp for such a small TV. HD images look clearly superior to standard definition, for instance – even though standard definition pictures themselves look cleaner, more detailed and more noiseless than usual thanks to the exemplary rescaling efforts of Bravia Engine 3.
Even a set as cutting edge as the 22E5300 can’t quite stretch to 100Hz within its spec. But the screen’s native response time turns out to be good enough to ensure that pictures really don’t suffer badly at all with LCD’s motion blur or judder problems. Even England’s latest rain-soaked efforts in The Ashes only betray relatively small signs of movement mush. There’s a tiny glowing halo around the ball as it speeds towards the boundary, but this really isn’t a big deal, and the same problem doesn’t affect the movement of larger objects.
Looking for other picture problems, while HD pictures are sharp, I guess they could have looked slightly sharper still in a perfect world. Also, colour and contrast drop off a touch if you have to watch from much of an angle (in keeping with most LCD TVs). And finally, every now and then patches of really, really fine detail seem to shimmer and flicker a touch.
As for the 22E5300’s sound, its impressive-sounding 2 x 10W of audio power isn’t quite the revolutionary force I’d optimistically hoped for. But it is, nonetheless, markedly more powerful and dynamic than the vast majority of small screen rivals, able to present a movie action scene with good detailing, decent volume levels, and no distortion. All that’s missing is some significant bass to keep the sound range in balance.
The 22E5300 is actually quite a brave TV from Sony. For lavishing so much care and attention on such a small telly seems to be a costly labour of love that flies in the face of established wisdom regarding what the ‘second-room’ mass market really wants.
However, I for one really appreciate where the 22E5300 is coming from. After all, where’s the harm in offering the small TV market a genuine quality choice for people who can afford it, in the same way that’s commonplace in the big screen world?