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The Sony WEGA KV-32FV27: A Full Review

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Harnish, Jul 18, 2001.

  1. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    After living with this amazing piece of technology for around a week and a half and tweaking it, I figured it would be time for a full review. A short summary of my first few days with the set precedes the review. For those that have seen my posts repeatedly, you can skip the first couple paragraphs. [​IMG]
    The delivery guys arrived on Saturday (well within the delivery window), July 7th and carried the TV up the stairs and left it in the hall. It was so heavy that I could not have lifted it on my own. Since Sears did not offer prebuilt stands as an option, I had to build it myself. It wasn't that bad -- it only took an hour or so to build. After connecting everything and hooking up my DVD player via $90 component cables, I was prepared to be blown away. Unfortunately, due to a self-imposed mistake that I later learned to have been a connection problem, the first couple days were fraught with frustration at trying to get a good picture. Reds looked too brown and green looked orange. So, the following Monday evening (the 9th), and after almost countless calibrations using VE, I switched around the component cables. Finally, lo and behold an incredible picture bestowed itself after I put in That Thing You Do.
    Flash Forward to calibration on Thursday the 12th:
    Due to Video Essentials' archaic way of navigation (shouldn't they make a more user-friendly menu for cryin' out loud?), it took me around an hour and a half to calibrate my set. The first DVD I popped in after calibration was Independence Day (naturally an anamorphic DVD). OH...MY...GOD. I was in pure bliss for what seemed like an eternity staring at what, to me, looked like a picture that was out of this WORLD. Keep in mind, though, that I had just upgraded from a six year old 27" Magnavox that had one antenna input and one set of audio/video inputs. The sound on my WEGA is incredible as well (despite the fact that I don't have a true home theater soundsystem yet). Some DVDs provided brand-new atmospheric sound effects that I had never even noticed before (such as the wind howling in the opening scene of Terminator 2). The DVDs I continued to watch over the next several days included (in no particular order; but all are 16x9 anamorphic):
    Terminator II
    Unbreakable
    Demolition Man
    Lethal Weapon III Director's Cut
    Fight Club
    Independence Day
    That Thing You Do
    The Matrix
    Jurassic Park
    My VE calibration results (using movie mode) are:
    Picture: 27%
    Brightness: 55%
    Color: 45%
    Hue: 0%
    Sharpness: 0%
    Color Temp: Neutral
    VM: OFF
    VHS looks okay, and cable looks great (and I don't even have that decent a cable signal). Since watching DVDs, I haven't been able to tolerate much of normal cable or VHS but I wanted to see how this set would handle them. Surprisingly, the signals from VHS and cable were handled quite well (the garbage in/garbage out theory does apply here, but not as bad as I expected). Needless to say, DVD simply looks astounding. Better than I even anticipated! Some anamorphic transfers (like TII, The Matrix, Jurassic Park, and ID4) look almost like HDTV with the auto-16x9 feature.
    Poking around in the service menu yielded a few cool surprises. I was going to disable red push, but found the AXPL setting already set to zero. Also used HSIZ, HPOS, etc. to calibrate the position of the image. It's still not perfect but I will continue work on tweaking it until it is. For now, though, considering I haven't had any uneven brightness or severe geometry problems, I can live with these minor things.
    I am VERY happy with the purchase of my WEGA KV-32FV27. Wait, I take that back. I am elated and ECSTATIC! Even the previous words are understatements. If there is anything I have forgotten to include in my review, or if you have any questions, please let me know. I'll be glad to answer them! [​IMG]
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    - Brian
    My DVD Collection
    [Edited last by Brian Harnish on July 18, 2001 at 06:59 AM]
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Have you tried setting the color temp to "Warm"?
    Interesting "Picture" and "Brightness" settings. On my FV26, I arrived at 40% contrast and 40% brightness. On DVD, that looks magnificent; on cable, too dark. But I didn't buy the thing to look at cable. ...
    I've switched off the SVM, too. But, believe it or not, I found that setting "Sharpness" at 20% improves the picture somewhat.
    How did you get the set on the stand? (You had somebody help you, right?)
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    [​IMG]
     
  3. Doug_L

    Doug_L Stunt Coordinator

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    How are you guys arriving at the percentages you're giving for your respective settings? Recently installed a 36FS16 for my father and I don't remember any numbers on the adjustments. In fact, that's still one of the big drawbacks of the Sonys to me as a tweaker; it's just a scale without any numbers to reference.
    Is there a way to see/assign numbers to the scale, or are you guys just eyeballing it?
    Also HIGHLY reccommend setting color temp to warm/high. Neutral is too blue if you ask me.
     
  4. Brian Harnish

    Brian Harnish Screenwriter

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    Jack -- Yes, I have tried the WARM setting, but it looks a bit too blue to my eyes. Weird huh? However, the neutral setting looks PERFECT. I upped the sharpness by about 20% and the picture looks a LOT better, without any type of Edge Enhancement or ringing effects visible (which I was afraid of getting by applying sharpness at ANY level).
    Also tried your values for "Brightness" and "Picture" settings and found that they yield an even better picture. I will test these settings with Video Essentials once I have time. But with the picture I have now, I may not need to. Of course, I also needed extra manpower to lift the TV onto the stand (I would have broken my back if I did it myself!).
    Doug- I use the Hue scale to determine percentages. Using the extended vertical line in the middle of the scale (which denotes 50%), I refer to where the values of the other scales are to determine the percentage. That is still eyeballing the values, but IMO is an accurate way of doing so.
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    - Brian
    My DVD Collection
     

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