Sylvania LCD?

palomalouDecember 2, 2006

We'r in the market to replace my 23 year old clunker. We looked at a Sony Bravia 32 in LCD for 1700 at CC; a Sylvania 6632 32 in LCD for $700 at another store. The Sony has a better picture, yes; but a 1K better picture? No site lists reviews for Sylvania. What am I missing? Is something wrong with Sylvania, and am I a nut for considering it?

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No, you're not a nut. All depends on what you want from your TV. You don't mention any specs. Are both HD TVs (not just "HD-ready")? Is the brightness similar (or at least sufficient for where it will be in your home)? Are the viewing angles roughly equivalent (or, again, sufficient)? Are you comparing apples and oranges as far as features? Are the warranties equivalent? Keep in mind that Sony still can command a somewhat higher price because of the name.

FWIW, Sylvania is made by Funai; you might want to look for reviews on Funai sets (or other Funai brands).

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 8:28PM
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Hmmm. I printed specs for both so I could see them side by side. We did see both in store already. I don't see anything that I can identify as radically different, but here are the links:
Sony lists a bunch of things with what I presume are their code names for things, but I can't compare those. Thanks for any help.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2006 at 9:32PM
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Funai has never had a reputation for making high quality merchandise. Sony has.

If you have kept a tv for 23 years, you are more likely to watch the Sony for a long time than the Sylvania.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 10:22PM
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If you have kept a tv for 23 years, you are more likely to watch the Sony for a long time than the Sylvania.

I'll pretty much guarantee that this set will not last 23 years, no matter what the brand. Standards just change too quickly and hardly anyone over-engineers things anymore (they learned their lesson when people didn't come back soon to buy another one). That said, yes, I would expect the Sony to last longer than the Sylvania/Funai.

In looking at the specs, there are not huge differences. The Sony has a better sound system on-board, but that will mean pretty much nothing if you're plugging either one into a home theater receiver. The Sony has some nice features, like the ability to hook up a PC if you want to watch video from that, and a freeze-frame which will hold the picture on the screen so you can look at it more closely. It's a little more "future proof" than the Sylvania.

The big difference should be in the picture, where the Sony should have a more detailed picture with better blacks and better color gradation because its contrast ratio is much higher than the Sylvania's. Sony also built their reputation in big part on televisions and professional-grade TV camera equipment -- I don't think they're going to let that go anytime soon. Funai sells primarily under the Sylvania and Emerson names in the U.S. -- old names, but no more than names -- names which never commanded the respect Sony does.

If the price difference is the issue, Sears sells the next Sony model down for $1499; CC sells it for $1399. It has essentially the same picture components; it does without the surround-sound and some of the other fancy bits. Or, FTM, CC sells a Samsung 32" LCD HDTV for $1169 right now; Samsung has a good reputation (though not for as long as Sony has had theirs) and Samsung manufactures the picture components for Sony.

Ultimately, it's your eyes and your pocketbook. For me, the Samsung would hit the sweet spot -- one of the best pictures without the top-shelf price. Then again, I'm watching a 18-year-old Sony Trinitron that I likely will continue to watch until it no longer receives a signal. :-)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 9:02AM
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