Sony BRAVIA VE5-Series KDL-52VE5 52-Inch 1080p 120Hz Eco-friendly LCD HDTV Reviews
Average Customer Rating -18 customer reviews
Excellent TV Set, December 2, 2009
I bought this after a 32" Samsung stopped working with certain HDMI sources. I still love Samsung, but after that one mysteriously stopped working I decided I'd try something new. And I'm glad I did. The 52" size is really perfect for my room. It's definitely a large set, but not so large that images quality overly stretched across its surface.
Initially I was very disappointed with the image quality. The issue is that when the light sensor is turned on, the backlight slider can be set to full power, but you're only experiencing a fraction of this set's incredible brightness. Although the brightness sensor seems like a great fact, I found that overall it was too aggressive in reducing brightness, so I have to recommend that it be turned off. Ironically, it works better in well-lit rooms than dark. Once you have full control over the backlighting, this set really shines. The contrast is excellent (my camera has a contrast ratio of 2000:1, and it couldn't capture this TV's photograph fully). So I can believe that it has the 5000:1 on-screen contrast that Sony claims.
Personally, I don't like my image tampered with. The low setting of motionflow is okay, but the high setting is really comical and only good if you crave that look of sped up footage. The contrast enhancer I also don't find necessary, since the statue has great contrast natively. However, I do like that you can create multiple image settings for each input. For example, I can quickly toggle between a game setting and a movie setting when using my PS3.
Sound quality is fair. Nothing to write home about. I without doubt don't use TV speakers with an image this good, and don't recommend anyone else does either.
The energy saving features and setup of this set are really excellent. My surge protector monitors current, and this tv usually uses only 0.4 amps (~50 watts). It's mainly dependent on the backlight brightness, but even so, this is one very restructured product. I was worried that the unique backlight would tinge the color, but as far as I can tell, it's spot-on. The motion sensing really does work. I leave it set to 30 minutes and it hasn't shut off on me yet, which is good. Sony doesn't mention this much on their website, but it's also heat-sensing, which could explain it's sensitivity. I sit 13 feet away, and it detects my motion with little difficulty.
The worst part of a set about the TV is either the remote, or the fact that the inputs are on the side. If you end up swapping inputs a lot, I suppose it's nice, but otherwise I feel it's a poor design decision. Depending on the heft of your wires, and your seating angle, you could be looking at HDMI cables out the side of your otherwise pretty tv set. The remote is very basic. Compared to the older V-series Bravias, this TV actually has the less fancy interface (the XMB went hand in mitt with a nicer remote for the 4100 series). That said, I don't feel affected by either. If the decision to drop a pointlessly shiny interface and fancier remote keeps the price down, I'm all for it. I use a Fios or universal remote almost exclusively, so I don't miss it. And since I don't use the TV to tune my programming, the XMB would be a waste. That said, this interface is fine, really logical and doesn't hide settings too deep (except motion flow). No frills, but won't disappoint either.
I wish Sony had included a little more detail in their manual, but I doubt most people even read those anymore, so I'm only just nit picking. The stand is pretty good, although Sony recommends you anchor down the TV to the wall, which might be a good idea. Shame the stand doesn't swivel, as I have two common sitting positions in my room. Oh well. The important piece is that the image quality on this TV is superb, there are no oversights that ruin the usability or connectivity of the TV, it's very energy efficient, and it looks good even when off. I fully recommend this TV if you like the V-series, and are interested contained by saving some energy.
Great Picture and Features, plus it's eco-friendly, July 31, 2009
This is an excellent TV.
The picture quality of this set is superb. In the setup menu, I set the picture to "vivid" mode and the HD quality is simply life-like. The color and contrast are excellent. It also uses something that Sony calls MotionFlow which helps to smooth out the image when you are watching fast-action pictures.
It is an LCD set, but uses a hot cathode fluorescent lamp for its backlighting. This technology allows it to be much more energy simplified and close to par with the energy usage of LED backlit LCD TVs. Most LCDs use cold cathode fluorescent lamps. The 40" model uses a maximum of 140 watts, the 46" uses a max of 160 watts, and the 52" uses a max of 180 watts.
It has a sensor called a presence sensor that does two things. First it senses the ambient (room) light and if the room gets darker, it will automatically dim the picture of the TV. This works well if you are watching TV surrounded by the bedroom at night and you want less light output. The second thing that the sensor does is senses the room for motion and body heat. If you leave the room for a preset amount of time (5 min, 30 min, ...) and the TV doesn't sense anyone around, it will turn off the picture. If you walk back within the room, it senses you and turns the screen back on. The sound stays on for another 30 minutes or so, then the whole set will go into stand-by mode if it does not sense you. Both of these features can be turned off via the setup menu and help to conserve energy.
Features (just a few of them):
The TV is loaded beside features. It will automatically sense if you have something connected to an input (for example HDMI2). This is great when you want to hit the input button on the remote because it will not select items that aren't currently sending out a signal. This means you don't have to scroll through 10 items if you only have two components connected to the TV. In the setup menu, you can set each input for always on, always off, or auto. I used the other on setting for the PC input because the cable I used to connect the PC did not send a power signal so the TV did not sense it. By setting it to always on, the PC input will always be available when I scan through the inputs.
It also has a lot of inputs. There are 4 HDMI inputs. If you have a DVI port on your PC, then you can connect it through HDMI port 1 which also has an analog audio input. There is one dedicated composite (with S-video) and one faithful component input, but there is another switchable composite/component input that you can use if you have two composites and one component, or vice versa. There is a PC input to connect via VGA connection. The audio outputs are one optical digital out and one analog out.
1. All of the Inputs and Output are on the left side (when looking at the front of the TV) of the TV. This is unfortunate for me since my A/V cabinet is on the right side of the TV. It is a minor inconvenience, but something that I did not think about until I got the set home. I would say just about half of the inputs are one the left side and the other half are on the back, next to the side inputs.
2. The presence sensor is right where I have my center audio speaker. I will have to raise up the TV to still enjoy that speaker front and center.
Overall, this is not a cheap TV, but I think this is a case where you get what you pay for. It is a really great set.
Outstanding Picture, NO dead pixels!, March 9, 2010
I have to preface this review with the fact that contained by September of 2008 I purchased a Toshiba 52RV530U flat panel TV online for $1500.00 and the minute I fired it up after unpacking it I noticed some black dots on the screen (which I later found out are called 'dead pixels'). Well the problem was not corrected until TWO MONTHS later after TWO panel replacements! (that is after Toshiba referred me to one of their local authorized repair shops). Needless to say I was not happy more or less this dead pixel problem for such an expensive TV (subsequently I found that this is not an uncommon problem for many other brand name LCD flat panel HDTVs).
Anyway forward fast to February 2010 when my Toshiba (just over a year old and of course just past it's one year warranty) started developing vertical colored lines on the right partially of the screen! Well after all the trouble I went through with this Toshiba TV I chose not to even spend a further dime on it since it was out of warranty anyway. So on March 1st 2010 I found this Sony KDL-52VE5 on Amazon for $1294.97 and I couldn't be happier (I'm not sure why they've gone up in price over the past week since they're being discontinued).
First off....NO DEAD PIXELS! I own to say, that was the issue I was worried most about having to deal with after my first experience with the inferior Toshiba product.......Sony really pulls through with this top part HDTV. Better picture (outstanding picture quality when you switch it to 'vivid' mode, that's honestly about all you'll need to right out of the box), better color (very accurate as well), comprehensive & economical features (I love the fact it turns off by itself and fires back up when I re-enter the room) and I even gave it 5 stars for sound as the nouns bar is clearly superior to the Toshiba I had grown accustom to the past year--and yes I do have it hooked up to a surround sound system with a sub but I find out of laziness I use the TVs sound bar more regularly than not and it's quite adequate. The main thing you'll be missing from the TVs indigenous sound is the bass response, but Sony's sound bar is great otherwise.
Oh and of course I purchased the 3 year warranty from SquareTrade for $149.99 this time around just to be undisruptive....all in all it still cost me less than my faulty Toshiba......So in closing, if you're thinking about purchasing an HDTV, let your mind rest at ease and newly go with Sony....after all the price & tech spec. comparisons I made before my initial purchase of an HDTV (which turned out to be a nightmare of an experience after settling with a lesser brand), I WISH I would have just followed my first instincts and went beside the Sony right out of the gate.....even though it was more expensive at the time. Peace of mind is worth SO MUCH more than the difference in price you might save with an inferior brand.
Excellent Big Screen HDTV, September 29, 2009
I've been holding off on buying a big screen TV for 4 years and finally pulled the trigger on this one. Originally I was going to grasp a projection DLP set and I'm so glad that I held off. The LCD technology has gotten so much better than 4 years ago. I've had this TV for almost a week and can't imagine picking anything else. The picture quality is perfect in Vivid picture mode with an 80% color setting. There is no motion blur with the standard setting for Motionflow. What take getting used to is utilizing the Cinemotion setting for film based movies and Game Mode for the PS3. It doesn't explain these functions very well in the product manual so I had to go to Sony's website to learn around these. CGI movies like the Pixar and Shrek films have choppy video if you have the Cinemotion enabled because they're not film based so you have to turn the Cinemotion off. When I was on Sony's website I also learned that they already hold a software update for this TV. I had to format my USB drive for FAT32 and download it but it was no problem installing it via the service port on the back of the set. The things I don't really care for are the ECO settings. I thought these would be helpful but they really aren't in my setup. The Presence Sensor only detects out to 9.8' from the screen but I sit 12' away so it shuts the TV off even when I'm within the room. Also, the Light Sensor reduces the brightness of the screen at night, but like I said, I'm sitting 12' away and have to have it bright so I don't need to squint to see the picture. But, you can turn these features off in the menu which is correct. The sound quality is a little mute on the factory default so I tweaked it to Max on the Bass setting and Dynamic with Trusurround. For movies it also helps to have an external speaker system for more effect. I am very happy next to this TV and got a great price with free shipping. If your looking for an HDTV that has lower power consumption with excellent picture quality this is the one.
Sony is no baloney., October 18, 2009
I have always had Sony tv's in my house. My finishing 27" lasted 21 years. The new one is remakable. It has all the bells and whistles you could ask for and is energy conservative as well. Once set up it is easy to use it to show displays of your Blu-ray DVD player with markedly little fuss. When a network is broadcasting in HD the picture looks as real as live. It has plenty of inputs to hook up into it,from computers to ipods. This is a must see to get item. Best anniversary gift I ever got.
Wow....Great TV!, March 21, 2010
I bought this Tv after doing some research and talking to friends in the know. I be originally looking at newer technology LED sets but didnt think the extra cost was worth it after comparing LCD vs. LED sets. I bought this through Amazon for what i think was a great value at $1299 w/ free shipping and no tax. I was originally going to purchase a surround system to go with it but after listen to the built in dynamic tru surround sound...i now feel that it would be a waste! The tru surround sounds just great for me even though i had read some reviews complaining about the sound. I am gonna invest within a dvr recorder instead of a sound system. The picture on this set is awesome and i am now hooked on HD as well! The fact that this tv is eco-friendly and efficient is a plus (Not that i care what Al Gore says...) and the built in motion/presence detector is great if ya have teenagers surrounded by the house. Buy this set...you will LOVE it!
My first Sony product and I have to say that I am impressed., September 13, 2009
I had been apprehensive about pulling the trigger on an LCD TV for months now waiting for all these promised LED LCD TVs to become available from various manufacturers. With Samsung hitting the open market first and disappointing most of us with their outrageous prices and availability with gloss screens only, they were quickly removed from my list of potential purchases. LG then hit the bazaar with their model, which is very impressive, but with a $2400+ price tag, it was still a bit too much for my budget. Then there was Vizio which still hasn't been competent to apparently get the bugs out of their LED LCD TVs that were promised in June, then September, and now October. So needless to say they were removed from my list.
This model of Sony hit the shelves roughly around duplicate time as the Samsung LED TVs. Its specifications were pretty good, and the promise of low wattage similar to the LED LCDs was very attractive. What I wasn't happy with was the fact that this is an 8-bit LCD panel as opposed to the 10-bit panel that the other manufacturer's models used. A local retailer finally had the Sony in their show room, so I could see if the 8 bit panel made a difference, and after spending over an hour comparing its picture detail and clarity to the Samsung and LG models, I could not see anything negative about the Sony. In fact, to my eyes even the contrast differences between the LED models and this ECO series was negligible, and definitely not worth the extra price tag for the LED models. The color be also more natural on the Sony than the Samsung and LG models that were next to it. One of the most noticeable segments they had running was a cooking channel scene where the cook be making some broccoli dish. The broccoli on the other sets was almost fluorescent, but on the Sony it was a perfect medium dark green. I was sold.
Now with the KDL-52VE5 dropping from $2100 to what it is now, I decided I have waited long enough. Since my local retailer could not come close to Amazon's price, I purchased it from Amazon. The set arrived within a week with the free shipping, and I have to say that the shipping company (Pilot) that delivered the set was great. The delivery man be very friendly and helpful. He quickly unpacked the new set, helped me take down my old (325 lb) 36 inch tube TV from its stand, placed the new TV up on the stand, and powered it up to verify that it was working. Great transport service.
Now that I have the TV at home, I am 100% happy with the purchase so far. I was worried that I would be disappointed with the contrast ratio once I played a movie at night, but I couldn't be happier. A 100,000 to 1 contrast ratio is just fine. I am very picky about how economically a television handles black (as well as color), and this set produces blacks even better than the HD CRT set that it is replacing. The color is amazing. Playing any Pixar film with this set in vivid mode will blow your mind (or at least your kid's minds). I haven't had the time to tweak each of the picture settings, but I hold to say that right out of the box this thing is amazing. I have simply been switching between standard and vivid depending on what we are watching and I couldn't be happier with just these factory setups.
The sound from this is fine for watching anything that you don't feel like firing up your surround nouns receiver for. It is very clear, and has very good range for TV speakers.
I then had to test the power consumption next to my kill-a-watt plug in meter. With the set in vivid mode, with the light sensor on in a daylight lit room, the set averages just 145 watts. In a dark room it uses even less, since the sensor automatically turns down the backlight level. Only 145 watts for a 52 inch box with 120 Hz motion correction. I'm impressed!
As far as longevity goes, only time will tell, but since this basically a standard Sony LCD with just a more efficient backlight setup, it should be fine. If things do go wrong contained by the future, I will make sure to update this review.
Anyway, if you are on a sub $2000 budget and want a great 52-inch TV that won't jack up your electric bill, then this is the one to get (unless you want to wait yet another year).
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