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Sony KDL-L5000 series (photos)

Although it costs a tad more than bargain-basement models, the Sony KDL-L5000 series makes up for it with above-basement-level design and picture quality.

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David Katzmaier

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Sony KDL-L5000 series (overview)

When you compare among the various entry-level LCDs in the price range of the Sony KDL-L5000 series, you'll notice a few that cost a bit less. But for a Sony this set is remarkably affordable, and its design, anchored by a sleek exterior and Sony's typical remote and menu prowess, stands at least a cut or two a cut above that of most HDTVs in its class. Its picture quality also hits most of the right notes, despite a uniformity hiccup and imperfect color accuracy. Finally, the feature set has a few extras not often found in this price range, including a smattering of power saving modes and that third HDMI input. If you don't mind spending a couple bucks more than you absolutely need, the Sony KDL-L5000 series deserves consideration.

Read the full review of the Sony KDL-L5000 series.

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Sony KDL-L5000 series (corner detail)

The sleek-looking KDL-L5000 series has a bezel reminiscent of a picture frame.
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Sony KDL-L5000 series (remote control)

Sony's clicker is one of the best of the entry-level breed. The central cursor is plenty prominent and surrounded by four buttons that are difficult to confuse--one of which is the important "wide" key for aspect ratio control. A cluster of keys at the top of the remote can command other gear that's compatible with the HDMI-CEC control-over-HDMI scheme, but the remote can't control other devices via infrared.
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Sony KDL-L5000 series (back panel inputs)

The back panel has plenty of connections for an entry-level TV, including two HDMI, two component video and one PC input.
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Sony KDL-L5000 series (side inputs)

A third HDMI port, in addition to an AV input with S-Video port, can be found around the side.
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Sony KDL-L5000 series (main picture menu)

Sony's menu system is laid-out simply and logically, and a couple of separate shortcut menus complement the main one.
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Sony KDL-L5000 series (Eco settings)

An Eco menu holds a few convenient settings for saving power.
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Sony KDL-L5000 series (wide setting)

Aspect ratio controls on the Sony are relatively extensive, with a few extra options beyond the standard selections.
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Sony KDL-L5000 series (picture quality)

The Sony's picture quality can't quite match the best we've tested in this class, but it does come close. Its strengths include relatively deep blacks with good shadow detail, while some areas of color reproduction and uniformity could definitely stand for improvement.

Read the full review of the Sony KDL-L5000 series.

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