If you're considering a smaller TV we believe there's little reason to get one with an LED backlight or 1080p resolution. Sony's KDL-BX300 series is the company's least expensive for 2010, and it offers neither feature. It also lacks the USB port of the Samsung LN32C350 we compared it with, but otherwise their feature sets and picture quality are nearly a match--although we believe the Sony has a slight edge in the latter category. We can't tell you whether the BX300 is substantially better than even cheaper off-brand sets, but if you're looking for a solid name-brand bedroom TV, the BX300 qualifies.
Series information: We performed a hands-on evaluation of the 32-inch KDL-32BX300, but this review also applies to the smaller 22-inch KDL-22BX300. The two have identical specs and should provide very similar picture quality.
|Panel depth||3.7 inches||Bezel width||2 inches|
|Single-plane face||No||Swivel stand||No|
Sony's little KDL-BX300 TV is one of the more stylish, albeit understated, lower-end LCDs you'll see. It has a basic, squared-off look with little adornment to the glossy black frame, which sits relatively low atop the matching stand. Sony hid the speakers, making the panel relatively thick.
|Remote control and menus|
|Remote size (LxW)||8.7x2 inches||Remote screen||N/A|
|Total keys||41||Backlit keys||0|
|Other IR devices controlled||No||RF control of TV||No|
|Shortcut menu||Yes||Onscreen explanations||No|
Again the BX300 goes a cut above most entry-level models, this time with its solid remote. The medium-size clicker can control other HDMI-CEC-compatible gear, but not via infrared. Its ergonomics are excellent, centered around the big thumbpad, and the overall feel is a cut above the Samsung LNC350 series.
Sony's menus aren't quite as extensive as Samsung's, but very good for a basic TV. You have to scroll a lot in the main picture menu, but on the other hand we liked that the full-screen menu makes many functions visible at once. A convenient Tools menu provides some shortcuts, but it's nearly as long as the main menu. We liked the ability to mark certain inputs as favorites, and, if you have an antenna or direct cable connection, to also mark favorite channels.
|Key TV features|
|Display technology||LCD||LED backlight||N/A|
|3D compatible||No||3D glasses included||N/A|
|Screen finish||Matte||Refresh rate(s)||60Hz|
|Dejudder (smooth) processing||No||1080p/24-compatible||Yes|
|Internet connection||No||Wireless HDMI/AV connection||No|
As an entry-level TV the Sony offers the minimum of extras. It has a native resolution of 720p, and at this screen size there's little reason for more pixels, aside from utility as a PC monitor. Its lack of an LED backlight isn't much of a hindrance in our view either; power use for this small TV is relatively minor anyway.
|Adjustable picture modes||9||Independent memories per input||Yes|
|Dejudder presets||0||Fine dejudder control||N/A|
|Aspect ratio modes -- HD||3||Aspect ratio modes -- SD||4|
|Color temperature presets||4||Fine color temperature control||2 points|
|Gamma presets||7||Color management system||No|
There's little to complain about here. Between the extensive number of picture modes (nine out of ten of which are adjustable and independent per input, the tenth being Auto) and solid selection of advanced settings, including fine color temperature, tweakers should find everything they need to adjust the Sony's picture. We liked the big Theater button on the remote, which puts the TV into Cinema mode without having to dive into the menus. We do wish the Scene and General presets were integrated into one menu, as opposed to broken out somewhat arbitrarily, but that's not a big deal.
|Power saver mode||Yes||Ambient light sensor||No|
|Picture-in-picture||No||Onscreen user manual||No|
|Other: Picture Off (sound only) mode|
Sony's Eco menu allows three levels of Energy Saving, each of which limits the backlight's maximum level. The Picture Off mode is a nice touch, as are a pair of autoshutoff doodads, although we'd like to see an ambient light sensor too.