Sony's 21-inch WEGA LCD TV
Non-wide-screen 20-inch LCD TVs are among the more popular models on the market because they're relatively inexpensive and can display a full 20-inch standard-definition image with no nasty black bars on either side. Their big drawback is that most budget 20-inchers offer only 640x480 resolution and can't accept an HDTV signal. That means that in a few years, when you may want to go the HDTV route, you'll be out of luck.
Sony's answer to those looking for a transition LCD TV is its 21-inch KLV-21SG2, a higher-resolution 4:3 set that can accept a high-def feed and display it in letterbox format on the set's 1,024x768 (XGA)-resolution screen. That's a nice option, but as one might expect, you'll have to pay extra for that versatility; this model has a list price of $1,699.
Cosmetically, the Sony KLV-21SG2 does look more high-end than your average 4:3 LCD, with a brushed-aluminum bezel on the top and the bottom of the screen. Like most other LCD TVs, it comes equipped with its own tilt/swivel stand. The included remote is elegant and simple to use. For better or worse, there's no built-in handle on the back to make toting the 23.15-pound set from room to room easier. Integrated (nonremovable) speakers adorn the sides of the KLV-21SG2's screen, and an optional wall-mount unit, the SU-W210, is available.
The TV's connectivity options are adequate for this type of set, yet limited in comparison to many we've seen. You get one set of component-video connections and two S-Video inputs (one on the rear, one on the side), but any sort of computer connectivity is missing. There's also no digital input (DVI or HDMI), so if you do hook HD up to this TV, you'll have to relegate DVD to an S-Video input. For those who have a Sony digital camera, the company includes a Memory Stick slot that allows you to display your photos on the TV.
Convenience features include a robust suite of picture-setting controls and the standard parental-control and closed-caption options. You can choose from three preset program palettes (Vivid, Standard, and Pro) and three preset color temperatures (Cool, Neutral, and Warm). For movies, we found that the best preset was the Pro setting with a Warm color temperature.