Sony KV-FS100 review: Sony KV-FS100

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MSRP: $349.99

The Good Trinitron WEGA flat picture tube; selectable color temperatures; users can turn off scan-velocity modulation; three-line comb filter; component-video and S-Video inputs.

The Bad Reds are oversaturated; light output exceeds set's controls.

The Bottom Line This TV has the features that you want at this size, but it's an underachiever because of poor factory setup.

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6.5 Overall

Sony's cleanly styled KV-24FS100 has a silver finish, and its speakers--each of which are driven by 7.5 watts of power--are set into the left and right panels. The front panel has a composite-video input and controls for menu and input selection. The remote control is small and easy to manage, as is the onscreen menu.

Despite its wealth of features, the FS100 disappointed us during testing. Adjusting brightness and contrast to proper levels left the screen too dark; to make the image watchable, we had to bump up the contrast to twice the recommended light-output level. Color temperature was overly blue, and on color bars, we discovered that the color decoder lent an orange tint to the yellows and oversaturated the reds.

The mod raincoat of multicolored panels in the "she's a man, baby" scene from Austin Powers is a good reference. In that scene, the yellow panel was excessively orange, the red panel blurred outside the black edges, and the black was too shiny and bright to have good detail. At the Virtucon conference table, blacks were better, but there was smearing on the red fez.

Overall, this set's high light output compromises detail, and that cannot be fixed without a full calibration, which doubles the FS100's cost. If you've been checking out other models in this category, you'll see that they also suffer from similar problems. Sony's own KV-24FV300 looked much better, but it runs about $75 more online.