Sony MFM-HT205 review: Sony MFM-HT205

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The Good Attractive design; integrated TV tuner; integrated speakers and subwoofer; impressive image quality; nice selection of video ports; well-designed remote control.

The Bad Limited adjustability; no HDMI port.

The Bottom Line The Sony MFM-HT205 is a double threat, serving as both a TV and a computer monitor. This 20-inch wide-screen LCD features an impressive array of video connections, and it wowed us with its image quality. It will suit the work and entertainment needs of all but the most discerning graphics professionals.

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8.8 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 10
  • Performance 9
  • Support 8
  • Setup 8

Designed as a TV and a computer monitor, the Sony MFM-HT205 fills both roles with ease. This 20-inch wide-screen display features an integrated TV tuner and boasts all the video connections you could ask for, including composite, component, and S-Video connections. Add to that image quality matching that of high-end displays, such as the LaCie 120, and the $899 Sony MFM-HT205 is an impeccable display that delivers great value.

The MFM-HT205's design is striking. A wide, silver-colored bezel measures more than an inch around the top and sides; the 4 inches on the bottom accommodate a built-in subwoofer and speakers. The MFM-HT205's easel-style design is stable but offers very limited adjustability. It provides 20 degrees of backward tilt, but you can't raise or lower the monitor or pivot the screen.

To preserve the monitor's sleek look, the image-adjustment buttons are tucked behind the right side of the bezel, and small gray icons along the bezel indicate their functions. The eight buttons control the onscreen menu, the TV channels, the volume, the picture-in-picture modes (PIP), the input selection (Video 1, Video 2, DVI-D, PC1, and 3TV), and Sony's ErgoBright settings, which include Movie, PC, Auto, and Game modes. The MFM-HT205's controls are easy to use, but it's much easier to navigate the onscreen menu with the included remote control.

The Sony MFM-HT205's built-in, standard-definition TV tuner sets it apart from other LCDs. To watch TV, simply hook up a cable connection or an antenna to the coaxial port. Of course, you still can't watch HDTV or digital cable sources--these require a set-top box, such as a cable or a satellite receiver, which would connect to the monitor's digital inputs. From standard-def sources, you can choose to view in 4:3, with bars on either side of the screen, or zoom to fill the screen, though the picture will look slightly stretched. When you view TV from a digital source, it fills the entire screen (16:9 aspect ratio). When watching TV in PIP mode, you can choose from three different viewing box sizes and move the PIP window to the corner of your choice.

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