Video: Sony's 2009 Bravia LCD TVs save the planet in glorious 1080p

Sony thinks the future lies in low-energy TVs, 200Hz processing and screens smart enough to know when you've left the room -- we went to see if it was on to something

Ian Morris
2 min read

The inescapable truth of technology is there's always something new around the corner, waiting to deprive of us our hard-earned cash. Sony thinks the future lies in low-energy TVs, 200Hz processing and screens smart enough to know when you've left the room. We went to see if it was on to something in this video.

To demo its new Bravias, Sony invited us to Centre Point, one of the tallest -- and ugliest -- buildings in London. The aim was to drink in the heady atmosphere above the capital while hearing about how its TVs could save the planet from an environmental apocalypse.

We looked at three new ranges. The entry-level S5500 range starts at a diminutive 22 inches and goes up to 40. The 37- and 40-inch models are 1080p-ready and feature Sony's Bravia 2 engine to improve picture quality. This is very much the range you'll find in your local Sainsbury's. They'll be sensibly priced, and almost certainly one of the most popular ranges.

On the way up is the V5500 range. These TVs feature the Bravia 3 engine, which is designed to further increase the quality over the older picture-processing modes. This TV also gets some smart additional features, such as DLNA -- for streaming media from a certified computer or storage device -- and AppliCast, which is Sony's version of the Yahoo Widget engine found on certain other rivals' TVs.

The most interesting range, however, is the Sony WE5. This TV is based on the W5500 series, which features a host of cool features and top-end picture processing. The key difference is the addition of some eco-friendly features. There are three key technologies at work that Sony thinks can save money and the planet. The first is an off switch. Yes, that's right, the future of the planet revolves around a power button. But still, it will save that 0.5W that most TVs chew through in standby.

The other two technologies are slightly more interesting. The first is a new backlight that saves as much as 40 per cent of the power of the standard model -- while leaving picture quality intact. The final piece of the puzzle is the 'presence sensor', which keeps an eye on you while you watch the TV. If you leave the room, it turns off the picture first of all, and then, later, puts the whole TV into standby. It's also smart enough to monitor heat, which means if you're just quite still, the TV shouldn't switch off.

We quite like these eco features, but we do wonder of the Eco WE5 is worth the £150 premium over the W5500. Sony claims that the power savings will mean that the extra cost can be recovered in power savings in just three years. Click play to watch the video.