During the forthcoming festive period, many City folk are likely to receive very large bonuses, which they will need to spend on something to impress their snooty mates. Sony has cleverly targeted the super-rich pillock market -- its Bravia KDL-70X3500 will certainly soak up a good chunk of that extra cash, and will definitely impress everyone in a 3-mile radius.
As well as looking good in a trendy Hoxton loft that was once a match factory, the KDL-70X3500 is also brilliant for watching movies. Of course, you'll need a high-definition DVD player -- Sony would like you to use Blu-ray, but HD DVD is perfectly suitable. To make the most of movies, the X3500 series -- which is also available in more reasonable screen sizes, at prices normal people can afford -- has 24p support, theatre mode and extended xvYCC colour space. Fancy.
As you can imagine,support is all present and correct, and the whole X3500 range has a 10-bit LCD panel and a special photo mode, which is designed to make your digital photos look great on the TV. The photo mode is actually a smart move, because while TVs are optimised for moving pictures, they don't generally do a great job with still ones. Nice thinking from Sony there.
On the 70-inch model, the traditional LCD backlight light is replaced by one made up of an array of LEDs. This means the TV can attain a theoretical contrast ratio of 25,000:1 -- an impressive figure and no mistake. The smaller screen sizes lack the LED backlight, but still manage a very respectable 18,000:1 contrast ratio.
There's a built-in Freeview receiver too, but it would be fair to guess that at 70 inches a low bit-rate 576i standard-definition picture will look like abstract art. The good news is Sony has included a high-definition capable receiver, should Ofcom ever admit thatrather than 30 shopping channels.
The KDL-70X3500 is available on Amazon for £24,999 and amusingly, even though it costs as much as a nice Audi A4, it still wants £30 off you for delivery. And it's not eligible for super-saver delivery either. -Ian Morris