Sony 21

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Price Paid: $Rs 19,990

Purchase at: Panjim-Goa (India)

Strengths

Weakness

Comments/Review
Sony KV-21HFV100: Unique mating of sound & vision!

Outrageous! This would be an initial feeling of a buyer who is confronted with the unusual sight and concept of a television with two large music system-like speakers. Is it a music system with a television or is it a television with a music system?

Outrageous! This would be the initial feeling of a buyer who has to shell out a whopping Rs 19,990 for a 21” television, probably the most expensive 21” television in the Indian market, specially when 29” televisions are available at less than Rs 18,000.

And yet, I opted for the Sony Supersound KV-21HFV100, a magnificent piece of audio-visual technology after a mere look in the Sony catalogue. Why? Read on.

The first impression of the KV-21HFV100 is indeed revealing. Though the catalogue boasted that the KV-21HFV100 had 40 watts RMS (20w RMS per speaker) of raw power, I knew from the looks of the large speakers (two woofers and a tweeter per speaker) that the sound would indeed be impressive.

I went ahead and got the KV-21HFV100 from the Sony dealer, Joshi enterprises, at Panjim-Goa (India) in June, 2005. One year on and I still enjoy every minute of the KV-21HFV100 experience.

Since the TV has two main components – audio and visual – I will briefly dwell on them. For a detailed profile, specification and uniqueness of the KV-21HFV100, kindly refer to the following Sony webpage dedicated to the KV-21HFV100. It is:

http://www.sony-asia.com/supersound/home.html

VISUAL: The (unique) absence of speakers in the television cabinet indeed gives the HFV 100 stunning looks. In fact, the 21” screen looks rather large given the narrow cabinet space.

The location of the buttons on the top of the KV-21HFV100 is indeed practical and a delight.

Sony has always enjoyed prominence in its TV segment because of its WEGA/Trinitron picture tubes and like other Sony TVs, the KV-21HFV100 comes out a winner in this aspect as well. In fact, the local Sony dealer in Panjim-Goa also happened to have an LG and an Onida television sets on display. When all three — Sony, LG and Onida — televisions were connected to the same DVD player, the difference in picture quality was clear as daylight. Words appearing on the LG and Onida televisions screens were blurred, as compared to the sharp images on the Sony screen. The dealer suggested that changes to the settings on the LG and Onida and yet, no matter what combination he attempted, the picture on the LF and Onida could never be compared with the Sony.

In addition, the KV-21HFV100 has the visual enhancements (Wega/Trinitron picture, velocity modulation, Intelligent Picture, Intelligent Signal Booster, V-compression, etc) associated with Sony televisions, giving them a superior picture.

AUDIO:

The KV-21HFV100 is packed with audio effects, from True surround sound and WOW surround effects, to a selection of preset five-band equalizer settings and one user defined setting. In fact, such is the quality of the two large (and rather light) speakers on the KV-21HFV100, that no television (including Sony) which has a woofer added to the cabinet comes even close to the KV-21HFV100 regarding clarity and brilliance in sound. To test the low and high frequencies of the KV-21HFV100, simply switch on National Geographic channel or wait for the commercials in other channels. Enjoy the roar of the lions, cracking of the glass, slamming of the doors, the revving of engines, the male announcer’s bass voice, the thud of a fist punch, the squealing of the tyres, etc, etc. Excellent!

The audio power of the KV-21HFV100 — 20w+20w RMS — may seem paltry by music Hi-Fi systems (most music systems boast 200w RMS and above), it is more than enough to threaten the window panes. In my family room, the 30-35 volume (the KV-21HFV100 reaches upto to 100) is enough for my wife to shout out, both in exasperation and to communicate to me. When she was not around, I tried pumping the volume to 60-65 and the sound was extremely loud and yet, there was no distortion and the speakers on the KV-21HFV100 did not crack. I couldn’t even get myself to stretch the KV-21HFV100 to its optimum 100 volume.

Since the two large speakers are connected to the main cabinet only through wires (Sony claims there is less sound distortion on the cabinet when speakers are detached from the cabinet), you can place the speakers at some distance from the cabinet for an even better effect.

An unusual feature of the HFV100 is the FM radio option. While other televisions only offer a ‘music mode’ feature, this beast actually offers FM radio (stereo and mono), with a 10 channel storage memory facility. The FM radio facility on the KV-21HFV100 can be activated with a single button (either on the remote or on the TV). The result is excellent and people are pleasantly amazed when I simply press a button and stun them with FM music on the KV-21HFV100. My wife enjoys this feature, specially since she simply has to press one button, either to activate FM music or return to the television mode. Compare this with the usual (and tedious) practice where one has to put off the TV, switch on the music system and then go to the tuner mode. The practice is repeated (in the reverse direction) to get back to viewing the television.

The KV-21HFV100 also boasts of a Party Mode — Karaoke and Presentation — feature, which is useful if you have a party or if you need demonstrate your presentations to an audience. I haven’t tried this feature though and so, I can’t elaborate on this aspect.

Besides the standard controls/connections on the television, the KV-21HFV100 comes with a large nice remote control, with large buttons to find your way through the commands.

CONCLUSIONS: While the KV-21HFV100 may seem to stretch your wallet, given the declining prices of 21” televisions, the KV-21HFV100 is indeed your best friend for ears (and eyes), due to its practical nature, more so since the a Sony DVD player (DVP-NS50P) worth Rs 4,500 is offered free with the KV-21HFV100 here in India. This is one offer that I sadly missed out on, since the DVD player was not offered as a free gift when I bought the KV-21HFV100.

With a DVD player supplied alongwith the KV-21HFV100, your entire audio and visual home theatre requirement is complete, without the need for a separate music system. The combination of the KV-21HFV100 and the DVD player allows you to watch television channels and listen to FM radio (on the KV-21HFV100), while you can hook on the DVD player to the KV-21HFV100 and enjoy VCD and DVD movies, as well as MP3 and audio CD music. All this for Rs 19,990 or even less, if you can arm-twist your local dealer to offer a discount. Enjoy!

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