A typically solid Sony all-rounder that just lacks that little something to make it really outstanding. And it's pricey for a 28in screen
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Sony's Wega Engine is revolutionising LCD and plasma, while Picture Power is setting new standards in CRT. So the question we have to ask about the distinctly mid-range KV-28CS70 is: does Sony care enough to make it any good?
It certainly doesn't appear an afterthought in terms of design. The dark silver colouring is a bit drab, but compensation comes from some cute curves that give the set a stronger - and more likeable - personality than most.
Also setting the screen apart from some mid-range rivals are its connections - including three Scarts. On the other hand, the features are nothing special. The only things really worth troubling you with are its 100Hz processing and built-in 15W subwoofer.
While the KV-28CS70's pictures don't quite set the world alight, they are good enough to reassure us that Sony does care about its midrange baby. For starters, bright, vibrant Troy scenes, like Achilles' chat with his mother, benefit from a talent with colours that pushes even the Philips hard.
In terms of colour containment the Sony actually beats the Philips, with no trace of bleed or edge softness. This leads to immaculate edge definition, which in turn works wonders on the perceived sharpness of detailed scenes.
This sharpness shouldn't be confused with actual fine detail, however; a study of Troy's massed ranks advancing towards each other during the Thessaly scenes suggests that the 28CS70's detail response isn't especially acute.
The hundred club
It's back to the good stuff with the Sony's 100Hz processing, which provides all the usual strengths of flicker-free solidity and richer colours, with none of the common negatives like smearing over motion or unnatural skin-tones. Even the motion-packed night assault on Agamemnon's forces is handled with aplomb.
A final noteworthy strength is the KV-28CS70 's immaculate handling of bright whites, which suffer from none of the glinting seen on some rival screens. We do still have a couple of flaws to cover. The worst concerns a slightly strained approach to darkness. As the soldiers emerge from the Trojan horse at night, a lack of subtle shades makes the darkest parts seem as if they've been cut out of the picture, rather than being an integral part of it. Less worrying is the appearance of gentle glowing halos around strongly contrasted edges.
Pumping up the volume during any of Troy's monster battle sequences shows the Sony to be a solid audio performer. The subwoofer kicks in with spirit for a deep part of the film's score, trebles are bright and clean, and voices generally remain clear - even in the midst of battle. But the sub can be a bit lazy, only rumbling into life when pressed. Had it showed more readiness, it would have turned the sound from the merely good into excellent.
The Sony KV-28CS70 delivers a slightly better than middle-of-the-road performance, at a mid-range price. Which adds up to a perfectly respectable proposition. Sony's asking price is a tad high for a 28in screen, but look out for reductions (we found it online for £500) and you should be well pleased.
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