15-Year-Old Sony Trinitron Broken. Time for a Bravia?

Well, almost 15 years old. Fifteen years this coming June. But yes, time for another flat-screen TV opinion thread.

The sound and picture both started acting up last Tuesday night. We called the local Sony office, and the lady was doubtful it could still be fixed, at least economically, given its age. But the repair guys who came out discovered it was not the picture tube as was suspected, but rather something called a “condensor.” They thought they could fix it on the spot, but it was still acting up even after they replaced the part. So they took it in. We’re still waiting for the verdict.

So now we’re thinking more about getting a new TV. I’m pretty set on getting a Bravia. Quality is what I look for in a set, and I don’t mind spending a little extra for good quality. I’m of the school of thought that says you actually save money by spending a little more, as you won’t have to fool with as many repair costs or have to replace it very often. Look how long out Trinitron lasted! We did have to take it in once when it was only a couple of years old, because the color started bleeding, but it’s been perfect ever since, until last week.

Now, I’d sort of like a 40" screen, but I finally had to agree with the wife that that would be just too big for the space we have. Even a 32" set is going to look rather large in the room; the 40" would be a little comical. Fortunately, I’ve learned that the Sony Bravia W series recently came out with a full-HD 32" set. In alll of the other series that have a 32" set, they are not full-HD, but rather have fewer pixels. You’d have to get a 40" on up for full HD in those series; that was a main reason I was considering a 40-incher. But with this 32" W, problem solved, the pixel count is up there. And the price seems right. It’s going for about 38,000 baht right now; that’s US$1056. I was expecting to have to pay much more. And they’re offering a 2000-baht ($56) rebate at the moment. So we’re thinking now even if we do get the Trinitron fixed, we can give it away and maybe get a Bravia now.

A friend upcountry got a Bravia a couple of years ago and loves it. It was only the S series, I believe, and he paid 50,000 baht for it at the time; the same set is going for about 26,000 baht now, so the prices have definitely come down. But like me, he’s a big fan of sony. His wife pointed out they could have bought three sets of a different brand for that amount of money, but he won’t have anything but a Sony. (He had a Trinitron before , too, that lasted maybe longer than ours did.)

So, Sony Bravia W series, 32". That’s what we’re looking at. Any advice or suggestions regarding this? We’ll probably make up our minds sometime this week.

I have no opinion on brand, but I’d spring for the 40" set. Mine is a 42" in a small environment (Standard Def, though, as it’s older) and it’s just the right size to give that “big screen” effect without being absurdly enormous.

Hmm- that could fit me to a T. My Trinitronic is about 15 years old (not borken) but was thinking of a replacement should something happen. I have a Sony DVD recorder. A huge screen would not suit.

But I am at a loss re Bravia- what precisely does it do?

Bravia is Sony’s top-of-the-line product. Info here and here. They sure look good in the showroom, although I know they play DVDs designed to enhance the image. But my friend’s upcountry looks fantastic.

Why would a huge screen not suit a Sony DVD recorder?

Sorry- I didn’t express that clearly. I can’t have a large screen due to space restrictions.

I was going to get a 40" set and wound up with a 52" Bravia.
Buy the largest set that will fit. In the long run you will be happy you did.

Ah, I see. That’s the same with us. I’m tempted to go for the 40", but the wife really does not want it and says it would be too big for the space. You’d think there’s not that much difference between a 32" and 40", but the latter looks much, much larger in the showroom. I’ve come around to thinking it’s just too big. But I sure would like one. The Trinitron is, what? 21"? 32" will seem pretty big by comparison anyway.

Was your trinitron set a 4:3 or widescreen?

Only asking you this because I expect the Bravia will be widescreen and the picture will actually be smaller than you might expect.

A 40" 4:3 screen would be huge. but in widescreen its not.

40" widscreen will not be any larger than something like a 26" 4:3 screen

Seems to me a 26" screen at 4:3 would give you a panel about 21"wide x 16"tall; a 40" screen at 16:9 would give you something like 35"wide x 19"tall. I’d call that noticeable, it’s almost twice the screen area but virtually all of it to the sides (so the real impact comes through if you watch much shot-on-widescreen material).
ETA: Even better: a page about comparing screen sizes – http://www.screenmath.com/

In any case, IIUIC Bravias are the flat-panel equivalents of Trinitrons for the current consumer market, so if you’re a Sony fan/loyalist they should be a good successor. (Myself I tend not to consider the usual price premium on Sony gear worth it, but that’s just me.)

I have to admit that the actual size was just a guess, however the OP does mention they are looking at a 32" widescreen, which would translate back to a 26" 4:3 in terms of height.

That will not be much of an increase, the extra will be on the sides but in practice it won’t seem any bigger than the 26", in fact it might well seem smaller, as the overall package of the trinitron will almost certainly have a larger cabinet in just about every dimension than the widescreen, which will tuck away into a corner more easily - despite the screen being wider.

We had a 25 inch set that we replaced about three years ago. My wife was also worried about how large the new set would be. I talked her into a 40 inch, and it’s been fine (and yes, she agrees), because the framing around it is smaller than the old console floor model we had. Make sure the speakers are underneath, not on the sides, so it won’t be as wide.

Get a poster the size of a 40 inch screen, mount it on cardboard, and try it out. I bet it won’t seem as large as everyone’s wives are worried about.

ETA: Try out a 32 inch screen too, to make sure that doesn’t seem too small.

I have a 46" Bravia, and it provides an excellent theater experience. If you watch movies at all, I also recommend getting a set as large as will fit in the space.

I used to sell televisions at an electronics store.

Nobody ever - not once - complained about a television being too large once they got it home. Flat screens take very little room, and even if you are sitting 5 feet away, it is not going to be a problem to have a 42" screen. Try sitting very close to one of those larger televisions in the show room and you will understand.

While I am sure Sony appreciates your loyalty, and Trinitons were most certainly top of the line sets, I wouldn’t be quite so fixated on the brand today. There are lots of good sets out there for less money with the same quality. I believe there are really only a few manufacturers of flat screen panels, and they simply sell them to other companies who then slap their name brand on them.

I read an article somewhere (no, I don’t know where) that said the best way to figure out what size screen will suit your TV room is to measure the distance (in inches) from where the TV screen will be to where you will sit to watch TV. Divide that number by 2 for the largest size you should buy; divide by 3 for the smallest size screen you should get.

I agree that you might want to think about a larger size. I seriously doubt anybody that gets a flat screen tv says “Man–I wish I’d gotten a smaller size!”. I look at our 52 inch samsung lcd and think we could’ve maybe gone with a 60 inch.

I love ours. My husband and I were impressed by the Bravias while milling around the Metreon a few years ago, but didn’t really need a new TV. Then a few months later our place was robbed, so we went TV shopping. While we knew we liked the Bravia line, we were still comparing brands. After about a week of comparison, we ended up with a 40 inch Bravia V series. (This one.)

We’ve been really happy with it, and we don’t even really use it all that much. We had cable briefly and the HD channels looked amazing on it. Now we mostly play video games or watch Netflix movies. Still, looks great.

When I saw the 47" LCD at the store, it looked like Megalon. At home, not so much. That it fit on my preexisting TV bench probably helped it from consuming the room. Try come cardboard screen size mockups and see how much space they take up.

Are tv broadcasts in Thailand (or on whatever satellite you are on) in 4:3 or widescreen, mostly? A 32" LCD will display 4:3 at about the equivalent of a 26" tube TV.

Uh-oh. This sounds like it’s getting a little technical. But no, we did not have a widescreen. I’m pretty sure it’s 4:3.

Thanks for all of the input. As I’ve said, I am familiar with the 32" screen from watching my friends upcountry. His is in an even larger space than ours, and it seems fine.

I discussed the 40" some more with my wife. First there’s the money issue; although we can afford it, she’s not really wanting to spend so much on a set; she’ll go along with the 38,000 baht – 36,000 after the rebate – that the 32" costs, but she’s reluctant to go up much higher than, say, 50,000 baht. The wife is Thai but of Chinese ethnicity, and one thing about the Chinese is they tend to be very tight with their money. Not really stingy, but very careful. Her whole family is like this, and I’ve seen it among other ethnic Chinese here, too, regardless of the rather ostentatious displays of wealth among the really rich. This has proved quite a blessing, because a lot of the ethnic-Thai ladies can be quite high maintenance, and I’ve seen more than one mixed marriage over here end badly due to money. My wife likes to save and, unlike many Thai ladies, has no interest whatsoever in gold or expensive jewelry.

Then she pointed out that the 40" screen means we would have to do some serious rearranging. The added height would partially block this framed thing we have on the wall, so we would have to get a new, lower television stand and maybe even have to move a couple of other things over by that side. Our present stand houses the DVD and VCR underneath and is rather quite nice-looking still. And paradoxically, even though she doesn’t want to spend too much money, if we went to all of the trouble to do that, she would insist on a new couch to go along with the redecoration. Right now, we have a chair and some floor cushions, which I enjoy just fine. We have one couch, but it’s in her dressing room; it’s too big for the living room. So we’d have to buy a small couch, too, which I don’t want.

So I think we’re going to go with the 32". But still no final decision to be made. And we still haven’t heard from Sony about the trinitron. The wife is going to call them this afternoon (Monday afternoon) if they still haven’t called by then.

Someone mentioned distance from the screen. We usually sit about 6 feet away from the screen. Maybe 6-1/2.

Oh, gosh, I don’t even know. We’re not much TV watchers anyway. We don’t get cable, although for some mysterious reason, a couple of channels like BBC News and MTV out of Taiwan are piped in. Otherwise, we just watch a DVD movie or two a week and maybe some DVD series like Lost or 24. The wife will catch the Thai news some, but regular Thai programming is dreadful.

Ah, there it is. Using the 6-1/2 feet number, that means we could do with a 26" to 39" screen. So the 40" would probably due. But the 21" never seemed too small.