In my relatively short history of television buying, I had owned two Sony sets &madsh; a 19" TV/VRC combo and a 27" WEGA flat screen (not flat-panel). Both of these were in excellent condition when I put them to rest and continue to work to this day. Still, when I decided to upgrade to an HD set, I kept an open mind.

When the process began, I walked into Circuit City and Best Buy a half-dozen times checking out prices and, more importantly, noticing which sets stuck out. Immediately I was able to narrow it down to the Samsung and Sony LCDs. I had heard that LCDs couldn't produce deep blacks or truly rich colors like Plasma screens, but these sets looked great. I also noticed that the 1080p sets looked much better than their 720p brethren (understanding HD resolutions), but I learned it had less to do with the additional pixels and more to do with the extra filters and improved hardware in these more expensive models. On my third or fourth trip, I had decided I wanted a Sony set. It came down to personal preference and some helpful folks on the AVS Forums. In my due dillegence, I concerned the more expensive XBR2 model, which was a step up, but the picture didn't look a whole lot better and I preferred the clean lines of the V2500.

I bought it from CircuitCity.com and they delivered it and plugged it in before they left, which was a nice perk. While I'll talk more about the quality of different sources in the next couple days, the set performed really well with both HD and standard definition content. One of my big complaints with HD sets is how crappy most programming looks. The Sony did a pretty good job out of the box, but after turning down the sharpness the standard content looked nearly as good as my CRT set. Getting to the point, the quality of the picture on the V2500 is phenomenal and I'm incredibly happy with this choice.

While I'm using a surround sound receiver and a universal remote, a plethora of inputs and a very capable remote are included with the set. It has two HDMI inputs, some component (Y/Bl/Gr) and some composite (RCA) inputs. All in all, there are 7 inputs possible (should be plenty), including a PC input for those who want a 40" monitor. If I were the only one using my system, I probably would have skipped the universal remote and stuck with the Sony one. Their remotes are solidly built and very easy to navigate.

It's also worth noting that I'm quite happy with the 40" model. While I could have gone as big as a 46", I'm glad I didn't. Not only did I save some money, but I really didn't need the extra viewing area. And if you have a NYC apartment, I highly doubt you need a 46" either.

If you've know me well, you know I obsessively research new purchases, especially anything tech-related. After all my research and six months with the TV, I have zero regrets. It's the perfect size, has amazing picture quality and has plenty of inputs if my receiver were to go on the fritz. If you're in the market for an HD set, you'd be foolish not to consider the V2500.

Buy the KDL-V2500 40" LCD from Amazon
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