Sony Wega: FS vs. FV


[Published April 24, 2002, by corsilcj, aka Chuckster.]

The Wega (vay-guh) FV series was introduced as the start of affordable flat screen television.  However, who would want to spend $800 on a 27" non-digital TV?  Well, that's when Sony designed the more affordable FS to bring flat screen technology to a broader market. So what advantages does FV over FS?

None, In my opinion...

Actually, I take that back. The FV has standard Picture-in-Picture (P-i-P), 15x2 watt speakers (compared to 5x2), a 3D digital comb filter (compared to a 3-line), and an extra S-video input.

Those are the biggies, but NONE of those features make an FV worth buying (for home theater), and here's why:

Sources connected via S-video or component video bypass the TV's filter.  Therefore, you will get the same picture on an FS as you would see on an FV.  Also, both models have a fixed audio output, so the TV speakers should not be an issue as long as the TV is connected to the receiver. 

HOWEVER!! If an extra S-video input, better speakers, and P-i-P is important to you, then the FV is for you. ALSO, the better filter, makes a large difference in cable broadcasts and composite video.

Sony Wega TVs were born for DVD:

FS and FV feature what is known as 16:9 enhanced mode, and here's how it works....

DVDs roughly display 480 horizontal lines of resolution.  On widescreen DVDs, the black bars on the top and bottom use part of the DVD's 480 lines leaving 300-400 lines of resoulution for the usable picture. With 16:9 enhanced, the screen compresses, and the usable picture uses ALL 480 lines.  This feature works the best for DVDs "enhanced for 16:9."  Believe me, the picture is stunning...just remeber to set your DVD player to 16:9.

In summary:


The FS has the upper hand when it comes to DVD video, S-VHS, and others because in these cases, the sound is heard via the receiver and speakers, and as I stated before, the picture would be the same.

The FV is good for those who just want a nice TV for cable or VHS and for those who don't own a receiver and speakers.

(FS16 models have P-i-P for an extra $100...but if you have a VCR w/ a built in tuner just buy a cheap P-i-P adapter)


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