Television audiences across the world are changing. They are becoming discerning enough not to watch live television. I am clearly one of those who likes to keep the choice of what I want to watch with myself. And this is why I am convinced connected televisions have a great future. And what better than a connected Android TV.
Sony Bravia W950D
Sony was among the first to embrace the connected television segment. A year later, it seems to be getting better, and the televisions are getting more affordable. Sony Bravia W950D 2016 version costs just around Rs 83,000 and comes with almost everything you could ask for in a television these days. And yes, it is smart too.
Price: Rs 82,900
What is good?
Bravia W950D has a clean design that reduces the bezel, and puts the 1080p screen in the centre of the action. You can easily focus on the action as there is no steely frame to distract you. The TV stands on a speaker bar that offers stunning sound, but also makes the entire unit seem composite.
I have always loved the colours on Sony televisions, and I am talking about the time when colours on Trinitron televisions were way sharper and natural than any other telly. Sony still retains that unique trait. The Japanese giant does not seem to believe in over-saturated, and overtly vivid colour schemes and that appeals to a lot of people.
Sony Bravia W950D has one of the best audio setups I have heard in a television, and I say this with a lot of conviction. Playing pre-loaded songs and some other numbers I streamed from an external drive I was convinced you don’t need another pair of speakers for your living room, and that makes the Bravia W950D a complete entertainment solution in my books.
This Bravia has a very intuitive and easy to use UI, and that is crucial for any television that wants to pass itself off as smart. The Home gives you access to everything in clearly stacked rows, nothing missing, nothing to confuse you. There are no hidden menus waiting to be found, no complicated settings to get online. I loved the new addition, a discover button that gives you quick access to anything from channels to apps on the TV. For anyone who is familiar with Android, there is almost no learning involved here.
This is a truly connected television. So while you can play stuff from your connected devices to this larger screen, the TV can stream directly using a host of pre-installed apps. For me YouTube was more than sufficient, but you can download anything from the Google Play store if you need more. Also, there is a webcam that comes in the box so that you can use apps like Skype right out of your living room. I still think using an on-screen keyboard with the help of a remote is a pain, so voice search will gradually become your primary way of interacting with the smart part of this television. Plus, it plays almost all formats of video, and audio without any issues.
What is not that good
There is nothing much wrong with this Bravia TV. However, being a connected television and the one thing I hope to take us away from our dependence on boring live television, it was frustrating that the Bravia kept losing the Wi-Fi connection everytime there was a packet drop in the network. This might not be a issue in many parts of the globe, but in India internet connections still have these issues, and maybe Sony needs figure out a patch. Every time this happens, I could get reconnected only by switching off the TV and its power source for a minute or so.
Also, Sony needs to put in some thought into how reducing the tangle of wires behind the screen. There is quite a bit here.
Should you buy
Yes, if you are looking to upgrade from an early generation flat screen, and now need something truly smart and connected. The best thing about this Bravia W950D is the fact that it is functional out of the box, and that is what matters at the end of the day. Buying this television will be a smart decision.