My shitty Sony Trinitron TV

So, I bought this Sony Trinitron 25" TV about 6 months ago. Great price, real nice TV. However, when I watch an anime that’s subtitiled, or when a game displays text on the screen, it’s really blurry. It’s more blurred toward the edges than in the middle, but it’s all blurry. Basically no matter how low I set the contrast, there’s still too much strength in the text, causing it to bleed out around the letters. If I turn the contrast up to “normal” it’s pretty much unreadable. The actual picture itself, however, looks GREAT. It’s a text-only sort of issue here.

So… the store was good for 30 days, but I didn’t notice it in that timeframe. I guess Sony has a 1-year warranty with their equipment, but I’m not sure what to expect them to do (if much of anything) with this set. Perhaps there is some sort of adjustment I can make myself that I’m unaware of? None of the picture adjust options on the on-screen menu can fix it.

My buddy has the same TV - and text on his is nice and crisp. I’m convinced it has to be some sort of tweak thing, because I can’t imagine the tube being funky and yet delivering a nice picture of television.

Go through Sony to find a reputable factory authorized repair center (or a list of them), and speak with them until you find one that sounds like he has a clue. If you describe the problem, and it seems to sound familiar to them, and they say they can adjust it, I’d just pay them to give it a tune-up.

High end A/V stores would be a good start. Lots of them have in-home service as well… not free but if you want things ship-shape sometimes it’s worth it to have it done right.

There’s still the possibility that some part is just not performing to spec and will need replacement, but they can get parts replaced under warranty for you.

since it’s still under warranty they should fix that for you. While you have the warranty it never hurts to call and complain, if the first line customer service can’t fix it tell them you want someone that can. More often then not the problem wil be fixed just to make you go away. Yes you have to be an ass to people who don’t deserve it, and you might keep that in mind, but you paid for a tv to watch it. If it’s not performing the way you think it should they have an obligation to make it right.

If your TV has a “sharpness” adjustment, try turning it all the way down.

One of the great mysteries of the modern television is just who the fuck they think they’re fooling with a “sharpness” setting. It’s not like you can magically ADD SIGNAL or something. What the sharpness setting actually does is add NOISE to the picture that makes soft edges jump out more. But at the same time, it’s making the picture noisy. Sometimes they actually use a signal boost, which makes a lot of the signal go over-peak and hoses up the picture even more.

It’s there to help TVs look good in the store, where the lighting sucks and it’s next to 50 other TVs. It’s the same reason the default colors are way over-saturated.

Anyway, turning your sharpness all the way off takes a day to get used to, but it actually displays a TRUER picture, and you get more detail within fields of repeating patterns (grass, tiled roofs, stucco walls…). It’s just a guess, but the added noise might be screwing up the fonts.

Yeah, I’ve got the sharpness all the way down. That definitely was one thing that truly made a big difference. I discovered that right off the bat in my initial round of fiddling with this thing. The other control that really freaks the image out is “picture”, which is apparently Japanese for “Contrast.”

What the heck is the VM setting? It seems to sharpen up text a bit, but it’s not quite documented in the book.

I’m not sure what VM is, sorry.

A pricey but incredibly useful DVD is Video Essentials:

It has loads of tests for your TV picture along with explanations of what commons settings do, what to look for to get a good picture, how to set up your room lighting and speakers, and so on. It comes with a blue piece of celophane film you look through during a couple color tests to properly equalize the balance between colors.

Running through it takes a good hour or two if you listen to the explanations, which I found kind of fascinating, but it really improved my picture quality a lot.

VM is “velocity modulation.” It’s supposed to sharpen the edges of objects. It can be set to low,high, and off. TURN IT OFF. It sucks for the most part. In very few circumstances (old VHS tapes) it is a slight improvement.

This is what is messing with your text.

A little off topic: but our local Sony store (and I assume most others) will match any advertised price on sony products. So a good thing to do is get a good price on a Sony TV from another store and run in and buy it from the sony store directly. Not only will they sell it to you at that price, but in my friend’s case they even sent a technician to deliver and install it for free.

He commented to the technician that the picture was a little fuzzy, so the tech packed up the TV and brought a new one back the next day.

Sorry if this sounds like an ad, but it sounded like a good deal to me…