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Sony Bravia launches Freeview HD TVs

Sony Bravia TVs with integrated Freeview HD tuner

Sony Bravia HX703

Sony Bravia announces the first UK TV range with built in Freeview HD tuner is in stores now. 

Freeview HD from Sony Bravia

Sony claims to have the first UK TV range with integrated Freeview HD to hit the shops. According to Sony, three quarters of the 2010 Sony Bravia range will come complete with Freeview HD built in. 

This will offer viewers access to a range of high definition (HD) programmes, including coverage of the World Cup this summer. Integrated Freeview HD tuners mean there is no need for a separate set-top box or satellite aerial.  

The range comes in a choice of model and screen sizes:

  • Cinematic – HX703 (40” and 46” screen size)
  • Network – NX803, NX703, NX503 (32” to 52” screen size depending on model)
  • Essential – EX703, EX503, EX403 (32” to 60” screen size depending on model)

We’ll be getting new Sony Bravia Freeview HD TVs into our lab as soon as possible so keep an eye on the Which? LCD and plasma TV reviews over the next few weeks to see how they do in our tests. 

What is Freeview HD?

Freeview HD is a subscription free television service that offers HD channels via your existing TV aerial. 

Until now in order to watch HD TV programmes most people will have opted for a subscription TV service from Sky or Virgin Media. You can already get a non-subscription service from Freesat HD too but, as with Sky, Freesat means having a satellite dish attached to your house. 

Digital Switchover has meant that there is now enough airwave space to make an HD signal via Freeview possible.

Freeview HD is currently available only in London and Manchester but will roll out to Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Bradford and Newcastle by the end of March 2010. The rest of the country will start to receive the service in line with their digital switchover dates. 

For more information on Freeview HD see the Which? guide to Freeview HD explained.

How to watch Freeview HD

Just having a HD TV service is not enough to be able to watch programmes in high definition. You’ll need an HD ready TV (such as those featured in the Which? review of LCD and plasma TVs) as well as a either a Freeview HD set top box or PVR, or a TV with integrated Freeview HD.

The first Freeview HD set top box, the Humax HD-FOX T2, also hit the shops recently. It’s already on it’s way to our lab so we can put it through its paces.

Keep an eye on the Which? Freeview and Freesat set top box review to find out how the HD-FOX T2 rates compared to HD boxes from Sky and Virgin.

Sony Bravia NX803 internet TV

As well as having built in Freeview HD, the Sony NX803 allows viewers to connect to the internet with the use of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). Sony says this built in Wi-Fi access allows viewers to simply connect to the internet and explore a huge choice of content and services from their living room. 

The company has partnered with Lovefilm to allow viewers to watch streamed movies and you can download widgets to get live updates from websites such as Twitter and Facebook. 

To access the internet in a more traditional way see the Which? broadband review to find which providers come top in our survey.

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