Pros: Price, 3-D surround sound, picture quality, features
Cons: Jacks for games are in the back
When we finally decided to upgrade our old 25" TV to a bigger 27", we chose the Sanyo 27" Stereo TV which was on sale at Wal-Mart for about $250. This was four years ago, and the Sanyo TV is still going strong.
It seemed like the Sanyo had lots of features for a good price. We were excited about the Picture-In-Picture feature (PIP), which we'd never had before. This is where you can have another channel's picture displayed in a small square at the same time you're watching a different channel.
~ Sanyo 27" Stereo TV Features
Trilingual on-screen menu
Automatic channel search
Digital picture controls with on-screen display
MTS stereo/dbx/SAP decoder
Automatic picture/sound adjustments
3 D surround sound
Audio/video In jacks
S-video input for DVD players and Satellite TV systems
Fixed audio output jacks
Auto flesh tone
Sleep timer (3 hours)
181 channel tuning system (VHF, UHF, Cable TV)
Also included, of course, is a Universal Remote Control, with all the usual buttons; including VCR keys, mute, recall, sleep, reset, menu, etc. The Channel up and down keys, Volume up and down keys, and the Power button glow in the dark. There is also PIP control buttons on the remote.
Quite a lot of features for the price, especially since it's a 27" set.
~ Our Experience Using the Sanyo 27" Stereo TV
Of course one of the first things we noticed was the larger size of 27", since we'd been used to 25". The picture was VERY clear and sharp, and didn't need any adjustments, even right out of the box.
The next thing we noticed was the 3-D stereo surround sound. Wow! The sound was a major upgrade for us. There was definitely a surround-sound effect. I was very impressed with the speakers and sound.
In order to use the PIP function, you must have a VCR connected to the TV. We found it rather difficult to figure out how to use this function. After some frustration, we finally got it to work. You can move the PIP box around on the screen wherever you want, to any of the four corners. And you can also swap between the on-screen channel and the channel that is displayed in the PIP box.
But frankly, we found using the PIP was a big pain in the rear and not worth the trouble. Since we've had the Sanyo TV now four years, I think we may have only used the PIP function in the beginning about 3 or 4 times. If we have two channels we are monitoring, it's much easier to just hit the Recall button on the remote and switch between channels that way. Of course, I suppose we might be considered technically challenged in that regard, and others who are more electronically savvy may use the PIP function a lot.
For about the first two years we had this TV we were using an external antenna with great results. The picture was always clear and sharp, with no adjustments ever being made to the picture or color quality. We have since moved, and in our new location we get NO TV reception at all, so we signed up for a satellite TV system. All our TV channels now come through the satellite, and the Sanyo brings in everything just fine.
We are using a VCR with this TV, and it is easy to switch between the TV and VCR. We also have a Play Station we use with this TV, and it is hooked up in the back. I wish now that the Sanyo had input jacks in the front of the set for the Play Station. It would be much easier to hook it up. It's difficult to get to the back of the set where the jacks are.
~ A Couple of Problems
After using this TV for about four years now, and we have it on a LOT, we have noticed a couple of anomalies. Sometimes the 3-D surround sound has this really weird off-balance effect, as if there is only one "track" playing. It seems to fluctuate between 3-D stereo and mono, or something like that. It's hard to describe. But this only happens very occasionally, for a short amount of time, and I'm not sure if it's really a problem with the TV or not. It's never lasted long enough that I felt a need to call a repair man.
One other thing I noticed a while back was a green splotch in the color in a certain area of the picture. It was always in the same place, and it would just come and go. That happened for about 3 weeks or so, but I haven't seen it anymore. I have no idea what that was. Remember, we're on Satellite, so I don't know if that has something to do with it.
~ Specifications, for those who are interested
Power - 86 watts
Antenna Input - UHF/VHF/CATV
Power Requirement - 120VAC 60 hz
Horizontal Dimension (Width) - 26.1 in.
Vertical Dimension (Height) - 24.8 in.
Depth Dimension (Thickness) - 19.8 in.
Weight - 73.1 lb. (heavy!)
Speakers - 2 - Size 8 cm
Amplifier - Built in with 3W/ch
A/V Input Jacks - Video Input, Audio Input (R/L), S-Video
Audio Output Jacks - Fixed Audio Output (R/L) (RCA Connectors)
~ Final Thoughts
The Sanyo 27" TV has been a great TV. The sound is quite good (except for that occasional weirdness I mentioned), and the picture and color are perfect. It's been reliable and fairly easy to use. I think my husband and I don't use all the features to their full capacity, but they're there if we need them.
This TV is a good value for the price. It is suitable as an all-around family TV, for the living room, media room, family room, or even a bedroom.