Home Theater Review


Sony VAIO VGX-TP20E Media Center PC Reviewed

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4 Stars

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High Points
• The SonyVGX-TP20E includes a Blu-ray drive and TV/DVR functionality.

• It has a cool, petite form factor and an attractive gloss-black finish. The TP20E is also available in a gloss-white finish, and that box actually costs less: $1,350.
• The unit comes with both an IR remote and a wireless keyboard.
• It sports an HDMI output for easy integration into a home entertainment system, and an HDMI cable is included in the package.

Low Points
• The VGX-TP20E only supports ATSC/NTSC tuners. To tune in premium HD content, you must get the pricier VGX-TP25E.
• This product can't internally decode high-resolution audio tracks from Blu-ray discs, nor can it output these formats to be decoded by your A/V receiver. It lacks multichannel analog audio outputs.
• The VGX-TP20E lacks the customization and upgradeability you can find elsewhere.
• The unit only supports 10/100 Ethernet, and 802.11n is not included.

The VAIO VGX-TP20E is a solid media center PC that offers Blu-ray playback, good computing specs, and a great form factor. If you subscribe to digital cable, you might want to go with the step-up VGX-TP25E, which comes with dual external ATI digital cable tuners. The TP25E model used to be exorbitantly priced at $3,000, but Sony has wisely knocked $1,000 off the price tag to make it a more realistic option. Sony does not give you the freedom to customize its media center PCs the way you can with products from other manufacturers; but, if you're looking for a complete, attractive, easy media PC solution with Blu-ray support, these models fit the bill.

Read more Sony reviews here.

Read more high end media server reviews from Apple, K-scape, Logitech and many others here.

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