Sony GXD-L52H1 review: Professional display

We review the Sony GXD-L52H1, a 52in display from Sony's professional HDTV range.

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Price
£4,259

Sony has been making full HD LCD TVs in the consumer market for years now. So it's perhaps a bit surprising that the 52in GXD-L52H1 is the brand's first professional LCD monitor with a full HD resolution. Here's hoping the rest of the screen's features don't feel similarly late to the party'.

Design wise the screen is actually rather clever. For starters, it's built like the proverbial brick outhouse, weighing an absolute ton, sporting an aluminium frame complete with corner protection, and using a robust glass front panel designed to protect against impact, dirt, dust (it's IP30 certified) and splashing.

In a rather excellent touch, should the glass panel be scratched or otherwise damaged, it can actually be removed and replaced without even having to take the rest of the screen off the wall.

This sort of tough design makes the L52H1 unusually flexible, enabling it to be positioned, at eye level if you wish, in lobbies, retail environments, bars, concourses, receptions, offices - pretty much anywhere, really, since it should be able to survive almost anything a passing punter could throw at it. Within reason, that is.

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Not having to build the L52H1 into any sort of protective case arguably also helps consumers or business partners connect more directly with the content that the screen is showing.

The screen can additionally be used in portrait or landscape mode too (or even angled); fits flush to the wall if you want thanks an innovative heat sink design that removes the need for ventilation holes; and very handily features a Backlight Control System. This means the screen can continue working even after one - or even more - of its cold cathode fluorescent lamps fail.

With most screens, if you lose a CCFL, the picture disappears completely, but with the L52H1 you've got chance to get an engineer in before you're left with a gaping expanse of dead screen letting your retail or business environment down.

The already strikingly versatile nature of the L52H1 merely grows with the discovery that it's HDSDI compatible, opening the door to its use in professional broadcast applications. Plus it can be bought with an array of accessory boards, including a digital signage board for displaying images and video clips that also lets you download content via an IP connection and control the screen via a web browser. For a full list of the board options, check out the specifications section at the end of this review.

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