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Another key new feature of the 32D3000 is something Sony likes to call Motionflow +100Hz. As its name suggests, this is effectively a sophisticated example of the 100Hz idea whereby doubling the image’s scanning rate from the usual 50Hz enables it to show moving objects with far greater resolution, smoothness and clarity than LCD technology is usually capable of.
One final really big potential picture booster is the screen’s step up to 10-bit processing, which should radically increase the number of colour shades the set can deliver.
All these new bits and bobs come on top of the picture processing Bravia Engine seen on Sony’s previous Bravia TVs, with its focus on improving colour response, black levels, detailing and, above all, video noise suppression.
What’s abundantly clear from all the high tech cleverness Sony has thrown at the 32D3000 is that the brand really has made its true second-gen Bravias a very substantial step forward from their predecessors. But are all the various processing refinements ‘up there on screen’ in the TV’s final picture quality?
Frustratingly, our answer can only be ‘kind of’. For while the 32D3000’s picture quality is indeed very good for a 32in LCD TV, and at times outstanding, it doesn’t stand out from the 32in pack quite as clearly as we might have hoped.
Perhaps the biggest single improvement the 32D3000 makes over its forerunners concerns its black level response. The darkness of the Berlin factory assault sequence in Mission: Impossible III on HD DVD looks far inkier and less greyed over than on many 32in LCD rivals, giving the scene much more immediacy and scale than we typically see. The TV’s black level depth also seems impressively natural, in that rather than just looking like empty black holes torn from the picture, the darkest corners still contain signs of the subtle shadow detailing that makes them appear properly integrated with the picture as a whole.
The Motion Flow +100Hz system, meanwhile, is one of the better such efforts around. The rapid camera movements and fast-moving space ships at the start of Star Wars Episode III are shown with impressive smoothness and with noticeably less resolution loss than seen with previous Bravias. Feeding the set a 1080p/24fps source like Casino Royale on Blu-ray shows the judder-reducing benefits of Sony’s 24p True Cinema system, too. Impressive stuff.