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Sony Bravia KDL-32W5500 32in LCD TV - Sony Bravia KDL-32W5500

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


As predicted in the review of the 32E5500, I really struggled to find any significant differences between the picture performance of the 32W5500 and the 32E5500. Which means that the 32W5500 is indeed way better value than the 32E5500, and a mostly very accomplished TV by any standards.

Especially striking is how deep black levels are. The night-time backdrop to surprisingly effective gorefest 30 Days of Night looks very dark and free of LCD's grey-mist tendencies, yet there's also a reasonable amount of background detail to be seen, proving that the screen isn't having to drop its brightness levels too severely to make such black levels possible.

LCD technology in general has really made great strides with black levels over the course of 2009, but Sony - along with Samsung - is definitely leading the way.

As is so often the case where a TV has good black levels, the 32W5500 also revels in extremely bright, richly saturated colours. These cover a gratifyingly wide spectrum, too, helping the set cope equally comfortably with ultra-rich fare like Wall-E and dour, naturalistic fare like, well, EastEnders. This combination of dynamism and subtlety is notoriously difficult to achieve, and Sony is to be congratulated for pulling it off here.

As noted with the 32E5500, the 32W5500 also does nicely when it comes to reducing the sort of judder that can characterise flat TV playback. Even 24p Blu-rays look smooth provided you've got the MotionFlow option active. Just make sure you only set MotionFlow to its Standard level, not high, otherwise you'll notice numerous processing side effects.

Final aces up the 32W5500's sleeve are its exceptionally sharp HD presentation, and the way it manages to upscale standard definition sources to its Full HD resolution with plenty of added sharpness but without exaggerating noise. Bravia Engine 3, we salute you.


July 14, 2009, 5:46 am


Black level and contrast are superior to many other LCD TVs

Design is fairly pleasing

Greyscale is shockingly accurate out of the box using "Theatre" mode

And in this case, could be improved further with the calibration options

Standard def video processing is very good

Extensive networking and connectivity options

Game mode allows input lag to be lessened (but not totally eradicated)

100hz Motionflow system can be disabled


Colour accuracy (although an improvement on older Sonys) could still be improved

LCD panel has response time issues with black, and viewing angle is still an issue

OSD is slightly unresponsive


Enough said.


July 14, 2009, 5:59 am

"Design is fairly pleasing"

Are you kidding? This TV would fit in perfectly back in 2004.


July 14, 2009, 7:07 am

@Ahlan - Interesting, but I don't expect a TrustedReview review to go into the same depth as one from AVForums. They're aimed at two different audiences, and both are just as valid. Actually, I prefer the TR article, as I'm not interested in greyscale or colour accuracy, but how Movies and Freeview look on it.

I suppose it comes down to personal preference at the end of the day, but I don't feel one review invalidates (or is better then) the other.

Hamish Campbell

July 14, 2009, 12:39 pm

@Athlan, Couldn't you just have said you agree with the review?


July 14, 2009, 2:55 pm

@Greg - I think the design is functional & inoffensive. At this price point, I want all my money going into the best picture (and sound) performance as possible.


July 14, 2009, 3:14 pm

Does not play MKV files from a USB stick which the Samsung B650 does. I've not turned on my Popcorn Hour in yonks!


July 29, 2009, 9:17 pm

this is a great tv, reals shows what a 32" LCD can do, my PS3 games and blu ray discs


August 3, 2009, 9:43 pm

Can anyone tell me: is the KDL32W5500 (with Motion Flow) worth £100 more than the KDL32V5500u (without)? Please advise....

Donny Boy

October 15, 2009, 3:38 am

Any chance of a review of the 32V5500?

Howdy Doody

January 3, 2010, 8:47 pm

Well I have kept my eye on SONY's North American 32XBR line for about 5 years, A few weeks ago I jumped in on the deep discounts for an 32XBR9 -- at what I assumed will be about 1/2 the price of the new E series. Note that this TV lacks USB video, audio jack, Bravia Engine 3, ethernet, and perhaps more ! -- "international product content games here" !

Anyway. I have digital cable service , but few HD channels.

* The set is quite beautiful at its best.

* But black challenges were evidient in the Dr Who "marathon" where dark skins tones were off-grey ... the kind of thing that you get when you try to recover an underexposed image with Photoshop.

* The glare-free screen is an unexpected bonus as my aging eyes were just starting to feel the distraction of lamp glare from our OLD SD set.

On close, it is a very fine set. The selection of 'screen fill modes" is extensive. The full-screen presentation of my best 1920 x 1080 "cropped" photos are really outstanding. Even so, I am left wondering what forces were behind this move to 16 x 9 et al. I am tempted to say that this "revolution" may have been too much , too soon. I love technology, but as a photographer, I am less sure that we had to spend trillions around the world on this technology. Well OK .. I will take some time to check out the story on wiki!

Happy New Year to All

the near side

May 21, 2010, 5:18 pm

I know this model has been superceded, and bought one with 5 year guarrantee from M&S for £399 (after £100 trade-in for a ;portable lcd handhelfd tv that I bought for £15. I hope I like it when it arrives.

the near side

May 21, 2010, 9:42 pm

Sorry, meant to say I bought the 5810 with freesat.


June 27, 2010, 4:43 pm

I have just bought 2 kdl-32w5500 as my old tv has finally given up the ghost. I am no expert in lcd, plasma or led technology so have relied on the reviews posted by so many none biased opinions for which I am truly grateful. I bought these TV's from Argos for £399.99 each which I beleive is a good price.

However, I am confused and would like some help if at all possible. After reading reviews on lcd, plasma etc I wanted to buy a 100hz TV so as not to get the shadowing effect as described by many reviews. After checking the spec of this TV it definately appears to be 100hz yet the signage on the back of the TV clearly shows this as being 50hz only. I have rung Sony Centre to check and they say the label on the reverse is for the power supply and has nothing to do with the resolution of the TV. I am not technically minded but this doesn't make any sense. I have an appointment with Sony to prove this but does anyone have any knowledge out there regarding this issue.

Thanks in advance.

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