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Sony Bravia KDL-32EX403 - Online Features and First Picture Impressions

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Sony Bravia KDL-32EX403


Our Score:


The key to BIV’s success is simply that it focuses so much on stuff you actually want to watch on a TV as opposed to a PC. So there are all sorts of weird and wonderful video sources to explore including YouTube, Sky News, the BBC iPlayer, the Demand 5 Channel 5 catch up service, and LoveFilm. Plus, of course, there’s Sony’s own Qriocity movies-on-demand platform, and the ‘powered by Qriocity’ Music Unlimited audio subscription service.

Admittedly the interface for accessing all the BIV content is starting to creak under the strain, but this doesn’t stop BIV from being a ridiculously good thing to find on a £354 TV.

Having just mentioned an interface issue, we might as well add here that we also found the remote control a little unresponsive, and oddly limited in effective range. This might cause some irritation if you’ve got a particularly large room you want to use the 32EX403 in.

Getting back to the good stuff, we were very pleased considering the 32EX403’s affordability to find it carrying a Freeview HD tuner, and a healthy set of picture adjustment options that includes a black corrector, a small amount of gamma correction, and a degree of fine tuning for the set’s ‘advanced contrast enhancer’.

One thing you don’t get, though, is any 100Hz processing. The 32EX403 is 50Hz all the way. And to be honest, it shows.

For if whatever you’re watching has any significant amount of motion, especially if it involves a camera pan, then there is clear evidence of resolution loss as the objects or the whole image slides across the screen. It’s hard to be too judgmental about this given the TV’s price, though. And actually the set performs better than expected when it comes to keeping a lid on judder. The blur is not necessarily a problem that bothers you much when watching ‘normal’ TV programming either.

But it certainly affects films and action packed dramas, so it would be remiss of us not to highlight it as the sort of picture compromise you have to take on board when spending as little as £350 on a 32in TV.

David Horn

April 7, 2011, 12:41 pm

I have the 40 inch version of this TV and have been very happy with it. 50Hz processing is no problem for me, since Blu-rays come across in 24p anyway. Most of the 100Hz processing modes on other TVs tend to ruin the picture anyway, giving a false sense of sped up motion. The only time I can see it being useful is when watching sport, which I rarely do on a home TV.


April 7, 2011, 2:06 pm

I picked up a 32NX503 for £299.99 inc delivery a couple of months back. Not sure if that deal is still available, worth having a look.


April 7, 2011, 2:29 pm

My Girlfriend got one of these from Marks and Spencers just after Xmas for £299 including delivery, setup and a 5 year warrantee.

Obviously the Japan crisis has made this look even more of a bargain.

Great TV and she uses it all the time for for iPlayer which looks just as good as normal TV (if not better).


April 7, 2011, 4:31 pm

We bought the set from John Lewis - again, as a Xmas special for £299, 5 years guarantee.
Excellent specs for super cheap price.


April 7, 2011, 4:36 pm

Great TV. Found this at £299 with a 5yr guarantee in the New Year sales which was a fantastic deal, so got two (on an impulse buy!) - one for me and one for my mum.
It does have a great picture, especially for a TV at this level and the 50Hz processing is not a real problem. The impact of any fast motion blurring is fairly minimal on a screen of this size. I've not had any problems with the remote either - maybe TR needs new batteries in theirs!
One thing I will say which I don't think is mentioned in the review is that there is a fairly narrow viewing angle, particularly in a well lit room, but I imagine it's no worse than any other TV at this level, and it's not a problem in our watching environments. Also, not worried about the depth of the TV at the rear, but a slightly thinner bezel would have been nice. That's just nitpicking though.

I have noticed that TVs in the lower end of Sony's range do seem well equipped compared to other brands - full 1080p HD, Freeview HD, generous connectivity, the same image processing as their high end TVs - the Bravia 3 engine, and Sony's BIV platform which includes catch-up TV with the iPlayer and Demand 5.

My 73 year old mum is happy and is not phased by the new contraption in her conservatory - I'll often find her trawling through iPlayer, so she's happy. I'm happy. Well done Sony!


April 7, 2011, 4:55 pm

As good a TV as this is, it's last years model. Any chance of a review of the recently released equiv 32CX523 which I'm trying to figure out whether to buy. Thanks.


April 7, 2011, 8:06 pm

Out of interest, because I don't want to intentionally break any rules here: why was my comment with a link to a bargain offer for this TV removed from this comments page?


April 7, 2011, 8:57 pm

@pimlicosound - Thanks for the question - We get a lot of retailers using our reviews as easy links to their sites and it's very time consuming to monitor which offers are legitimate or not. It is also nearly impossible to tell which comments are left by helpful readers or retailers trying to boost sales and their page rankings from our reviews. We are so busy reviewing products that we aren't able to investigate the individual links so in this case the comment was removed. I hope you understand our reasoning behind this and see that by not having shopping links in the comments, we preserve the impartial ethos of our site and maintain the important balance between commercial promotion and unbiased editorial reviews.

Martin Daler

April 8, 2011, 1:17 am

@Cliff Interesting reply. Your comment about the balance between commercial promotion and unbiased editorial review would make sense in the context of prices and suppliers being raised within the editorial content (as indeed you do). But surely no reader could possibly confuse the editorial content with the comments content. The two are quite distinct and separate, so I fail to see how there can be any risk to the balance between the two when readers post the results of their shopping expeditions.

I do understand that you need to guard against spam and shill, but since you broach the topic of street-prices within the editorial body of your review you can hardly be surprised if your readers take up the baton.

I'm sure you would rather we relied on your price comparison pages. For this very TV it returned "Sorry no products were found."

Incidentally, you might want to correct the price of £254 mentioned on page 1, last paragraph {or tell us which supplier it is :) }


April 8, 2011, 2:56 am

@Cliff. Thanks for the explanation. Is there any method you'd recommend we use to share what we think are good deals on the web?

Geoff Richards

April 8, 2011, 5:55 am

I got one of these myself last Summer when a certain major supermarket were taking old / broken tellys on trade-in. Got £100 off but still think I paid more than the £299 mentioned (and definitely no 5-year warranty). Top Shopping, Bargain Hunters!


April 8, 2011, 1:09 pm

@pimlicosound; I think Cliff is also being a bit diplomatic. I actually posted a comment warning that the site you posted was a scam site. If you have a look at 'that' web site and try and find contact details, you will fail. If you google search 'that' web site name, you will see people asking and complaining about being scammed.

I guess between your post about the site and my post about it being a scam it was best to just remove your post and not post mine, as I guess Cliff wasn't sure and doesn't have the time to visit every site which may be a scam or not.....

But as the saying goes, if the prices are too good to be true, they generally are!


April 8, 2011, 2:26 pm

@jacko. Thanks for the detective work there - I should have been more thorough before recommending the offer. After all, I don't feel confident buying from unknown retailers before doing a bit of research on them. I guess I just wanted to win the prize for "Lowest Price Found". :D


April 8, 2011, 3:24 pm

@pimlicosound; No worries. I was looking for a new TV and after seeing your link I nearly fainted at the prices. It was only when I had a dose of paranoia that it struck me that something might be wrong with the site!

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