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Sony Bravia KDL-32EX403 review

John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Sony Bravia KDL-32EX403


Our Score


User Score


  • Amazingly affordable
  • Picture quality better than expected
  • Excellent online system


  • Motion blur
  • Unresponsive remote
  • Black levels could be better

Review Price £354.00

Key Features: Full HD resolution; Remarkably cheap; Bravia Engine 3 processing; Bravia Internet Video; Freeview HD tuner

Manufacturer: Sony

With the Japan earthquake disaster causing delays to Sony’s new range of TVs, sets like its 32in KDL-32EX403 are enjoying a longer shelf life than they might otherwise have expected. Which is starting to look like good news in one way, as the prices kicking around for the 32EX403 now look eye-catching to say the least.

In fact, we’ve found one selling online for just £354. That’s the sort of price you might fairly find attached to 32in TVs from third-tier brands like Goodmans or Bush, not Sony. In other words, it’s so cheap that if it lives up to its Sony branding, it has the potential to be one of the biggest TV bargains ever.

It starts nicely, thanks to a glossy finish and an attractive two-tone black and grey colour scheme. The glamour only works if you’re looking straight at it, though; turn it to an angle or pop your head down its side, and you’ll be quite startled by just how far it sticks out on its rear compared with the increasingly svelte LCD models that dominate the TV world now.

This fact reveals right away that the 32EX403 uses standard CCFL lighting rather than the more fashionable edge LED lighting - but this is no more than we would expect of such a cheap TV.

Any slight disappointment you might feel at the size of the 32EX403’s rear quickly dissipates when you see how many connections that rear carries. In fact, it’s here that the £354 price starts to look scarcely believable.

For starters, there are four HDMIs - the same amount you might expect on 32in TVs costing three times as much. There’s also a USB port for playback of music, photo and a few video file formats. But even better is the discovery of a LAN port which permits you to either access stuff stored on a networked DLNA PC or receive Sony’s Bravia Internet Video platform.

Actually, the DLNA compatibility proves to be a touch disappointing, with no AVI or MKV support. But really any sort of multimedia capability should be considered a bonus for £254. Also, the Bravia Internet Video platform still holds up surprisingly well considering we’ve recently seen swanky new 2011 online TV services launched by Panasonic and Samsung.

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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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