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Sony Bravia KDL-32EX723 - 2D Saves The Day - Just

John Archer

By John Archer
Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score

7/10

User Score

Review Price £614.90

A couple of more fun offshoots of BIV are facilities that let you either look up information on cast or crew members associated with a programme you’re watching, or let you track down a piece of music that’s playing on the TV just by pressing the TrackID button on the remote control. TrackID proves so scarily accurate, in fact, that it actually becomes addictive.

Despite its 3D problems, the 32EX723 isn’t entirely without interesting specs. For a start, it’s got Sony’s new X-Reality processing, which adds a new detail-enhancement refinement to Sony’s Bravia Engine processing. There’s a two-chip incarnation of X-Reality that adds PRO to its name, designed to improve the quality of Internet video. But this is reserved for models further up Sony’s new range.

Sony KDL-32EX723 - angle

The full HD set also gets MotionFlow 200 processing, combining 100Hz with a scanning backlight to produce better motion.

Happily, for the most part these specs come together to produce a likable 2D performance. It enjoys a decent contrast range, for instance, with punchy peak whites and reasonably dynamic colours resting within the same frame as reasonably dark blacks. As usual with edge LED TVs there’s a touch of backlight inconsistency visible during very dark scenes. But provided you’re sensible with the TV’s contrast/brightness settings, this inconsistency is limited to pretty subdued, small patches of extra brightness in each bottom corner, and so only seldom distracts you.

Colours are natural and subtly defined as well as being vibrant, and detail levels are good. In fact, they’re especially good versus the competition when it comes to showing standard definition sources, suggesting that X-Reality is definitely a worthwhile addition to Sony’s processing toolset.

Sony KDL-32EX723 - lifestyle

The generally good resolution holds up even during sequences containing lots of motion. Haters of motion processing will be pleased to hear that the screen’s fundamental response time is good enough to avoid much blurring or resolution loss without the MotionFlow system engaged. But in what seems to be a growing trend this year, we’d politely suggest that you don’t completely write Sony’s motion processing off without trying it, at least on its Clear setting. For in our opinion it can slightly boost motion performance and clarity while leaving the image looking credible and natural.

The one time you probably shouldn’t use MotionFlow for sure, though, is when gaming, for otherwise you’re unlikely to hit the acceptably low 40ms of input lag we measured using the TV’s Game mode.

Issues with the 32EX723’s pictures include a sense of lost shadow detail during dark scenes, and the fact that while colours are, as noted before, ‘reasonably dynamic’, they’re not as aggressively saturated as those of some rival edge LED TVs. This could, we guess, leave pictures looking marginally muted if you’re wanting to put the 32EX723 in a very bright room environment. But to be honest this is a minor complaint.

Rather more moan-worthy is the 32EX723’s audio. For while things sound absolutely fine with undemanding source material, like your typical TV programme, a well-produced drama or film soundtrack can end up sounding a little muddy and contained, with precious little going on in the bass department and too much packed into a mid-range that isn’t wide enough to cope.

Verdict

As a 2D TV, the 32EX723 is a perfectly respectable mid-range effort. In fact, if its impressive, video-driven online capabilities are up your street, it’s perhaps a bit more than respectable.

If you are thinking about buying a 32EX723 for 3D, though, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Here’s hoping other new sets in Sony’s 2011 range prove more able with 3D, otherwise the brand could be in for a rather tough year.

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b166er

April 27, 2011, 6:07 pm

Sony really seem to have their heads up their bottoms at the moment. £750 for a TV that doesn't really impress.
What would be really good, Trusted Reviews, would be an objective review of some of the faceless brands. For example, is the Tesco UMC 40 (which is probably the guts from a slightly older 40" branded set stuck inside a faceless casing) any good?
For £300, it would certainly be a good deal if it could perform even reasonably well.
That would be the kind of review I would find useful, you know, stuff that people want (ie not 3D) and not with the hefty pricetag.
I'm all for being told it's a pile of crap if that's what it is, but why do mainstream reviewers avoid the budget options? Don't want to upset the big brand names?

Ed

April 27, 2011, 6:56 pm

The quick answer is because we can't get hold of them. As a company that doesn't purchase the products we review, it's very difficult to get hold of these cheap brands through normal means, precisely because the likes of Tesco don't won't us slating them.

b166er

April 27, 2011, 7:18 pm

Thanks for the reply.
Tesco do offer a 28 day return policy, though I see I might have trouble getting you to part with £300 for a week or two!
I guess I'll have to stump up the cash myself and return it if it's rubbish.
Can you confirm that these cheapy sets are often last years decent models recased?

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