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Sony Bravia KDL-32EX723 review

John Archer

By

Reviewed:

1 of 8

Sony KDL-32EX723 - front
  • Sony KDL-32EX723 - front
  • Feature Table
  • Sony KDL-32EX723 - angle
  • Sony KDL-32EX723 - detail
  • Sony KDL-32EX723 - side view
  • Sony KDL-32EX723 - angle 2
  • Sony KDL-32EX723 - lifestyle
  • BRAVIA KDL-32EX723 81 cm 32" 3D LCD TV (Edge LED - DVB-T MPEG4, DVB-C MPEG4 - HDTV 1080p - 16:9 - 1920 x 1080 - 1080p - Surround, Dolby Digital Plus - 100 Hz)

Summary

Our Score:

7

Pros

  • Good online features
  • Likable 2D picture quality
  • Improved operating system

Cons

  • 3D pictures are seriously flawed
  • Flawed Internet browser
  • No 3D glasses included

Key Features

  • Edge LED lighting
  • Integrated active 3D
  • MotionFlow 200 processing
  • New Bravia Internet Video interface
  • Multimedia playback from USB
  • Manufacturer: Sony
  • Review Price: £614.90

While public interest in 3D TV seems to ebb and flow, one thing that’s never been in doubt is that the manufacturers themselves are excited about 3D. Or at least that was the case until today.

For while the likes of Samsung, Panasonic and LG have all in their (very) different ways delivered significant advances in 3D performance and technology already this year, on the evidence of its brand new KDL-32EX723, Sony hasn’t bothered to improve its 3D pictures at all. In fact, they might even be slightly worse. Yikes.

We wouldn't usually start a review by talking so strongly about an aspect of a TV's performance. But in this case we feel compelled to make it clear right away that if you've come to this review in the hope of finding a good small-screen 3D option, you're in the wrong place. The 32EX723’s 3D pictures are pretty horrible, frankly; a headache-inducing, ghost-riddled mess made all the worse by the fact that they're appearing on a 32in screen.

Sony KDL-32EX723 - front

To be more specific about this, numerous objects in 3D frames routinely appear with serious crosstalk - ghostly echoes of themselves clearly visible to the side of the 'proper' object. Backgrounds, meanwhile, regularly look like an out of focus mush thanks to the cumulative effect of multiple crosstalk areas over parts of the picture you’re not focussing directly on.

Not surprisingly this rapidly causes eye fatigue, as your eyes keep refocusing in an unsuccessfully bid to make the ghosting go away. The fatigue situation is made worse by the relatively small scale of the screen, too.

As noted in our review of the Panasonic L32DT30, moreover, watching 3D on a TV as small as 32in changes the experience from one of being immersed in a 3D world to the less satisfying one of looking through a little 3D window.

Sony KDL-32EX723 - angle 2

To rub all this 3D dissatisfaction in, the 32EX723 doesn’t ship with any of Sony’s new rechargeable active shutter glasses included as standard, meaning that if you want to see for yourself how unacceptable the 32EX723’s 3D pictures are, you’ll need to cough up an extra £100 for each pair of glasses you need.

We guess you could argue that if you’re not bothered about 3D, then you could just get it for its much more satisfying 2D performance (more on this later). But the 32EX723 does have a 3D transmitter built in, so while £634.90 isn’t crazy money for a 2D only 32in TV, you’re bound to be paying at least a little for its 3D functionality.

If you’re still reading this review, then we guess you’re either enjoying the writing (in which case, cheers!) or, more likely, you came to this review more interested in the 32EX723 as a 2D Sony TV. In which case you’re doubtless impatient to leave our 3D rant behind and get on to the rest of the review. So here we go.

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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