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.
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.
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.