Even though 40in TVs don’t tend to cost an awful lot more and have a reputation for being better performers, the 37in TV market remains bullish in the UK. A result, we suspect, of the UK’s generally rather conservative approach to TV buying, which finds them feeling brave enough to step up from their old 32in TVs to something five inches bigger, but not quite brave enough to enter a whole new size category.
We also suspect that among this relatively conservative section of the market place, there’s quite an affinity with the Sony brand name. Not to mention a desire not to spend any more money on a new TV than they really need to. All of which makes it little wonder that the Sony KDL-37EX403 we’re looking at today frequently features quite highly in UK Internet searches. For as well as fitting the 37in size requirement, it’s also strikingly affordable for a Sony-branded telly, coming in at under £500 from a few online retailers. What’s more, you might be able to knock a chunk more off that price if you take advantage of Sony’s current VAT-back deal.
The 37EX403 is not a bad looker either, despite not sporting Sony’s chic Monolithic design. The combination of black for the top and sides of the bezel and a grey bottom edge works rather well in an understated way, and while the rear end protrudes quite a long way by the standards of today’s TVs, it’s pleasantly sculpted.
Its connectivity is surprisingly expansive for such an affordable TV too. For a start, you get four HDMIs when it wouldn’t have been at all surprising to only find three. But other highlights include a LAN socket, a D-Sub PC port, and a USB slot.
There’s gold in some of them there sockets, too. Not literally, of course. But the USB and especially LAN sockets open up a whole world of content beyond the confines of the mere TV. For instance, the USB can play back video, music and photo files, including a healthy selection of different video formats. Or it can make the TV Wi-Fi capable via an optional Wi-Fi dongle. The LAN can provide a conduit for content stored on a DLNA PC (essentially catering for the same files as the USB port), or it can pipe you through to Sony’s ‘walled garden’ of online content, dubbed Bravia Internet Video (BVI). More on this later.