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Sony Bravia KDL-37EX403 review

John Archer



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Review Price £458.99

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.

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December 21, 2010, 2:28 pm

I wasn't previously aware that UK buyers did buy smaller TVs on average than our US cousins, however it doesn't surprise me. I'd be interested to know why people think this might be, although my first suspicion is simply because we have smaller homes.


December 21, 2010, 3:16 pm

@MSIC: Smaller homes not built from balsa wood! :op

Seriously though it may bethat we here in the UK are aware that "bigger" does not always equal "better" and viewing distance is an important consdideration.


December 21, 2010, 4:28 pm

Given that one of the reasons for buying a smaller tv is likely to be space - why on earth do the manufacturers put huge bezels on these models - especially at the sides - fail.


December 21, 2010, 8:02 pm

@ Epic I agree. Although I don't think this is any worse re: bezel than most current TVs, I don't have space to go from 32in to 37, 40 or 42in until bezels virtually disappear. Personally I will wait for an OLED to increase size, perhaps from LG or Samsung in 5-10 yrs. Perhaps also with >1080p so it can do 1080p passive 3d!


December 21, 2010, 10:19 pm

@MSIC: I'd be interested to know why people think this might be

I'd say we have an above average sized living room, but I'd say 37" TV is the max size we would go for without the TV taking over the living room & looking out of place, currently using 32" & I'd say it complements the room rather than dominating it. But this doesn't stop most the people on council estate's buying 50"+ Tv's.

For large screen action I'm using a PJ.


December 22, 2010, 3:10 pm

I'm surprised at the ignorance of thinking people bu small TVs to be cheap actually exists. Especially in a review on this website.

I was looking to buy a 37" or 40" TV this month but when I went in the shop I realsied for my living room it would be a little big and so went with the 32" (32KDL703) which it plenty big enough really.

I don't think it's people in the UK being cheap I think it's people in the UK being realistic that we don't want massive screens domination the living space, we just want a good quality picture at a size that suits or needs and available space.

I guess in America electronics are cheaper (no VAT for sure!), so perhaps that tempts folk into buying bigger screens. That and the size of their living space are probably the two biggest factors.


December 30, 2010, 6:48 pm

As this set got a 9 for value, you might be interested to know that the 40" version is now being sold by several retailers for even less! I chose one over an equally priced Samsung LE40C30 as the Sony included Freeview HD and the design (IMO) and build were nicer - the compromise being that the picture is not quite as impressive as on the Samsung. Anyway whatever your preferences, right now is a very good time to pick up a TV on the cheap (relatively speaking).


March 9, 2013, 8:59 pm

OMG people going on about size of TV, the point is not that buying a small TV is "cheap", it;s that a 1080p tv at this sive in a normal living room where you sit more than 5 feet away from TV is a complete waste, might as well buy a lesser resolution.

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