The 22EX320‘s online services also include a Web browser. But this is rather less cool than BIV’s other features, for the simple reason that it’s pretty much unusable unless you happen to be sat no more than a foot or two from the screen, on account of the tiny size of the browser’s text - even at its maximum ‘zoom’ level.
Actually, it’s fair to say that the TV’s operational menus would also benefit from using larger text, though we realise that there are always going to be issues along these lines when you’re trying to handle as many features as the 22EX320 has on such a small screen.
Matters aren’t helped either, though, by the TV’s rather tortuous onscreen menu structure, which depends on far too many long lists of small text and options that don’t always feel very logically organised. We’ve seen a glimpse of a new ‘Smart Hub’-style operating system Sony is working on for future TVs, and frankly it can’t come soon enough.
The 22EX320’s wi-fi and LAN connections aren’t just for BIV functionality. They can also support playback of files from DLNA-enabled PCs. The only thing they don’t do, in fact, is provide back up to a Freeview HD tuner. For the good reason that the 22EX320 doesn’t have a Freeview HD tuner; just a standard definition Freeview one.
Other connections of note on the 22EX320 include a couple of HDMIs - arguably adequate for a small TV - and a USB port that not only plays back a solid variety of photo, music and video file types, but also, rather remarkably for a such a small and affordable TV, records programs from the Freeview tuner to USB hard drives.
Yet another feature sported by the 22EX320 that we wouldn’t by any means have expected to find on such a small TV is Sony’s new X-Reality processing. This was specifically designed to improve the appearance of compressed video streamed from the Internet, and we have to say it works remarkably well, reducing noise and adding sharpness in a way you just don’t get with most upscaling engines - especially where Internet video is concerned.
As if all this wasn’t enough, the 22EX320 even sports Sony’s Presence Sensor technology, whereby the TV can be set to turn off its screen if a little sensor on its front doesn’t detect the presence of anyone in the room. This is actually a very useful feature on a second-room TV based on our experience of such sets routinely getting left on by various household members. Especially the youngest ones...
After frankly struggling to believe how many features the 22EX320 is giving us for £239, we have to say that its picture quality comes as a bit of a disappointment, for a couple of different reasons.