We know this is hardly the most tantalising way to start a review, but - well - it’s a simple fact that on paper, Sony’s 32EX524 isn’t particularly exciting.
At 32in it isn’t enticingly big - especially as it hits our test benches directly after the enormous 65in Panasonic P65VT30. Its design, while pleasant enough, isn’t groundbreaking or particularly eye-catching. It’s cheap but not exceptionally so. And its pictures are solid without ever threatening to be truly great. So far, so meh.
Yet before you stop reading and go off to do something more interesting instead, here’s the thing: for all its apparent mundanity, we really quite like it.
For while the 32EX524 might only do one thing outstandingly well - which we’re not going to reveal until later, in a desperate bid to resurrect your interest in reading this review - the 32EX524 also doesn’t do anything truly badly, meaning it offers enough as an overall package to represent a very pleasant slice of 32in TV action.
The 32EX524’s design is not one of Sony’s Monolithic affairs, with their heavy-duty, opulent, single-layer finishes. Its finish is rather plasticky and lightweight, but its bezel is pleasingly slim around three of its sides, its rear doesn’t stick out much at all, and the way the metallic grey of the bottom edge contrasts with the gloss black used elsewhere is perfectly pleasant.
Despite the 32EX524’s slimness, Sony has managed to tuck a very healthy number of sockets onto its rear (though people thinking of wall-hanging the set should note that many of the jacks stick straight out of the TV’s rear rather than permitting access from the side). The four HDMIs should cater for your every digital HD need, plus there are two USBs, a LAN port and a D-Sub PC feed. The USBs are able to play back a pretty wide rather than exhaustive selection of video, photo and music file formats, and can also introduce Wi-Fi via an optional dongle.
The star of the connections show, though, is the LAN socket. For this not only allows you to pipe in files stored on a DLNA-ready PC, but also allows you to jack in to Sony’s Bravia Internet Video (BIV) platform.
This, as regular readers will know, is in our opinion currently the best online TV service around. Not because it has the most apps or the best operating system, but simply because it focuses on delivering more of the stuff we really want to find on a ‘Smart TV’ platform: streamed video.