Review Price £499.00
Sony KDL-32EX524 - Online features and First Picture Quality Findings
Among the services on offer are the BBC iPlayer, the Demand 5 Channel 5 catch up service, Sony’s Qriocity movie subscription platform, LoveFilm, YouTube, a library of classic Sony-owned TV series, and a Sky News video bulletin ‘app’. There are also Facebook, Twitter and Skype applications, and a bunch of other more ‘niche’ video streaming sources too.
Finding this treasure trove of online content - much of it available for free - on an affordable 32in TV is arguably reason enough in itself to think about getting a 32EX524 - especially for a second room.
Sony has tidied-up its interface for BIV too, meaning it requires much less scrolling up and down than the previous interface. That said, there’s still plenty more work that needs to be done before the BIV interface can hold a candle to the coolness and effectiveness of the latest ‘Smart Hub’ interfaces developed by LG and Samsung.
In fact, the entire control interface for the 32EX524 could do with an overhaul. Its layout is confusing, and getting to some key menus seems a much more long-winded process than it should be.
Tucked away within the onscreen menus, if you can be bothered to track them down, are a few tweaks and adjustments you might want to experiment with. There’s a black level booster, for instance, as well as three types of noise reduction; the facility to adjust the gain and bias of the red, green and blue colour elements; a detail booster; an edge enhancer; and the option to adjust the level of or deactivate entirely a dynamic contrast system.
While the 32EX524’s picture quality isn’t truly exceptional, it’s certainly very good. One thing that stands out right away is the depth of its black level response. There’s much less of the grey mist over parts of pictures that should look black than you commonly see with similarly affordable TVs.
What’s more, this black level depth seems quite ‘native’, in that the screen manages to retain a decent degree of shadow detail in dark areas.
Even better considering the 32EX524 uses edge LED technology is the way very dark scenes aren’t blighted by backlight inconsistencies. Even the very corners of the picture largely avoid the light ‘pools’ that we’ve seen to some degree or other on most edge LED TVs.
The 32EX524’s colours are good too. Vibrant yet natural, they are rendered with a surprising level of subtlety for a cheap set. Even skin tones look real, rather than blotchy or plasticky as often happens with relatively cheap 32in TVs.