Review Price £574.90
Sony KDL-37EX524 - Features & First Picture Quality Thoughts
A search for other features on the 37EX524 quickly establishes that it uses edge LED lighting - something we’d already guessed from the impressive slenderness of its rear. It also boasts Sony’s X-Reality processing, designed to improve the set’s upscaling capabilities, especially where streamed video is concerned.
The rather faffy onscreen menus (though you can also control the TV via Android/Apple apps) have a few more bits and bobs of interest. Unexpectedly you get Sony’s eco-friendly Presence Sensor system, where the TV can turn off its screen if it doesn’t detect any movement in the room over a selectable period of time.
Noise reduction, meanwhile, is broken into three separate noise reduction circuits: a standard one, an MPEG noise option, and a dot noise mode. Plus there are separate black level booster and dynamic contrast systems, edge and detail enhancers, and adjustments to the gain and bias of the RGB white balance elements.
On the downside, the screen is 50Hz only, and doesn’t have a full colour management system. But this is fair enough for a TV of the 37EX524’s size and price.
In assessing the 37EX524’s performance, we’ve decided to get the bad news out of the way first for a change. But don’t worry - that doesn’t mean there’s anything drastically troubling to report.
The 37EX524’s worst image trait is that its HD pictures look a touch soft. This is mostly due to clear evidence of resolution loss over moving objects (pretty predictable on a 50Hz set), and partly due too, perhaps, to the other main issue we have with the set: its slight lack of vibrancy, post calibration. This means that the image doesn’t present edges and details in dark or light areas of the picture as aggressively as we would expect to see with punchier, more brightness-driven screens.
A further minor flaw is that if you get up close to the TV, you can clearly discern small horizontal black lines over the edges of bright objects - in particular people’s faces. However, this flaw is almost indiscernible from a sensible viewing distance - other than, occasionally, as a slightly jagged look to some contours.
Turning to the good news, the lack of ‘punch’ in the 37EX524’s calibrated images is compensated for by one of the best black level performances we’ve seen from an edge LED TV of any price.
This black level success comes on two fronts. First, dark scenes and dark parts of pictures are hardly troubled at all by the sort of general grey overtone that’s still common to some extent on budget CCFL and LED LCD TVs.