Elsewhere, the 32E5500 revels in the quality of Sony’s latest MotionFlow engine. For the set does a really impressive job of reducing judder when showing fast camera pans of objects pelting across the screen. What’s more, provided you don’t set the MotionFlow circuitry any higher than its Standard level, you get the judder-reduction benefits without having to suffer lots of horrible processing side effects.
The only issue I had with the 32E5500’s pictures, in fact, was the appearance a couple of times during my tests of a subtle but noticeable blue glow over objects appearing against very dark backgrounds. For instance, near the start of Casino Royale, there’s a shot where an African freedom fighter opens three cases of money, before the camera tracks with him as he turns away from the money and crosses the room. And as his face looms close to the camera and hits roughly the centre of the screen, the blue glow over and around it is pretty defined – even with the contrast set reasonably low, noise reduction circuits deactivated, and automatic contrast and black level boosting circuits set to low. Odd! Just as well this phenomenon only seems to occur rarely.
The 32E5500’s sound is decent enough for a 32in TV. It does a better job than many of keeping dialogue clear and believable during action scenes, for instance, and manages to avoid sounding horribly compressed, or harsh in the upper register. Perhaps inevitably there’s not enough range at the bass end of the audio spectrum to always counterbalance trebles as satisfyingly as I’d like, but this is true of 95 per cent of the competition as well.
Despite very, very occasionally suffering from a strange image glow issue, the 32E5500 is another fine performer from the latest Bravia stable. So far, so good. However, while we haven’t actually tested its 32W5500 stable mate, we have no reason whatsoever based on its specification to suppose that it will perform differently to the 32E5500. And since it’s more than £300 cheaper, I simply don’t consider the 32E5500’s fancy-pants design enough reason to justify its extra cost. Which is why I’ve been forced – for the first time ever, so far as I can recall – to give a TV that earns a 9 for picture an overall mark of just six.