The set also has a USB port, which again has multiple uses. You can, as we’d expect, play JPEG stills through it. But MP3 audio and various video formats – including DivX – are also on the playback menu. What’s more, if the idea of hard-wiring the TV to your router via an Ethernet port feels seriously old-fashioned, the 32NX503 follows numerous other recent TVs in allowing you to add an optional extra USB Wi-Fi dongle.
With this in mind, it’s a pity the 32NX503 doesn’t have two USBs, actually. But there you go.
Other connections worth a passing mention include four HDMIs, and a D-Sub PC port if you want to use the TV as a computer monitor.
Exploring the 32NX503’s slightly labyrinthine onscreen menus uncovers a few more features worth mentioning, such as a black correction tool, Sony’s Live Colour processing for richer saturations, a white booster, various gamma adjustments, and MPEG noise reduction.
It’s a pity there’s no 100Hz processing, nor any significant sort of colour management tools. But there is at least Sony’s Bravia Engine 3 (BE3) processing, which will hopefully do its usually fine job of upscaling standard definition pictures and improving various general image elements.
Actually, while the BE3 system is certainly evident in some elements of the 32NX503’s picture performance, overall we still came away from this review feeling a touch disappointed.
This is surprising given the impressive picture quality enjoyed on a couple of Sony’s recent 40in TVs. But there’s no denying that, for instance, the 32NX503’s pictures aren’t particularly crisp. The main reason for this, it seems, is that motion isn’t handled as well as it might have been if, say, the set had provided a 100Hz engine. So resolution is noticeably lost from objects as they pass across the screen, and there’s even a very slight trace of smearing from time to time. This issue can take the edge off HD sources as well as standard def ones.
A more unexpected weakness of the 32NX503’s pictures is that they just don’t look very vibrant, falling short of a number of rival 32in screens – LG and mid-to-top-end Philips sets particularly spring to mind – in terms of both colour richness and brightness. This is especially true once you’ve calibrated the TV so that it’s producing its most convincing black level response.
Probably because of this slightly flat look to colours, we also felt that occasionally tones didn’t look as natural as we’d have liked them too.