As predicted in the review of the 32E5500, I really struggled to find any significant differences between the picture performance of the 32W5500 and the 32E5500. Which means that the 32W5500 is indeed way better value than the 32E5500, and a mostly very accomplished TV by any standards.
Especially striking is how deep black levels are. The night-time backdrop to surprisingly effective gorefest ”30 Days of Night” looks very dark and free of LCD’s grey-mist tendencies, yet there’s also a reasonable amount of background detail to be seen, proving that the screen isn’t having to drop its brightness levels too severely to make such black levels possible.
LCD technology in general has really made great strides with black levels over the course of 2009, but Sony – along with Samsung – is definitely leading the way.
As is so often the case where a TV has good black levels, the 32W5500 also revels in extremely bright, richly saturated colours. These cover a gratifyingly wide spectrum, too, helping the set cope equally comfortably with ultra-rich fare like ”Wall-E” and dour, naturalistic fare like, well, ”EastEnders”. This combination of dynamism and subtlety is notoriously difficult to achieve, and Sony is to be congratulated for pulling it off here.
As noted with the 32E5500, the 32W5500 also does nicely when it comes to reducing the sort of judder that can characterise flat TV playback. Even 24p Blu-rays look smooth provided you’ve got the MotionFlow option active. Just make sure you only set MotionFlow to its Standard level, not high, otherwise you’ll notice numerous processing side effects.
Final aces up the 32W5500’s sleeve are its exceptionally sharp HD presentation, and the way it manages to upscale standard definition sources to its Full HD resolution with plenty of added sharpness but without exaggerating noise. Bravia Engine 3, we salute you.