111 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely set
Having last year changed my TV downstairs for a 40" Sony set, I was reluctant to spend more money changing the old 21" CRT upstairs in my study. However, Sony ran a deal during the World Cup to trade in old sets and I managed to get £100 off the price of the KDL32EX403U so I went for it.
The build of the set is not quite as sexy as a Samsung, but feels somehow...
Published on 28 July 2010 by Paul B
115 of 128 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware...standard definition performance is worse than CRT
After having held off buying a flat screen TV for a number of years, I was finally lured in by the 'watch the world cup in HD' adverts and Sony trade in deal (from a high street seller, not Amazon). After just over a week of direct comparison to my old CRT TV I have taken the Bravia back and will be happily living with my old CRT for another few years, safe in the...
Published on 30 May 2010 by John W
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111 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely set,
This review is from: Sony Bravia KDL32EX403U 32-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD Internet TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)Having last year changed my TV downstairs for a 40" Sony set, I was reluctant to spend more money changing the old 21" CRT upstairs in my study. However, Sony ran a deal during the World Cup to trade in old sets and I managed to get £100 off the price of the KDL32EX403U so I went for it.
The build of the set is not quite as sexy as a Samsung, but feels somehow more 'grown up', while still looking very nice in the living room. The stand is a non-swivel model, which is annoying, but does hold the TV firmly and took only 5 minutes to put together. Without this, the TV can be wall mounted as well.
Picture quality on HD is as sharp as you'd imagine with Sony. Colour is well represented and I was very impressed with the blacks from this non-LED set. On my Xbox 360 the quality was perfect for games like Gears of War 2 and Modern Warfare 2, where detail is very important. On SD the picture was less impressive until I found that turning the extra settings for picture quality off. I'm assuming these are used for HD and not SD pictures as the SD picture improved greatly. The Sony set seems to smooth out rough pixels fairly well and the SD picture is watchable, if not the best. It doesn't have the benefit of 100HZ either so on fast moving pictures some ghosting can occur. With a Humax Freesat HD box, however, picture quality on SD was greatly improved due to the box upscaling the picture.
One feature on all new Sony sets is the ability to read USB sticks or Hard Drives. I added my portable 130GB Hard Drive to the side of the TV and it read it immediately. MP4 and DIVX video worked fine, a few lesser known formats didn't run though. Pictures and Music also worked well from the Hard Drive. The TV also allows you to stream from a computer, which I've tried and it works if you can fiddle around and set windows up.
Youtube, 5 on Demand, Lovefilm and several European internet channels are also built in if you plug in an Ethernet cable. Youtube worked well but I found that the search was a bit fiddly on the remote. It's a shame that there is no BBC iPlayer as with other sets.
One last feature which impressed me was the Picture Frame mode. It uses a very low amount of power but produces a lovely quality picture (several supplied, but you can use your own) which actually looks like you have a picture frame. I can imagine this would be perfect if you had the TV on the wall in your sitting room.
Sound is fairly good, the bass felt solid and voices were clear, though it's never going to replace a separate set of speakers. The surround effects are actually pretty good too, supporting Dolby formats and changing 5.1 and DD to a more simple surround method but giving a good result from the two speakers at the base of the unit.
Overall, then, this is a great little set at a good price. Those using it for 360 or PS3 will find that it delivers well. People with just an SD signal may not get the most out of the TV though until Freeview HD comes to their area.
Edit: This set has now had a Firmware update and I'm pleased to say that both BBC iPlayer and a new system called Quiocity, which has a load of up-to-date on demand films in HD and even uses an existing PSN account if you have one, have been added. There is talk of another firmware update to all current Sony sets to add 4OD and ITV Player as well, making the TV even better value for money.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great TV- even for a CRT Fan,
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This review is from: Sony Bravia KDL32EX403U 32-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD Internet TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)If like me you are a CRT TV fan and are not yet convinced by flat screen tv, then check this TV out. I have had this a few weeks now and am totally impressed by the picture quality on this TV. At 32" I find Freeview SD perfectly good, and Freeview HD is superb. I have watched different programs including rugby and movies and am very happy with the TV. Another reviewer mentioned jaggies/border on a newscaster against a CGI background - yes this does exist on this TV, but it is also there to some extent on my 100Hz CRT; all other content I have found to look really good. The ambient light sensor, after a few minutes adjusts to the brightness of the room, as a result I find the picture adjusts and works well in varied light conditions.
I really enjoy the new BBC1 HD and the other HD channels.
The picture is 5 out of 5 - detailed, good colour tones, smooth movement - no judder, the sound is 4 out of 5 - slightly flat, but otherwise pretty good for flat screen. Freeview sd, HD and DVD all look good on this TV.
Great buy - I got ten per cent off and paid quite a bit less a few weeks back - still think its good value at current price - I am going to buy the 37" for the living room next. Was let down by the HDNL delivery company as they said they had delivered the telly - but I could not find out where; Amazon showed sorted by sending a replacement set by an alternative courier company.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony 32" LCD TV - why this one and are we happy with it?,
This review is from: Sony Bravia KDL32EX403U 32-inch Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD Internet TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)When my parents old 26" Toshiba CRT set died I suggested they look at this set in Comet and use it as a benchmark to make their choice. After looking at the same size & same spec Samsung and Panasonic there was clearly little to differentiate one from another as they would all have satisfied the requirement, so it really came down to price. The decision was made on the basis that Sony are currently running an offer to refund the VAT - £67 in this case - so decision made.
One thing we found confusing at first was why the same size Sony set was on offer at a very much lower price in various supermarkets. It was only when we started checking model numbers and features that we realised the most heavily discounted sets only have standard SD Freeview built in rather than HD Freeview built in as this one does.
What do we think of it? Picture - unable to fault the quality of SD or HD as even the SD is better than the old Toshiba.The HD picture is superb. Installing the set and hooking it up to the DVD recorder was simplicity itself, but why oh why have Sony done away with the printed owners manual?
The last Sony product we purchased (DVD recorder with Freeview) had a super manual showing everything you could ever need to know. The main user manual for the TV is now viewed through the TV screen , but is nowhere near as comprehensive and Sony use too many generic descriptions and diagrams covering all models rather than just presenting specfic information applicable to just this model.
Once up and running (which took all of 10 minutes) the only challenge left would have been to master use of a new remote contol, but then we realised that everything that my parents wanted to do could be done by continuing to use their existing Sony DVD recorder remote control thus making life very straightforward.
Another big + was that we found that we were able to dispense with the signal booster that had previouly been necessary to get a decent picture with the old Toshiba set. All in all, a very pleasing purchase.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all-round excellence,
This TV performed brilliantly with both types of picture, HD obviously looking pretty amazing, but what impressed me most is how lcd technology has improved in the last couple of years so that it easily outperforms crt with lower def material, where it used to look awful and smeary with ghosting, shudder and other processing issues. When looking at the bog standard freeview picture with this set, I almost forgot that there was a whole other level of picture quality it was capable of, so good was the image. Switching to the same channel on HD, however, revealed another level of sharpness and depth, something which again surprised me as on a friend's two year old Samsung the difference between the two was much less noticeable. After ordering the set and an amazingly quick delivery time (well done Amazon),watching DVDs on my four year old dvd player (no hdmi) has been a delight and the prospect of blu-ray and real HD (the antenna is coming Aug 2011) has got my mouth (or should that be my eyes?)watering. One area I cannot comment on is gaming as I don't do it.
I have to say there were other very good TVs on show in JL, and one that particularly shone was the Samsung le32c580. This is perhaps more attractive physically than the Sony, which I would describe as minimalist and clean-looking. The picture on the Samsung is perhaps more immediately punchy and the colours very vivid but I think the Sony has a more subtle palette and may be easier to live with in the long term. These things perhaps come down to personal preference, but what clinched it for me was the Sony's internet connectivity, and believe me, I'm no tecchy but the user-friendly menu system looks like it'll make things pretty easy when I finally get the wireless dongle. In case you're wondering, I believe other internet ready sets also need this additional investment and they cost considerably more than this Sony.
All-in-all, a fantastic product and great value even without the VAT back.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The time was right to upgrade,
It's a great set. The picture is excellent, streets ahead of the old CRT, and the sound is decent too (although I've improved things by hooking up to an Audio system). Setting up the internet was easy too - just plug in a network cable to the TV at one and, and your broadband router at the other end, then register the set with Sony.
One added benefit is that it has two Scart sockets - many in this class only have one, where there manufacturers seem to have forgotten that people have PVRs or DVD players which need scart connections - and there's no simple way of linking those "older" devices to am HDMI socket.
I agree with the comments about the lack of a printed manual - a really serious omission for many users.
The Internet links works well - although I have recently upgraded to O2 broadband who've provided a must faster connection than I had with BT Broadband. The BBC Iplayer was added in mid-September 2010, which makes it even more attractive.
Those who can still get analogue signals will find the old teletext functions streets ahead in terms of saving pages in advance - it seemed that everything I looked for had already been "cached" - what a shame it will be when that service is turned off and the awful digital text is our main source of information.
The provision of DLNA connectivity means it is also easy to link to photos, music and video on a Windows 7 PC - I suspect all TVs will have internet connectivity pretty soon.
The only feature it really lacks (as do 99% of the TVs on the market is a pause /rewind live TV facility (which could be done via the USB port, and wouldn't need a second tuner or hard disk), but all in all it's a great set.
58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solution to problem mentioned,
The only problem I had with the set-up was that,initially,I couldn't get the batteries into the remote! The case wouldn't slide open until I also pressed the Power/Standby button on its back. Thereafter, the automatic set-up was fine.
The printed 'Operating Instructions' is a leaflet which directs one to the 'Instructions Manual' built into the set, which results in a lot of tiresome, jumping back and forth. The Manual is a general one, and refers to some features that are not on this set. The 'Options' button enables the user to make a wide range of adjustments to both vision and sound. Vision quality is excellent, whilst sound is average(being half-deaf, I found the 'Clear Voice' option merely shrill). Some of the buttons on the remote are too small.
My only major criticism is one that I suspect is applicable to all Widescreen TVs(this is my first) - screen format. The default setting is Widescreen, and there are four other settings(Smart, which is a misnomer):4:3:Zoom:14:9: - If you change channels, or make an adjustment, the set switches back to Widescreen, regardless of the previous setting!
A minor viewing criticism concerns the very glossy screen surround which creates distracting reflections - Matt would have been much more sensible.
Viewing Freeview HD channels can be stunning, although very few programmes at present are genuinely HD.
I won't realise the full potential of this TV until I get a Broadband router, and a HD PVR(none available at present).
All in all, I'm very pleased with the set.
PS I later resolved the above criticism by pressing Home - Settings - Picture - Screen - (Auto Format on) - changing 4:3 Default from Smart to 4:3
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sony delivers,
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb TV!,
I visited a large retailer to see the picture quality and persuaded toe reluctant assistant to change the TVs (about 40 in the store, all running through one Sky box!) onto a SD transmission - the BBC news, as it turned out. I was horrified to see that EVERY TV in the store had a poor picture quality on SD when standing in front of it, and was about the walk out when a thought struck me - how close do I sit to the TV? Sure enough, when viewed from 10-12 feet the picture quality on every TV improved dramatically. Every LCD TV WILL look rubbish when viewed up close, but it WILL improve when viewed from a more normal distance!
That worry aside, I chose between 4 machines priced between £399 and £450. This Sony machine won hands down - the menus are really nice and slick, the remote looks very classy when stored 'upside down' with only a discreet Sony label and a power button showing, and the picture quality appeared to be much better than any of it's competitors. I bought it in-store (cheaper than Amazon) and have been delighted so far.
I've not used any HD sources yet (no PS3 / BluRay) but like the fact that when Freeview SD arrives this TV will work straight away.
Another benefit is the ability to plug a USB devise straight into the TV and watch a picture slideshow, play music or watch videos.
115 of 128 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware...standard definition performance is worse than CRT,
I have a Virgin cable V+ box that outputs both scart and HDMI, so it was possible to set up both TVs side by side to compare. For standard definition broadcasts, the CRT was far superior...the Bravia had terrible picture processing artefacts around the edges of things; this was particularly noticeable on fast moving sport and in cartoons, where you could see a clear 'bleed' of colours from one area to another. The CRT picture was pin-sharp and much brighter at all times. Somewhat bizarrely, this effect was slightly lessened if you turned the Bravia's picture processing 'off' by selecting the 'Game' or 'Graphics' mode scene selection...I cannot understand why Sony standard picture processing actually makes the picture worse and not better; if you have bought this TV I recommend you change to game or graphics mode for the best picture. In my test the picture went from unacceptably poor in comparison to the CRT, to just about acceptable (but still not as good). If you watch a lot of SD sports, it is still unacceptably poor...maybe this is helped by 100Hz on more expensive models, but I couldn't comment.
HD performance was amazing...really great crystal clear picture. So if most of what you watch is this, then add a star. I would say, however, that when watching the England-Mexico friendly in HD, I found the picture great as long as the camera wasn't moving...on any tracking shots the picture just turned to a blur before settling down when the camera stopped. I personally found this slightly nauseating. My overall impression of watching sports was that I wasn't sufficiently blown away with the HD to compensate for the poor motion performance...I preferred watching in SD CRT.
One of the reasons I bought this particular TV was the networking abilities. This does seem to work really well (although it will cost you another £80 or so if you want to go wireless) and is really intuitive. I connected it up to my network and it was able to pick my DNLA hard drive up very quickly so I was displaying pictures and playing music in no time at all. Beware, however, unlike many other Sony products, this TV doesn't play WMA files (rendering most of my music collection obsolete), and it plays such a limited selection of video formats that I didn't have a single file it would play in my collection. My cameras take videos in .mov and .avi formats and most of my downloaded videos are in divx, so this was a fairly major flaw for me. The internet widgets things were interesting, but the only one most people would use regularly is the BBC iPlayer, which wasn't available for me to try out when I had the set...if it's anything like the freesat implementation this will be a truly amazing feature if you don't have any other way of getting iplayer to your TV. One of the reasons I took this set back is that I realized that you can now buy blu-ray players for around a hundred pounds with all the networking/internet abilities of this TV (including iplayer, etc) and that will play a far greater variety of file formats (some are even wireless). So, for me at least, I would be better off buying a cheaper TV and good blu-ray box than a TV with imperfect DLNA and file playback.
One feature I found of interest to cable customers, is that this TV (and I presume most Sonys that state they can decode DVC signals) can decode digital cable signals without the need for a separate cable box. I can confirm that you can plug the TV directly into cable (you might need to buy a co-ax adapter for a couple of quid) and it will receive all the BBC and ITV channels (including such delights as ITV4+1), C4, FIVE and a few others, but not some other channels you might see on freeview such as E4 and More4. It cannot decode cable HD, so no BBC HD or ITV HD (through cable anyway...haven't tested freeview HD as it's not in my area and I don't have an aerial!). Not too sure about the legality of this, but there is a socket for an adapter to put your cable subscription card in for a more complete service; no idea if Virgin give these out. The picture quality was noticeably poorer than through the Virgin box on some channels, however, implying that the V+ box does do a certain amount of upscaling...I would have thought that this doesn't bode well for those who receive freeview direct to the TV, however.
In summary, don't be put off this TV in particular because of what I have said about the SD performance...I suspect this is actually common to most LCDs and this Sony is no worse than most. If you, as I do, intend to watch mostly SD content for the next couple of years, it's probably not worth retiring the old CRT just yet.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SONY Bravia KDL-32EX403,
I have placed a USB flash drive in the back of the TV with an AVI of a roaring fire. 'Fireplace' is set up as one of my favourites now.
Bravia's internet facility is excellent and the Love Film streaming is a great feature. So much easier than bundling up DVDs in the post.
So far I have found two issues of dissatisfactiuon. Firstly, where is the expected BBC iPlayer feature? Chris Ramtohul from Sony, says that it will happen, but could not give a time frame.
Secondly, the information bar is at the top of the screen, not the bottom. This occludes people's faces in most shots and is far more distracting than having this at the bottom like most other TVs.
Apart from that it is a fantasic television, and the Freeview HD is a great improvement on the SD transmissions. I cant wait for more HD channels to appear on the stream.
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