Sony KDL-32WD603

FOR De­tailed and ex­cit­ing pic­ture; easy to use; great price AGAINST Thin sound; ri­vals of­fer more fea­tures and/or apps

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

If you’re look­ing for a good 32in TV on a bud­get, buy the Sony KDL32WD603. It re­ally is that sim­ple. It has an HD Ready res­o­lu­tion, a Free­view HD tuner, wi-fi, and even comes with Net­flix and BBC iplayer. More im­por­tantly, pic­ture qual­ity is su­perb for the money.

With stun­ning Ul­tra HD 4K around, it seems odd to be prais­ing an HD Ready pic­ture. But the Sony KDL32WD603 de­liv­ers such a nat­u­ral, de­tailed and well-bal­anced im­age for its price that we find our­selves en­joy­ing the TV with­out count­ing pix­els. The rel­a­tively small screen size no doubt helps too.

Nat­u­ral pic­ture

Play Mad Max: Fury Road on Blu-ray (ad­mirably down­scaled to fit the Sony’s res­o­lu­tion) and you get a sense of the an­gry heat of the waste­land, and the rough tex­ture of sand.

While it’s not quite as crisply fo­cused as a Full HD screen such as the LG 32LH604V, there is an abun­dance of de­tail. Strands of hair are dis­tin­guish­able, wrin­kles on peo­ple’s faces look nat­u­ral and the tex­tures of clothes are eas­ily con­veyed by the Sony’s tal­ented screen.

How­ever, it’s the black depth, and the ac­com­pa­ny­ing in­ten­sity of any­thing bright against it, that earns the Sony its five stars. Blacks are deep and solid, but they don’t swal­low up de­tails as they do on the LG. And, un­like on the Pana­sonic TX32DS500B, they re­main con­sis­tent through­out dark and day­light scenes.

Colours are beau­ti­fully bal­anced: blue skies look as be­liev­able as a well-worn red shirt. The KDL32WD603 doesn’t try to gloss over any de­tail or shade to make it look more ap­peal­ing, it just de­liv­ers the pic­ture as nat­u­rally as possible.

That same ap­peal­ing char­ac­ter comes through when watch­ing re-runs of Friends on Free­view HD and, apart from a soft­en­ing around the edges, the pic­ture re­mains a sta­ble and en­ter­tain­ing watch.

While there’s not much to complain about with pic­ture qual­ity, there’s lit­tle heft to the Sony’s sound, which puts the fo­cus on the bright top end. A good amount of de­tail still keeps us lis­ten­ing, though, as voices cut through sound ef­fects and con­vey plenty of ex­pres­sion.

We have heard bet­ter, more full­bod­ied sound from ri­val 32in TVS such as the LG 32LH604V and the Pana­sonic 58 TX32DS500B, and would con­sider pair­ing the Sony with a sound­bar or a pair of bud­get pow­ered speak­ers for a big­ger and more en­velop­ing sound.

Slim and lean sound­ing

Sony has kept things sim­ple with two HDMI in­puts, two USB ports, and an op­ti­cal out­put avail­able on the back. One more HDMI in­put would be good though, es­pe­cially for jug­gling Blu-ray/dvd player, games con­sole and Sky box.

You’ll find Net­flix and BBC iplayer on the Sony, but no Ama­zon In­stant Video, which is a shame. Un­like Pana­sonic’s TX32DS500B (£300), Sony doesn’t in­clude all the UK TV catch-up ser­vices – there’s no ITV Hub or All 4, but you do get iplayer and De­mand 5.

Con­nect­ing to your home’s net­work takes sec­onds, whether you’re us­ing the wired eth­er­net con­nec­tion or Sony’s built-in wi-fi. Both meth­ods prove sta­ble when watch­ing Youtube videos.

It may be only be a 32in HD Ready screen, but this bud­get Sony is a smart­look­ing set. It’s a slim flatscreen TV for starters, which makes it stand out against the chunky sets at this bud­get price. The Sony’s build qual­ity feels a notch above that of LG and Pana­sonic too.

The slim black bezel sur­round­ing the screen isn’t in­tru­sive, and the sturdy stand is easy to slot in. On the other hand, that slim­ness does go some way to ex­plain­ing why the Sony’s sound qual­ity is on the lean side.

What warms us fur­ther to this Sony is how easy it is to use. The sim­ple in­ter­face may not be as vis­ually ex­cit­ing as LG’S WEBOS, but it just works. There are no hic­cups or lags, scrolling through the TV guide is quick and smooth, and the re­mote works re­spon­sively with the TV.

One small nig­gle: you can’t tweak pic­ture set­tings while watch­ing iplayer (try­ing to ac­cess the home menu au­to­mat­i­cally ex­its any app on screen). But when there’s so much we like about the Sony KDL32WD603, that’s a mi­nor com­plaint. It’s a lovely TV and its pic­ture qual­ity is so good we didn’t no­tice we were watch­ing an HD Ready TV.

If you’re look­ing for a small TV on a bud­get – this is the one you want.

Deep, in­tense blacks high­light beau­ti­fully bal­anced colours and earn this 32in Sony TV the full five stars

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.