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Sony KDL-32HX753 review

 Review: November 2012  
 

Rating: 3 stars

In a nutshell: This 32 inch Sony TV has impressive looks, but picture quality is lacking.



 

Design & looks

If you hanker for a Sony but your budget (or your room size) isn't large enough for a high-end model, you might find yourself looking at the KDL-32HX753. It certainly looks the business, with its glossy black frame and seamless edges setting off the flat black panel. The chrome edging adds a contemporary stylish look, and it's fairly slimline too, measuring just 46mm deep. The easel stand looks smart and is practical too, being fully adjustable, so you can tilt the TV backwards 6° if you have a low-lying stand. You can sit back and sneer at your friends with their Samsungs and their LGs.

Picture quality

Switch the TV on, however, and you might start to wish you'd spent more time researching the competition. Just because this is a Sony, doesn't mean that it offers the best picture quality in its price bracket. In fact, it doesn't.

The main problem is that this TV uses simple edgelit LED backlighting in combination with a cheap LCD panel. Don't be bamboozled by talk of Sony's Advanced Contrast Enhancer or Live Colour Technology. None of that counts if the hardware isn't up to scratch.

The picture may look OK when you view it casually in the shop, but look harder and you'll see what we mean. Look at the dark parts of a scene. Are they truly dark, or merely grey? Do you notice light leaking from the bright parts of the scene into the dark areas? Does the whole thing in fact look rather murky? Now move a few feet to the left or right so that you're viewing the screen off-centre. Did you notice how the image faded? You may even have noticed the colours change. This phenomenon is called poor viewing angle.

These features are not inevitable in flat panel displays. They're caused by tight cost cutting on Sony's part. After all, Sony's television division loses millions every year. But don't let that become your problem.

3D

Are you still reading? We just can't put you off! Well, the worst is over, because this is a 3D TV, and the 3D performance is actually pretty good. The TV uses active 3D technology, preserving full 1080p HD, and is free of any significant "ghosting" or crosstalk problems. That's because of the fast 400Hz response time.

Our only criticism is that no glasses are included with the TV, and kitting out a family of four could easily add £100 to the overall cost. Buy a Samsung or an LG and you'll have between 2 and 4 pairs of glasses included.

Audio quality

Audio quality is average from this TV. It's certainly on a par with rivals from other manufacturers. With two 10W speakers and an optional S-Force surround effect, you'll get decent mid-range performance, although high- and low-frequencies are weak. You shouldn't notice any problems watching the news or your favourite soap, but you might find that action movies sound a little flat.

Smart TV

You'd expect a television at this price point to include Smart TV, and so it does. Smart TV lets you connect to the internet so you can browse the web, catch up with facebook and twitter and stream movies and music to your TV.

You can even add an optional camera and microphone if you'd like to use your TV for Skype calls over the internet.

Connectivity

When it comes to connectivity, the HX753 range has the same range of options as the more expensive Sony TVs, with Wi-Fi, ethernet, 4 HDMIs, USB and plenty of other connections too.

A Freesat HD tuner is also included. The only thing missing is Freesat.

Conclusion - over-priced

If the TV had been more competitively priced, we'd have been prepared to overlook its faults, but at around £600 we just can't, particularly when its main fault is the picture quality. Cloudiness and poor viewing angles aren't going to make for a satisfying viewing experience, however good the TV looks when it's switched off (and it does look nice, admittedly). Although 3D performance is good and sound quality is average, we can't stop noticing that Samsung's UE32ES6710 has better overall picture quality, costs less and comes with Freesat HD and two pairs of 3D glasses included.


Sony KDL-32HX753 features include:

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