Sony Bravia KDL-37EX503 / KDL37EX503 review

  • £850

Freeview HD and media streaming grace this brilliant LCD TVs feature set

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Our Verdict

Sony delivers groundbreaking Freeview HD reception and video streaming features for a surprisingly affordable price

For

  • Freeview HD tuner
  • Very good online features

Against

  • Colours can look muted
  • HD not very crisp

At last, we have a 37in TV that carries a Freeview HD tuner that doesn't cost the earth. To celebrate the ground-breaking nature of the Bravia KDL-37EX503, Sony has departed from its usual aesthetic by adding a comely strip of brushed aluminium to the bottom edge.

The set's rear is attractive, too, thanks to the inclusion of four HDMIs, a USB for playing MP3, JPEG, and AVC/AVCHD/DivX/MPEG4 video files, and an Ethernet port. As well as enabling you to stream from DLNA PCs, the Ethernet connects to Sony's new Bravia Internet Video platform.

This is a spectacular improvement on the previous AppliCast system and offers full video streaming from a huge array of sources including YouTube, Daily Motion, singingfool, and perhaps most significantly, LoveFilm. This latter portal will soon let you stream full films via your account, provided your broadband connection is up to the job.

The KDL-37EX503 provides further help in this regard by carrying a seven-second buffer and automatic PING detection.

Other significant findings include Sony's MotionFlow 100Hz processing, the brand's dependable Bravia Engine 3 video processing system, Live Colour processing and MPEG noise reduction.

Kudos must also go, too, to the Freeview HD EPG, which is neat and tidy and shows a small version of your selected channel's picture.

Performance

The 37EX503 happily backs up its Freeview HD innovation with some impressive LCD picture quality. This kicks off in fine style with its black level response, which is among the deepest we've seen on a non-LED LCD TV.

Even better, the black is consistent across the screen, with only the faintest trace of light bleeding into the corners. Colours are natural and exceptionally subtly blended while the set's various processing systems do well at reining in LCD's inherent motion blur problems while generating precious few unwanted side effects.

This motion prowess helps both HD and SD pictures look enjoyably detailed. As satisfying as they are, HD pictures aren't as pin-sharp as we've seen on one or two rival screens. Though this isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're watching one of the slightly grainy HD broadcasts that occasionally blot Freeview HD's generally good quality copybook.

Another area where it could improve is its colour vibrancy, with tones looking slightly muted versus leading lights like the Philips 37PFL9604. Plus, of course (though this is hardly Sony's fault) Freeview HD's coverage is currently rather limited.

But with the 37EX503 adding an above average audio performance to its mighty fine pictures, it's easily good enough overall to be one of Freeview HD's first TV stars

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Tech Specs

Product TypeLCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces2
Product FamilyBRAVIA EX503
Brand NameSony
Screen Size94 cm (37")
Aspect Ratio16:9
EthernetYes
Analog TunerNTSC, PAL, SECAM
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)14 kg
Backlight TechnologyCCFL
VESA Mount Standard300 x 300
Operating Power Consumption149 W
Standby Power Consumption200 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
S-VideoYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand600 mm
Width with Stand921 mm
Depth with Stand260 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate100 Hz
Height564 mm
Width921 mm
Depth97 mm
ColourBlack
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Product SeriesEX503
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesPicture in Picture, Picture and Picture (PAP), Child Lock, Sleep Timer, Teletext
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelKDL-37EX503
Product NameBRAVIA KDL-37EX503 37" LCD TV
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKDL37EX503U
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

37" (94cm), Full HD 1080, Wi-Fi Ready, LCD TV with Motionflow 100Hz, online services & eco features. From stunning Full High Definition pictures to advanced connectivity, the BRAVIA EX503 combines fun and features with style. It's everything you're looking for in one TV.

Package Contents
  • BRAVIA KDL-37EX503 LCD TV
  • AC Cable
  • Operating Instructions
  • Table-Top Stand
  • Remote Commander
SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)11.80 kg