Sony KDL-26EX553 review

A small, smart and serious TV for a bedroom or kitchen

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Although the Sony KDL-26EX553 has core quality, its apps are its ace-cards. A king among fools is BBC iPlayer, as usual, though it does have its brethren, BBC Sport and BBC News, for company, as well as YouTube, Demand 5, Sky News and, err,

In terms of movies, you get Lovefilm, Netflix and Sony's own Video Unlimited. Not a bad haul, though there are many, many other apps that aren't worth listing.

Sony KDL 26EX553 review

The user interface generally works well, though Sony's services - Video and Music Unlimited, as well as newcomer PlayMemories (a cloud photo storage service) - are siphoned off on their own, away from other apps.

There are also a couple of different ways that apps are displayed (Twitter and Facebook are separate, too), which might confuse some.

Sony KDL 26EX553 review

One final gripe is that installing firmware updates - a very regular occurrence on smart TVs - is a rather manual experience; the GUI informs us of the update and what we should do/where we should go to install it, when it should be completely automatic and invisible.

While we're on 'new media' we ought to mention the excellent Sony Media Remote app. We tested the Sony Media Remote iPhone app, though a Sony Media Remote Android app is also available.

Sony KDL 26EX553 review

Picture quality

We really rate the Sony KDL-26EX553 on the pictures front; pictures from Andrew Marr's History of the World on BBC HD are perfectly judged in terms of colour, and certainly had enough detail at this size. The purity of black areas of the image is also noticeable, even at wide viewing angles, and though there's scant fine shadow detailing on show, that's really not critical on a 26-inch TV.

Switch to a DVD of The Last Emperor and the Sony KDL-26EX553 does a fine job of upscaling, though its smooth ways even better suit the likes of YouTube, where some archive footage of Pele's best goals appeared clean and highly watchable.

Sony KDL 26EX553 review

Wall-E on Blu-ray looks simply fabulous, with strong colours and just enough detail, and though we did notice the odd blur during fast camera pans, this was cured by engaging the mild Film Mode - the oft-irritating frame interpolation feature that, for once, gets rid of blur and judder but doesn't introduce nasty side-effects.

The Sony KDL-26EX553 never produces an in-yer-face, ultra-bright image, but the nuanced, refined and slightly muted treatment of all sources makes this a surprisingly cinematic and versatile performer.

Sony KDL 26EX553 review

Sound quality

Audio is merely average for a small TV, but since it's so ambitious elsewhere, its weedy sound comes as a disappointment.

Dialogue is very sharp - it's clearly been optimised for this type of audio - but other effects very obviously come from underneath the screen.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format720p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-C (MPEG2)
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Number of HDMI Ports2
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyBRAVIA
EU Energy LabelB
Brand NameSony
Screen Size66 cm (26")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle176°
Vertical Viewing Angle176°
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)6.90 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
Operating Power Consumption61 W
Standby Power Consumption300 mW
RMS Output Power16 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand426 mm
Width with Stand642 mm
Depth with Stand187 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports1
Energy Consumption per Year50 kWh
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Height412 mm
Width642 mm
Depth59 mm
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse
Maximum Resolution1366 x 768
FeaturesSleep Timer, Picture and Picture (PAP), Web Browser, Favorite Channel Selection
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelKDL-26EX553
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKDL26EX553WU
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

A world of entertainment at your finger tips
Start an Internet TV revolution in your home. Discover an exciting new world of on-demand services, catch-up TV, apps and more - all on a clear, highly detailed big picture and slim LED screen. It's time to take control of your entertainment from the heart of your home.

Package Contents
  • Remote Control
  • Batteries
  • AC Power Cable
  • Warranty Card
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)6.10 kg