Sony KDL-32CX523 review

Smooth images, smartphone control and BBC iPlayer on this so-called entry-level Bravia

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Sony kdl 32cx523

Sound

Fitted with 20W speakers, this 32-incher is never going to reproduce the grumble of a home cinema, but it does a good job with what its got. The Eighties hits in Donnie Darko are reasonably well reproduced, though the darker, more morose orchestral pieces later in the film aren't as spooky as they could be.

Overall, there's a lack of any sparkle, but high volumes don't distort. Adequate, then, for general living room duties, though steer clear of the treble-heavy Clear Voice mode.

Value

On build quality and looks the KDL-32CX523 just about gets by. We're still convinced that 2010's 'monolithic' look was down to a designers' sabbatical rather than the creation of a revolutionary new look, and the 2011 team has been similarly sluggish. The KDL-32CX523 is reasonably streamlined, but its back-to-basics look leaves it far behind Samsung TVs, for starters.

Its 70mm depth seems reasonable at this price, though the width of the actual screen surround – at around 45mm – is a tad too much.

An otherwise sleek-looking set that hides some TV controls behind its left-hand side, the truth about its construction is revealed upon close inspection; that brushed metallic 'look' is just that.

In terms of what you get for your money, the KDL-32CX523 should be considered as a replacement for Sony's outgoing KDL-32EX403, though this updated set adds some unique smartphone, record-to-USB and (soon) Skype features which, for the money, adds up to quite a haul.

Ease of use

The newly designed menus are reasonably easy to skip through, if a little long-winded, but there's no doubting that the KDL-32CX523 – and by extension, all Sony TVs – are among the easiest to use.

Aside from some onscreen menus occasionally being a little sluggish, our major problem with the KDL-32CX523's remote was its insistence on controlling external AV kit. It just wouldn't stay away from a Samsung Blu-ray player we had connected-up, so much so that it proved impossible to get back to Freeview channels while a Blu-ray disc played without recourse to the iPhone app.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyBRAVIA CX
Brand NameSony
Screen Size81.3 cm (32")
Aspect Ratio16:9
EthernetYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)11.40 kg
Backlight TechnologyCCFL
Operating Power Consumption112 W
Standby Power Consumption250 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand532 mm
Width with Stand799 mm
Depth with Stand230 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Height502 mm
Width799 mm
Depth70 mm
ColourBlack
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus
Product SeriesCX
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesPicture and Picture (PAP), Picture in Picture, Child Lock, Favorite Channel Selection, Sleep Timer
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelKDL-32CX523
Product NameBRAVIA KDL-32CX523 LCD TV
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKDL32CX523BU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

If you want high quality Full HD viewing now and the opportunity to stream online entertainment and services in the future, we have the TV for you. Relax and enjoy impressive picture detail knowing there's a whole new world waiting whenever you're ready.

Package Contents
  • BRAVIA KDL-32CX523 LCD TV
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • AC Power Cable
SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)8.70 kg