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

An entry-level TV with some distinctly mid-range features, the KDL-32CX523 nevertheless has an unfinished feel to it. With Skype coming soon and Track ID refusing to work on our sample, we suspect there's more to come – and there's great potential here for a value-busting living room set.

We liked

The refreshed user interface is a work of art, while the glossy and pin-sharp electronic programme guide for Freeview HD is as good-looking as the hi-def TV channels themselves.

Blu-ray and digital files are also handled well, while the X-Reality processing enables even low-rent online videos to be highly watchable on the full HD screen.

The smartphone app, while not instantly perfect, is intuitive and speedy, and helps lift the KDL-32CX523 above some of its rivals – as does the appearance of BBC iPlayer and its stablemates in the excellent Bravia Internet Video collection.

We disliked

The KDL-32CX523 looks much less plasticky than most TVs of this size and price, but it's a completely uninspiring design. Without LED backlighting there's a question mark over the KDL-32CX523's contrast, and we spotted some blur and judder, too.

The lack of built-in Wi-Fi is understandable, but annoying, given the KDL-32CX523's tremendous haul of online and networking features – though the web browser proved too tricky to read.

Final verdict

Just as X-Reality does with poor quality video, the few niggles we have about the KDL-32CX523's ultimate picture quality should also be glossed over; this is an exciting package from Sony.

Destined to be some people's first taste of an online video hub, and with smartphone control, networking (albeit wired) and the possibility of Skype video calling for upgraders, the KDL-32CX523 has the potential to be one of the best mainstream TVs yet. The phrase 'entry-level' just got a whole lot more exciting.

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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
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
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
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand532 mm
Width with Stand799 mm
Depth with Stand230 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Height502 mm
Width799 mm
Depth70 mm
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 Address
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
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • AC Power Cable
Weight (Approximate)8.70 kg