Sony kdl-32ex524

The KDL-32EX524 has all the hallmarks of a budget, no-frills set – the price, size, its billing as a 'family' TV and the compromised build quality – yet in actual fact it's more special than that.

There's a feast of features on board, ranging from flashy DLNA, Skype and Bravia Internet Video to the Presence Sensor and USB HDD recording. Yes, there's no 3D or 100Hz, and you have to make some picture quality sacrifices, but it's still a decent performer – particularly when it comes to Freeview pictures and web video.

We liked

Web videos look great on the KDL-32EX524 thanks to X-Reality's miracle-working, and despite some motion blur and contrast issues picture quality is at an acceptable level.

The improvements to the operating system are a triumph, making the wide range of functions even easier to access than before. The EPG is slick and cleverly laid out, with crisp graphics and a large live TV box.

Despite the lack of 3D and 100Hz processing, there's a wide range of features on board that make the KDL-32EX524 feel like solid value for money. Highlights include Bravia Internet Video (which thanks to the inclusion of several catch-up TV services is still the best web portal of any manufacturer), DLNA, USB recording, smartphone control and Skype.

We disliked

Motion blur, judder and average contrast prevent this TV hitting the heights of other LED sets, with fast moving objects losing clarity. Detail during dark scenes also loses some definition.

Although the set's black bezel and brushed bottom section are easy on the eye, build quality is merely adequate, particularly the supplied stand.

A few operational niggles, like our inability to stream music and play some hi-def AVI files, might be a turn off, plus the additional hardware required for Skype and Wi-Fi will add quite a chunk onto the price.

Final verdict

See past the picture flaws and missing features and the KDL-32EX524 is a very attractive LCD that punches above its price point with a generous array of features and decent picture performance, which should make you, and the whole family, very happy.

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