The Sony 32HX753 is mostly enjoyable to use - once you learn its shortcuts.
For starters, it's a major relief to find that Sony has given a pretty fulsome revamp to its online service interface. You can access it directly via a prominently positioned, boldly coloured button on the remote control, and you're then presented with a very attractive and strikingly simple set of on-screen menus.
That's not to say these menus are perfect, though. For instance, it is a bit galling that the Video and Music content sections are reserved exclusively for Sony's music and video services, with the likes of BBC iPlayer, Lovefilm and Netflix being relegated to the general App menu.
Though to be fair, taking this approach does enable the TV to showcase online music and video titles on the home page, as well as providing you with one-button access to titles in a way that wouldn't be possible if you first had to choose your video streaming provider before getting to any direct film lists.
Sony might also need to add extra content sections over time if it wants to keep things simple and save you from too much scrolling down pages of stuff. The SEN is a little sluggish at times too, with the main SEN menu routinely taking an irritatingly long time to load.
The remote control is a decent effort. It's a bit lightweight and plasticky, but its layout turns out to be quite effective for the most part, and most of its buttons are clearly labelled, well spaced and of a good size.
The biggest problem with the Sony 32HX753's operating system is the main menu used for accessing all the features beyond the SEN ones. It uses the XrossMediaBar double axis approach, which while effective enough on the PS3 is pretty grim for a TV, making it difficult in the extreme to find particular features - even if it's something as important as the set's core picture settings.
Actually, Sony itself seems to recognise there are problems with the XrossMediaBar, since it's handily added an Options button to the remote control that provides a very welcome shortcut to a selection of the set's most important features. This Options menu frankly saves the day, but in doing so makes the main menu, called up by the more prominent Home button, look even more ill-considered.
The Sony 32HX753's audio is slightly above average by small, skinny TV standards. So long as you're careful to select the correct audio setting for your circumstances (there are separate modes for wall hanging and desktop stand mounting, and they make a BIG difference), there's a decently well-rounded quality to the audio mix, with no overt treble harshness and credible male and female vocals.
There's even a touch of bass to be heard during explosive action sequences - though not enough to really make the soundstage seem muscular. The set's mid-range isn't quite dynamic enough, either, to expand as much as we'd like to meet the challenge of such action scenes, leaving proceedings sounding a little thin and crowded.
Although the Sony 32HX753 isn't spectacularly cheap for a 32-inch TV, at £699 (around $1,095), let's not forget that it sits only one step down from the top of Sony's new 2012 range. Admittedly this step down is quite a large one from the stellar Sony HX853 televisions, but the set is still capable of producing some superior picture quality so long as you are very careful with its settings.
It also helps justify its price with the impressive extent and quality of its online services and multimedia playback capabilities.