In the past Sony's plasma and LCD TVs failed to impress. They weren't bad, just average. But recently Sony has put all its energy into making HD-ready LCDs. And the KDL-32S2010 proves this was the right decision for the Japanese giant to take.

This 32in LCD has two features from Sony's R&D department: SPVA and a Bravia engine. Super-patterned vertical alignment (SPVA) is designed to increase the KDL-32S2010's viewing angle by splitting pixels into four sections and angling them. This lets you view this LCD screen further from the side without the picture fading away or colours distorting.

The Bravia engine's advanced picture-processing system has many jobs: it scales the picture to fit the LCD panel digitally (preserving picture quality), boosts the contrast range, and enriches reds, greens and blues individually. And it allows you to set levels for noise reduction and sharpness.

As Nightwatch is a monster movie, it's mostly filmed in the dark. Shadow-filled subways, alleys at night, noirish offices and apartments provide a challenge to any LCD. But the KLD-32S2010 handles the film with aplomb.

The Bravia engine makes short work of any shadows, expanding the contrast range so detail is retained even in the darkest shadows. Meanwhile the film's limited daylight scenes are vibrant and clear. And action is smooth, with negligible blurring or lag.

This performance was matched when watching Sky HD and Freeview programming.

After being wowed by the picture we expected the same from the audio, but were disappointed. While the soundstage's treble and mid-tones are decent, the bass is poor. The audio can be improved by activating the TruSurround XT and Dynamic Audio features, but this has little effect on the bass. This isn't a problem when watching regular TV, but a lack of deep bass is irritating when watching a blockbuster movie.

The KDL-32S2010 is reasonable value for money and this set should go on any HDTV fan's shortlist, as well as movie fans who don't mind investing in a separate sound system.