Sony KDL-V32A12U review

This 32-incher shows just what LCD is capable of

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Our Verdict

Rather expensive but superb performance and looks make for a showcase LCD IDTV

For

  • Built-in Freeview tuner

    Exceptional picture quality

    Good connectivity

Against

  • A little expensive

    Some trailing during fast pans

LCD displays have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years and this 32in Sony set with built-in Freeview tuner is one example of why the days of CRT technology may finally be numbered. It's a good-looking set and, as you'd expect these days, HD-ready too. The spec list includes an HDMI input, and component inputs and the TV has a healthy panel resolution of 1,366 x 768.

In addition to Freeview and analogue tuners, there's also a common interface slot suitable for inserting the Top-Up TV CAM and card. The presence of no fewer than three Scarts, meanwhile, leaves you with plenty of options for connecting your remaining equipment.

It comes with full eight-day DVB EPG where you sort channels by category (e.g. children, news, etc). You can create a favourites list and schedule up to 11 timed events using the manual timer. Bar the odd bit of trailing in evidence during fast camera pans, picture quality really is exceptional for an LCD set, with natural-looking contrast and black levels and plenty of detail from both the analogue and digital tuners let alone hi-def footage.

Watching a close-up of a painting in a gallery during one standard-definition Freeview broadcast, we almost felt we could reach out and touch the canvas. Also testament to the quality of the panel is that there's also little evidence of dimming when viewed from the periphery thanks to the 170-degree viewing angle.

Audio from the built-in 10W speakers isn't too shabby either, bolstered by a Virtual Dolby Pro Logic II mode. It may be a little expensive for some, but this is still an excellent example of what LCD technology is capable of.