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Sony KDL-32S2530 review

Sony goes deep, but fails to be picture perfect

Black levels are deep and fully realised

TechRadar Verdict

While we applaud Sony's commitment to righting some of the failings of its original S Series models, this still feels like something of a stop-gap

Pros

  • +

    Good all-round performance

    Tasteful looks

Cons

  • -

    Colours could be better

    Slight motion blur

The concept behind the KDL-32S2530 seems simple: it's out to remedy some of the failings of Sony's original S2000 Bravia LCD TVs, introducing a trio of significant improvements.

First, the HDMI count doubles to two. Second, black levels should benefit considerably from a Dynamic Contrast feature that adjusts the backlight output in response to a scene's brightness. Sony's own figures reckon the 32S2530's contrast ratio is 5000:1 versus 1300:1 for the original S Series models.

Last, and probably least, is the new inclusion of Sony's Live Colour Creation processing. This uses algorithms to improve green and red hues, and overall colour toning.

Other tricks that continue from the original S Series include component video, PC and digital tuner; Sony's 'SPVA' technology allowing for a wider viewing angle than is common in the LCD world; and Sony's Bravia Engine video processing system for boosting colours, black levels, fine detailing, and noise reduction.
The changes made for the 32S2530 certainly improve picture quality - but not by quite enough.

Black levels are transformed, achieving both greater depth and so more shadow detailing subtlety. There's a touch of new instability in dark areas as the dynamic contrast function does its thing, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

Advantages introduced by the Live Colour Creation system are considerably less obvious, with little discernible difference between the colours of S Series models new and old. But that's not the end of the world given how vibrant colours were on the original S Series. Sony's knack for showing HD pictures with phenomenal sharpness continues.

Our problems with the 32S2530's pictures are twofold. First, although rich, colours can sometimes look a touch unnatural, especially where skin tones during dark scenes are concerned. Second, the picture can get slightly soft when there's lots of motion to handle, especially when watching standard-definition signals.

Sonically the 32S2530 is very respectable, combining good power with decent frequency range.

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