Sony Bravia KDL-32EX503 review

It's no LED, but Sony's polished Essential range lives up to its name

Sony Bravia KDL-32EX503
If you are interested in getting Freeview HD then this TV is already equipped with the right tuner

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Sony bravia kdl-32ex503 angle

This set's forerunner, the KDL-32W5500, did have issues with motion blur and contrast and we're pleased to say that these no longer exist.

While showing Invictus on Blu-ray it's immediately obvious that the KDL-32EX503 is among the finest non-LED sets around.

Close-ups during Nelson Mandela and François Pienaar's meeting reveal a decent degree of sharpness, though the most impressive aspect is how clean the image is. It's so spotless that we'd go as far as to say that this is the most cinematic picture we've yet seen on a LCD TV.

Bright colours

Colours are another highlight. Backed-up by an enviable contrast ratio that sees deep blacks and peak whites produced without problems, colours are natively warm. That can make skin tones a touch too rosy, but it's a cinch to take the edge off by recourse to the TV's settings; Live Colour's power can be tweaked, while a huge choice of presets (cinema, games, photos etc) should please undemanding users.

The MotionFlow 100Hz feature also works well, though it needs to; switch it off and the KDL-32EX503 struggles with the action on the Ellis Park Stadium pitch, with noticeable blur – activate it and the action definitely becomes smoother.

Film mode isn't nearly as powerful as on rival sets. True, the sense of realism it creates isn't as giddy as on other TVs, but as it inserts guessed-at frames of video into the action, ponderous pans across the cityscape don't suffer from nearly as much judder.

This light touch is welcome since no artefacts, such as flicker or ghosting, are introduced. It's a trade-off, of course – there is noticeable judder during some shots – and it would be nice to see a stronger effect.

Superb input quality

Elsewhere the KDL-32EX503 delivers a superb picture from other sources. Freeview HD channels shine the brightest, but even standard-definition channels are shown without issue.

Making Freeview look solid and clean on a relatively small 32-inch screen size is hardly unprecedented, but it's surprising how many brands drop the ball here – the KDL-32EX503 manages to suppress all but a few traces of picture noise, though a static sheen can sometimes be seen during moving images.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),