Sony Bravia KDL-32EX523


A new 1080p 32 inch LED TV

We saw that Sony Bravia KDL-32EX523 had a relatively small price but good features and design, which seemed a bit intriguing, so we decided to take a look and see what the deal was. Actually there is nothing wrong with it; it is a LED-based LCD TV which comes with its good and bad parts and with a small price. A wise move from Sony we can say, because the company always had expensive TVs, in comparison with its competition, like LG and Samsung for example.

Three models in this series

The Sony EX523 series is the proof that Sony can maintain its position on the market without alienating its customers with unaffordable price tags. There are three models in this series with different screen sizes, 32, 40 and 46 inches, but with the same specifications and performance.

If you are interested in one of these models, we have to warn you that you have to double check you are not buying one of the last year’s models, because they simply look the same. The tested TV has a shiny swivel base that will allow you to change its aiming, a gun-metal lower base and black

Built-in WiFi

The Xross Media Bar has been redesigned for the new series and the enhancements are pretty useful. For example, it is easier to go through the menu than on the older version, including settings, network media content or other services. Plus, you are able to use the XMB while watching the program, because the menu is displayed on the right of the screen. The Netflix button is right in the menu and also on the remote, but the bad part is that you are not allowed to search or browse, so it’s quite limited. You can add things by connecting your computer which you may find annoying at one point.

The best part for the Bravia KDL-32EX523 is that it features built-in WiFi, which we think is a great plus. So, other than Netflix, the Bravia KDL-32EX523 also has access to Amazon Instant, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Picasa, 28+ niche video services, Sony’s Qriocity video and music service and many others.

Problems with default settings

Besides the online services and content, the exterior of our review model offers plenty of ports. We were happy to see the four HDMI ports in the default configuration of Sony KDL-32EX523, which are fewer on other also respectable LCD TVs. It also has component video, VGA and SCART inputs and Ethernet port, plus two USB ports.

For good picture quality, we had to make some adjustments in the settings. The default settings are very disappointing and problematic and we thought in the beginning that there is not much improvement to be done, but we were surprised to see that it actually is.

However, the black level is poor and there is nothing that can be done to it. On a completely black screen the corners were lighter, showing a dark grey. Also, there is also a blue tinge in the dark parts of the screen, but these flaws may pass unnoticed to some people.

Without MKV support

The video processing was good and the KDL-32EX523 is able to process 1080p content also. We played movies from a Blu-ray player and all details were preserved. You can also store video content on USB, but you have to be aware that the media player doesn’t support some formats, like MKV for example. We don’t know about you but we would miss this feature, because we prefer seeing movies in good quality, like MKV formats. The speakers are front-facing, but this is not of much help, seeing that the bass is like not even existing.

Review conclusions

Other than that, at the end of the test we can conclude that the Sony Bravia KDL-32EX523 made a good impression on us. It is LED backlit so it has lower energy consumption; it is also very thin and has a matte screen, which goes very well for bright rooms.

Technical specifications

* Resolution: full HD (1080p) 1920 x 1080 pixel definition
* Display Size: 32 inches
* Image Aspect Ratio: 16:9
* Display Technology: led-lit
* LED backlighting
* Wireless Internet TV for wide variety of streaming media and other Internet content
* Sony’s X-Reality Engine sharpens images for a vivid, lear and life-like picture.