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Sony KDL-32CX523 review

Smooth images, smartphone control and BBC iPlayer on this so-called entry-level Bravia

Our Verdict

For

  • Tweaked user interface
  • BBC iPlayer
  • Freeview HD
  • Picture quality
  • USB media support

Against

  • Basic LCD panel
  • Disappointing contrast
  • Motion blur
  • Web browser is tricky to use
  • Basic networking

The 2011 batch of Bravias has been kept back a little, but rather than herald the arrival of a new lineup of big, bold, competitive and cutting-edge flatscreen TVs. The Sony KDL-32CX523 32-inch LCD TV delivers purely as a good value package. And then some.

A combination of a basic LCD panel with an integrated Freeview HD tuner ought to suit the mass market just fine and there are some surprising extras, such as smartphone app control, USB recording, wireless connectivity (via an add-on dongle), Bravia Internet Video (including BBC iPlayer, Sony's own Qriocity hub, and Lovefilm) and a new incarnation of the Xross Media Bar user interface (familiar to PS3 owners), alongside a full HD resolution. You won't, however, find 3D playback or 100Hz scanning.

The KDL-32CX523 is joined by the 40-inch KDL-32CX523 in the CX range, the latter selling for around £700. That '3' on the end of the model number proves crucial, since Sony also sells the non-Freeview D-equipped CX520 series that, despite lacking Freeview HD, is only a shade cheaper (the 32-inch KDL-32CX520, for example, sells for around £650) and are otherwise identical in basic spec to the model reviewed here. The CX520 Series also includes the 37-inch KDL-37CX523.

Next stop up on the Bravia bandwagon is Sony's Essential series; there you'll find LED backlighting, 100Hz panels and 3D capability, as well as Bravia Internet Video and an Opera web browser.

The corresponding model, the KDL-32EX723, costs around £749 and is one of the smallest 3DTVs around. It's joined by the 37-inch KDL-37EX723 (£900), 40-inch KDL-40EX723 (£1,000), 46-inch KDL-46EX723 (£1,400) and 55-inch KDL-55EX723 (£1,700) models.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyBRAVIA CX
Brand NameSony
Screen Size81.3 cm (32")
Aspect Ratio16:9
EthernetYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)11.40 kg
Backlight TechnologyCCFL
Operating Power Consumption112 W
Standby Power Consumption250 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand532 mm
Width with Stand799 mm
Depth with Stand230 mm
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Height502 mm
Width799 mm
Depth70 mm
ColourBlack
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus
Product SeriesCX
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesPicture and Picture (PAP), Picture in Picture, Child Lock, Favorite Channel Selection, Sleep Timer
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelKDL-32CX523
Product NameBRAVIA KDL-32CX523 LCD TV
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKDL32CX523BU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

If you want high quality Full HD viewing now and the opportunity to stream online entertainment and services in the future, we have the TV for you. Relax and enjoy impressive picture detail knowing there's a whole new world waiting whenever you're ready.

Package Contents
  • BRAVIA KDL-32CX523 LCD TV
  • Remote Control
  • 2 x AAA Batteries
  • AC Power Cable
SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)8.70 kg