Positioned beneath Sony's flamboyant NX flatscreens, the EX line is squarely aimed at mainstream TV buyers. These are not screens designed with cost-no-object electronics and from a cosmetic standpoint are more Ugly Betty than Heidi Klum. However they're difficult to resist when common sense budgeting takes precedence over runaway indulgence.
This particular model has been a bestseller for Sony for months and it's easy to see why. With Freeview HD (for on-tap hi-def without subscription), DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) compatibility and USB media playback, plus the IPTV feast that is the Bravia Internet Video service, the 32-inch KDL-EX403 ticks many of the must-have check boxes on our replacement TV list.
A cursory glance at the side of the screen will confirm that the backlight employed is traditional CCFL (cold-cathode fluorescent), rather than super-slim LED. While this means the set has girth, it's refreshing to see uniform illumination on an LCD TV in the midst of the current vogue for hotspot-plagued edge LED screens.