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Sony Bravia KDL-32V4000 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 351
inc VAT

Specifications

32in, Freeview, analogue, 1,366×768 resolution, 3D: , 3x HDMI

http://www.dabs.com

The KDL-32V4000 is the 720p version of the KDL-32W4000.

It looks basically the same, but has a lower-resolution screen and some small aesthetic differences: it doesn’t have the smart transparent indicator panel under the screen, and it lacks a couple of ports, most noticeably the S/PDIF output and the USB port for viewing photos. The remote is missing a couple of buttons, too, but is essentially the same unit.

The main difference between the two is that the KDL-32V4000 has almost half the pixels of its more expensive stablemate and can’t display full 1080p. It will accept a 1080p signal, downscaling the image to fit the TV’s resolution, but it can’t display 24p video. Strangely, it didn’t want to accept a PAL DVD input at 576i, and instead showed a message saying it was displaying the NTSC resolution of 480i.

The upshot is that you won’t see the amazing image quality of the KDL-32W4000 on this model. The good news, however, is that it’s better value, because for the price the image quality is fantastic. Colours are accurate and natural in movies. Watching Casino Royale on Blu-ray we noticed that the contrast was very high, with deep blacks, but we missed some detail in dark areas. Without 24p support, the motion in fast action scenes wasn’t as natural as the KDL-32W4000, but there wasn’t any noticable juddering either.

When playing DVDs, the KDL-32V4000 does a good job of removing the effects of upscaling and de-interlacing, and colours are natural. PC support is less impressive, with support only for resolutions of 1,024×768 over the VGA connection; HDMI has to be used to display the Windows desktop at the TV’s native resolution. We found the HDMI image to be less crisp than VGA, although running VGA at a low resolution isn’t very useful.

The quality of the image from Freeview channels was good, with colours more vibrant than in films, and we found that using the built-in digital noise reduction helped to smooth out compression artefacts in the signal. The menu system is simpler and easier to use than the more expensive KDL-32W4000, and the EPG shows 12 programmes on the screen seven days in advance, although there’s no preview. The KDL-32V4000 took one minute and 11 seconds to scan for analogue channels and just under two minutes to scan the digital spectrum.

Although cheaper 720p LCD TVs are available, we were impressed by the KDL-32V4000’s image quality. It has its foibles, notably poor support for PC connections, but it gets all the basics right and doesn’t cost a lot. It wins our Budget Buy award.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****

Physical

Viewable size 32in
Native resolution 1,366×768
1080p support No
Aspect ratio 16:9
HD ready yes
Contrast ratio 30,000:1
Brightness 450cd/m²
Speakers 2x 10W
Bezel (top/side/bottom) 40mm/40mm/44mm
Screen depth 101mm
Screen elevation 133mm
Stand size (WxD) 407x240mm

Connections

DVI inputs 0
D-sub inputs 1
HDMI inputs 3
Component inputs 1
SCART 2
S-Video input 0
Composite inputs 1
Audio outputs 2x stereo phono
Other headphone output, CI slot

Tuner

Tuner type Freeview, analogue
EPG 7 day

Environmental

Power consumption standby 14W
Power consumption on 125W

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £351
Supplier http://www.dabs.com
Details www.sony.co.uk