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Sony Bravia KDL-32W4000 review

Barry de la Rosa
13 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
627
inc VAT

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Specifications

32in, Freeview, analogue, 1,920x1,080 resolution, 3D: , 3x HDMI

The KDL-32W4000 has a rather plain design, with a wide black bezel and a long silver speaker grille under the screen.

Between the screen and the speakers is a clear panel with embedded LEDs, which is a nice touch but a bit too subtle, as we missed it on our first inspection. The remote control has clearly marked buttons and a groove positioned underneath where your finger naturally rests, which improves your grip. The menus use Sony's PlayStation-style system, which makes them easy to navigate, and changing options or channels had a minimal amount of delay.

In our Blu-ray tests, we found the KDL-32W4000's default image settings to be balanced, and changes to settings were subtle but effective. Contrast is excellent, although by default the setting is turned up higher than necessary. Blacks are deep, and you can reduce the Backlight setting to enhance them even further. Colours are exceptionally natural, but for those who prefer to be dazzled the Live Colour effect saturates primary colours. However, we found that this effect reduced detail, so we turned it off.

A digital noise-reduction option helps reduce graininess in films, although you may prefer to leave this as it may be what the director intended. We found the preset Cinema mode slightly too warm, and the standard setting had the sharpness setting turned up too far.

DVDs played at 576i suffered slightly from ghosting and aliasing artefacts on sharp edges, but in general the effects of upscaling from this lower resolution were handled well. Plugged into a PC via HDMI, the KDL-32W4000 initially overscanned the image, losing the edges of the picture, but the Full Pixel option allowed us to view the desktop with one-to-one pixel mapping. Images were clear, with smooth fonts and bright colours, although we found reds to be a little saturated.

It's refreshing to see a Full Pixel option for HDMI, but we were disappointed to find that the KDL-32W4000 doesn't support its full 1,920x1,080 resolution over a VGA connection. Instead, it displayed only a 1,360x768 desktop, and we had to use the auto-adjust option to align it.

The TV tuner took one minute and 40 seconds to scan the analogue spectrum and just under two minutes to scan for digital channels. The digital noise reduction helped to improve the image when viewing Freeview channels, butsome compression artefacts were still visible. The EPG showed 10 channels clearly, but without a preview of the current channel.

The KDL-32W4000 also has a USB port that allows you to view photographs on a flash drive or phone using a mass storage connection, which is useful.

Sony's KDL-32W4000 doesn't have the image-processing options of Philips' 32PFL9613D, but its basic image quality is superb, especially its handling of colours. You're paying a premium for this quality, however, and the 720p Sony Bravia KDL-32V4000 is much better value.

Basic Specifications

Rating****

Physical

Viewable size32in
Native resolution1,920x1,080
1080p supportYes
Aspect ratio16:9
HD readyyes
Contrast ratio33,000:1
Brightness500cd/m²
Speakers2x 20W
Bezel (top/side/bottom)39mm/44mm/47mm
Screen depth104mm
Screen elevation137mm
Stand size (WxD)408x237mm

Connections

DVI inputs0
D-sub inputs1
HDMI inputs3
Component inputs1
SCART2
S-Video input0
Composite inputs1
Audio outputsoptical S/PDIF out, 1x stereo phono
Otherheadphone output, CI slot, USB slot

Tuner

Tuner typeFreeview, analogue
EPG7 day

Environmental

Power consumption standby13W
Power consumption on98W

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£627
Supplierhttp://www.pcwb.com
Detailswww.sony.co.uk