To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Sony Bravia KDL-50W829B review – 55in now £630 on Amazon today

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £900
inc VAT

Fantastic picture quality for the price and (for a limited time only) a free soundbar if you buy from Currys


50in, Freeview HD, DVB-S2, 1,920×1,080 resolution, 3D: yes, 4x HDMI

For this review we tested the 50in model in the W829 range, but it’s also available in 42in (KDL-42W829B) and 55in (KDL-55W829B) screen sizes. All models have identical specifications except for their dimensions and power usage. We’re confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range.

The Sony W829 is one of the first 2014 TVs from Sony, reviewed here with a 50in screen size. It may not be the flagship model, but it has every feature we’ve come to expect from one, including a revised SEN smart TV interface and an incredibly minimal design that puts other TVs to shame.

When we originally looked at it, the W829 cost £1,000, but because Sony was one of the first out the gate for 2014, you can now pick one up for significantly less. [a href=””]Currys[/a] is currently selling the 50in model with a bundled soundbar for £739, making it something of a bargain – even when compared to newer sets from the likes of Samsung, Panasonic and LG.

Sony Bravia KDL-50W829

In fact, Sony has gone to such lengths that it has removed the internal power circuitry to make the set as thin as possible, opting for an external power adaptor instead. This is great if you plan on wall-mounting the TV, as it’ll sit a lot closer to the wall than other models. A minimal bezel, metal edges and subtle blue activity LED (which also doubles as the point of contact for near-field communication (NFC) connections) all give the impression of a premium set.

The thin design leaves less space for speakers, but the W829 does an impressive job with its two 8W drivers. They produce a clear sound and even create a small amount of bass. The sound produced can easily fill a small or medium size room with sound. It’s possible to push them too far, though, so we’d suggest staying below 70 per cent of maximum to avoid any possible distortion.

The W829 certainly doesn’t skimp on connection ports. There are four HDMI inputs, along with SCART, composite and component video, digital optical audio, Ethernet, a Common Interface slot, satellite and aerial inputs, and two USB ports. These can be used to play multimedia files from a flash drive or record broadcast TV to an external hard disk; we were able to play all our test files, including DivX and MKVs.

Sony Bravia KDL-50W829

It’s easy to find and play your files, too. Sony’s SEN smart TV system has always been one of the best looking, even if it didn’t always have the same number of catch-up or on demand services as other manufacturers, and the company has improved things further for 2014. The refined user interface really makes use of the Full HD resolution with much smaller yet still clearly legible fonts, icons and images. This fits significantly more information on screen at once, so you don’t have to scroll through long lists or multiple pages of content to find a particular app or channel. It’s also very responsive, with no waiting between pressing a button and the changes taking effect on screen.

Unfortunately on-demand video is still a little limited; you do at least get BBC iPlayer and Demand 5 for catch-up TV, and both Netflix and Amazon Instant Video (formerly LoveFilm) for films and US shows, but there’s no 4oD or ITV player. Sony’s own Video and Music Unlimited services go some way to balancing this, however.

The user interface takes something of a toll on startup times, with the TV being all but unresponsive for the first 30 seconds after switching on from standby. This is fine if you remembered to set the channel or input when you last turned it off, but it’s frustrating when you want to watch a Blu-ray or play a game, but can’t switch inputs from another endless repeat of Top Gear on Dave for half a minute. Sony tweaked this behaviour in a recent software update, letting you quickly toggle between active inputs with the remote control without having to wait for everything to start up – a welcome improvement, but still lagging behind the competition.

Pages: 1 2

Basic Specifications



Viewable size50in
Native resolution1,920×1,080
1080p supportYes
Aspect ratio16:9
HD readyyes
3D capableyes
Speakers2x 8W


D-sub inputs0
HDMI inputs4
Component inputs1
Composite inputs1
Audio outputsoptical S/DIF out, headphone minijack
Otherheadphone output, CI slot, RJ45 LAN (DLNA), 2x USB, Wi-Fi


Tuner typeFreeview HD, DVB-S2
EPG8 day


Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on48W

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

Read more