Review HDTV Sony KDL-32W706B
Sony has found it hard to secure a five-star verdict for its TVs in 2014; only the 40in KDL-40W605B managed it, and that was recently. Now this 32in looks to follow in its footsteps.
Unlike some of its lower-resolution rivals, this baby screen has a Full HD panel, and every bit of its 1920 x 1080 resolution panel shines.
Five minutes into star-studded war film The Monuments Men on Blu-ray it’s clear the TV is just as skilled as its bigger, pricier sibling. Sharp, refined edges clearly define the opening images of opulent paintings and grand government buildings, and a rich, punchy colour palette produces solid reds in Nazi flags.
Delivering naturalness is the Sony’s real forte. Its even-handed tone accurately conveys the khaki colour of war attire, while skin tones bear realistic warmth. Its stark contrast is worth saluting too: the blackness of army truck tyres is arresting, and the snow-covered woods are Essex-smile white, without glossing over the subtle gradations of shade that define the mud footprints within them.
When it comes to detail, the Sony is all over it. The neat folds in military uniforms are full of intricate shading, and low-light conditions bring little deterioration of clarity..
As you might expect for £110 more, the Samsung UE32H6400 unveils the finer strokes of Bob Balaban’s moustache a touch better. Its improvements are small though, and struggle to fully justify the Samsung’s much higher price.
The Sony delivers with its standarddefinition performance too. Whether it’s broadcast channels or a Die Hard 2 DVD, the picture bears impressive definition and neutral balance.
The Sony’s sound is better than the usual flatscreen quality. It doesn’t have quite the body or dynamic aptitude of the Samsung, but it’s close. The set looks good, too. Its narrow, tapered bezel wears an elegant, sparkly metallic finish, although it’s also available in black.
Connections are generous for the price. Consistent with models way up Sony’s Full HD line-up, there are four HDMIs – one is an ARC channel – and two USB inputs, plus scart, component and audio phono inputs as well as an optical and headphone output.
The remote is the same ship-shape tool as used across the 2014 range and, though a Smart remote is nowhere to be seen here, Sony’s brilliant TVSideView app (see panel) is compatible.
Land of plenty There’s no shortage of online services on Sony’s Entertainment Network (SEN). BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Demand5 and YouTube are the pick of a very broad bunch.
We’re big fans of Sony’s One-Flick Entertainment user interface, which we think betters last year’s XrossMediaBar design. Its multi-page portal is intuitive and easily personalised.
This Sony is the full works: fine picture, eye-catching design and seamless interface. In absolute terms it might not have the most accomplished 32in picture money can buy – the Samsung sees to that – but a nice price puts it at the top of our wish-list.
FoR Natural, detailed picture; impressive contrast; punchy colours; attractive, easy-touse interface; elegant design; detailed sound
VeRdict Impressing us across the board, this TV does more than enough to bag five stars
Credit : What HiFi Magazine