The Ethernet port is to access the Bravia Internet Service, which includes YouTube, LoveFilm and a virtual concert hall from Berliner Philharmoniker and music from America’s National Public Radio. Some of this is paid-for content, but the good news is it’s extremely easy to configure. There’s no Wi-Fi built in, although a dongle can be bought separately. For tests, I connected the TV to the router via HomePlug connectors, and it worked well.
Only a 50Hz set, but little to complain about with the picture
The range of programming is decent and includes HD video streaming – a data buffer helps streamline this. All the programming is accessed using a dedicated Internet Video button or from the main menu. The TV uses the same crossbar styled menu system familiar from the PlayStation 3, which is straightforward enough. The manual is pretty thin because an electronic manual is built into the TV, accessed through a button on the remote marked i-Manual. This isn’t bad, but if your query is why the TV isn’t working, it won’t help much.
The remote is a curious, but largely pleasing gizmo, slightly concave on the front with a flat back that’s principally noticeable because it has the on/off button built into the underside. This is obviously just a cute gimmick, and the power button is on the front as well. Other dedicated buttons include one that switches subtitles on and off and a screen format changer. The remote has a Guide button so you can choose channels from the now-and-next list with a thumbnail of the current station.
As for the picture, it’s sharp, colourful and realistic. The 1080p resolution and the Sony Bravia Engine 3 on-board – which does a great job with upscaling – means you don’t feel shortchanged with any standard-def material which is strong. This is a 50Hz set, not 100Hz or above, so good though this picture is, it can’t quite match top-of-the-range models.
Built-in Freeview HD tuner
Switch to Sky’s HD channels or Freeview HD and things get markedly better. The Sky Movies screening of Night at the Museum 2 found detail in the tiniest areas, with variety even in the shadows of Ricky Gervais’s largely dark suit – levels of black tone were particularly impressive. Skin tones were subtle and natural, and even action scenes were largely artefact-free. Not perfect, but certainly respectable.
Glad I'm not the only person who still views a 32" set as large.
Yet another RegHardware TV review that doesn't state whether the USB only caters for FAT32 and therefore a maximum files size of 4GB.
And what about DLNA - does that work (properly)?
With comments like "This is an affordable TV, even though it’s not super-cheap", I was expecting it to be about £300. But £700?! You can get a proper sized TV for that these days!
Why worry about 100Hz?
You mention the lack of 100Hz processing several times: do you really think it helps?
It seems to give everything an unnatural, computer-generated feel to me, and I always switch it off.
32" is more than adequate for the average living room!