Sony Bravia KDL32W5500 LCD television

This Sony Bravia LCD TV has good picture quality, but faces stiff competition from cheaper brands

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Sony Bravia KDL32W5500
  • Sony Bravia KDL32W5500
  • Sony Bravia KDL32W5500
  • Sony Bravia KDL32W5500
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Good contrast and motion control, modern design, good scaling

Cons

  • Expensive for a 32in panel

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a mid-size LCD television, Sony's Bravia KDL32W5500 is king of the bunch. It comes with a higher price tag than we would have liked, but if you want the pedigree you'll have to pay for it.

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The Sony Bravia KDL32W5500 is a Full HD 32in LCD television with multimedia features, good picture quality and a modern design. It’s one of the best mid-size LCD screens we’ve tested, but its price is double that of some other 32in TVs we’ve seen.

Say what you want about Sony’s seemingly inflated prices versus competitors, but one thing you almost always get from the company is a well-designed product. As you would expect, the Bravia KDL32W5500 is solidly and stylishly constructed.

As one of the more expensive 32in LCD screens we’ve tested, we expected plenty of connectivity and weren’t disappointed. Perhaps four HDMI ports is overkill for a television of this size, but the placement of two of the ports on the side panel means you’ll easily be able to connect an HDMI-enabled digital camera or a media streamer, for example. The side also houses Ethernet and USB ports, while the rear hides composite, component and VGA analog connectors.

Thanks to the Bravia Engine 3 image processor, this LCD TV is a capable and powerful machine when it comes to scaling video. We ran a gamut of tests with video content from YouTube-quality all the way up to Full HD and were consistently impressed with the smoothness and detail imparted to images.

Image quality when testing with Blu-ray content such as The Dark Knight was also impressive. The television may be one of the cheaper models in Sony’s line-up but we found it good for watching high-definition content, with great colour control and vibrancy. Only a little tweaking through the on-screen menus was needed to achieve a good picture.

Fast motion video was handled well. We had the Sony set up between two other 32in televisions from Kogan and Hisense, and found it by far the leader in terms of controlling motion blur and displaying a clean image.

The Sony Bravia KDL32W5500 also has limited multimedia playback support through its Ethernet connection and host USB port. JPEG and MP3 files are supported, along with MPEG2 video. While this isn’t exactly a comprehensive codec line-up, it will still be acceptable for many people.

Our only qualm with the Sony Bravia KDL32W5500 is its price. It may be significantly better than the other 32in LCD televisions we’ve tested, but at $1899 it’s also significantly more expensive. As it stands, though, the KDL32W5500 is a very competent mid-size LCD TV.

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