To some people, a 32-inch TV is a commodity like a toaster oven or a vacuum cleaner. You just wander into your electronics retailer and buy whatever's on sale. But not all budget TVs are created equal, and while the Sony KDL-32BX330 isn't the best TV at at this price, it's still worth your attention.
Designwise, it's not an attention grabber, but it won't look out of place in any living space. It doesn't have any extra features to speak of, but if you're looking to use this as an accompaniment to a gaming console, you'll get all the features you need.
Picture quality was OK for the money, with only the Samsung EH4000 giving a standout performance at this price. Shadow detail and off-axis viewing are the set's best qualities, with color and black levels a little bit "off." I wouldn't feel disappointed if I dropped money on this TV, not like I would if I had chosen the LG 32CS460, but the Samsung is definitely the better TV.
The Sony BX330 isn't particularly special in the design department, but it's serviceable. The TV features a thick, piano-black bezel and a bolt-on stand, and since it's edge-lit, the back is a little slimmer than most. One interesting aside is that it's the lightest TV I tested in our roundup, so if you're looking for a TV you can easily move from room to room, this would be it.
The TV comes with a remote that's pretty basic, but if all you want to do is change channels, it does that as well as any other.
The Sony misses out on the Xross Media Bar menu design of the company's other TVs, but what it does include is easy enough to navigate.
|Key TV features|
|Display technology||LCD||LED backlight||N/A|
|Smart TV||No||Internet connection||No|
|3D technology||No||3D glasses included||No|
|Refresh rate(s)||60Hz||Dejudder (smooth) processing||No|
|Other: 1,366x768-pixel (720p) resolution; compatible with 1080i and 1080p sources|
If you hearken back to the wisdoms of CRT -- from the days when the only "feature" a TV had was a remote control -- then the lack of bullet points on the Sony spec sheet should please you. It uses a traditional fluorescent backlight, not a newfangled LED system. Yes, it has a digital tuner and a USB port for playing back digital media, but so does every other TV these days. As a budget model, the Sony is limited in resolution to 720 lines (1,366x768 pixels), but it will play back 1080p content. At this screen size, you won't notice the lower resolution unless you're sitting right in front of the TV.
The only other two features the Sony site lists are a Digital Noise Reduction circuit and four "HD" inputs as I'll outline below.
Picture settings: While some fancy-pants TVs include 20-point grayscale adjustments and Color Management Systems offering accurate calibration, the Sony offers none of these. It doesn't even have the Scene mode we like so much from other Sony TVs, as it offers almost pitch-perfect color. No, this TV just includes the basic Brightness and Color settings
Connectivity: The four HD inputs Sony cites are two HDMI, a component port, and a PC input. If you're looking for a large TV that doubles as a monitor then the Sony could be your best bet; be aware that the resolution tops out at the native resolution of 1,366x768 pixels.
|Comparison models (details)|
|TCL L40FHDF12TA||40-inch LCD|
|Samsung LN46D630||46-inch LCD|
|Samsung UN32EH4000||32-inch LCD|
|LG 32CS460||32-inch LCD|
|Panasonic TC-P65VT50 (reference)||65-inch plasma|
For a long time, the TCL L40FHDF12TA was the most popular TV on Amazon, and while it wasn't much in the picture department, it was cheap. You want to know what? The Sony is both cheaper and it performs better. It's also smaller, and feel free to disagree with me but personally I'd rather watch a small TV with a good picture than a large TV with a bad one.