Of the four Sony LCD TVs we've reviewed this year so far, the KDL-EX500 is both the least expensive and the most impressive for the money. It lacks the thin chassis of its LED-based brothers, along with the eye-catching Monolithic design of the company's flagship models. It even lacks an Ethernet port for Internet extras, along with many of the more advanced picture controls found on competing models in this price range. What it doesn't lack, however, is solid picture quality for an LCD, comparing well to both competing CCFL-backlit models and the edge-lit LEDs that cost much more. Among mainstream LCD TVs the Sony KDL-EX500 is a very good value.
The image quality of the KDL-EX500 series was impressive overall for an LCD, with superior uniformity and similar black level and color performance compared to edge-lit LED-based varieties. The accuracy of its color, particularly grayscale, was a strength, while video processing and slightly lighter blacks were a slight weakness compared to some competing non-LED models. We also appreciated the matte screen in brighter environments.