Sony Bravia KDL-32BX300 review:

Sony Bravia KDL-32BX300

HDMI inputs 2 back Component video inputs 2 back
Composite video input(s) 1 back (shared) S-video input(s) 0
VGA-style PC input(s) 1 RF input(s) 1
AV output(s) 1 audio only Digital audio output 1 optical
USB port 1 back (service only) Ethernet (LAN) port No

A pair of HDMI inputs is standard for this level, and the lack of front or side-panel jacks isn't unusual either. We appreciate the second component video input, especially since one is shared with composite video. The USB port is for service updates only, not for any digital media.

Sony omits a front- or side-panel input bay, and the USB slot on the rear bay (pictured) is for service only.

Overall we found the Sony plenty "good enough" for an entry-level TV, with no game-breaking defects and a couple of surprisingly good qualities, namely bright-area color accuracy and screen uniformity. The latter puts it above the Samsung C350 in our book, although not far enough to break the numeric tie between the two in this subcategory. We can't speculate as to how the BX300 compares with even less expensive no-name models, unfortunately, but on its own merits it's a fine entry-level TV.

TV settings: Sony KDL-32BX300

Sony's little TV offers a fairly accurate picture in the Cinema setting, although its average gamma was a bit dark (2.38) and its light output a bit high at 51 ftl. Our calibration modified the former number to an even 2.2--excellent--and the latter to our target of 40. No controls were available to adjust the imperfect green and magenta, however. For our image quality tests we checked out "I Am Legend" on Blu-ray.

In our comparison we looked at the similar 32-inch Samsung LN32C350 and the larger Samsung LN46C630 to represent non-LED-based LCD TVs. We also employed our reference Pioneer PRO-111FD.

Black level: The Sony showed a slightly lighter shade of black than the Samsung B350, but neither was very dark, as expected, compared with larger, higher-end models like the Samsung C630. We noticed the difference in areas like the letterbox bars and black areas from Chapter 3 and 4, for example, when Neville shutters his house for the night. On the other hand, details in shadows were solid, showing up better than on the C630 in areas like his pants and gun as he curls up in the bathtub.

Color accuracy: Although neither smaller TV could touch the Samsung C630 in this area, the Sony appeared a bit more accurate in bright areas than the Samsung C350, and very good overall in terms of grayscale accuracy. We appreciated its color in skin tones, for example, like the face of Ethan in the kitchen in Chapter 18; it appeared neither too pale nor too flushed, and closer to our reference than on the Samsung.

One quibble was the slightly bluish green, visible for example in the grass of the plants in Chapter 2. The Sony's worst problem, however, was the extremely blue tint to black and near-black areas, which was much more evident than on the Samsung C350.

Video processing: We were surprised when this little TV handled 1080p/24 sources properly, delivering the proper cadence in our test with the helicopter flyover from Chapter 7. Motion resolution was what we'd expect for a 60Hz TV, coming in between 300 and 400 lines. The set did properly deinterlace 1080i film- and video-based content.

Uniformity: Unlike the Samsung 32-incher, the Sony's screen was more uniform overall, with no overly bright corners. Off-angle the image washed out more quickly than on the larger Samsung, and about the same as the 32-incher, but wasn't terrible for an entry-level LCD.

Bright lighting: Like most low-buck LCDs the KDL-32BX300 performed very well in bright lighting thanks to its matte screen, reducing the visibility of reflections and preserving black levels relatively well. It matched the Samsung C350 in this area.

Standard definition: With standard-def sources the TV performed well. It delivered every line of the DVD format and details were visibly sharper than on the Samsung. Jaggies in moving lines were kept to a minimum, and noise reduction functioned well. In CineMotion's Auto setting the set engaged 2:3 pull-down effectively.

PC: With both VGA and HDMI PC sources the TV did well, resolving every line of 1,360x768 with minimal edge enhancement and no overscan. Of course a 1080p TV could provide more detail, but given the set's native resolution, PC performance was fine.

Before color temp (20/80) 6,419/6,418 Good
After color temp 6,499/6,388 Good
Before grayscale variation 103 Good
After grayscale variation 112 Average
Color of red (x/y) 0.64/0.327 Good
Color of green 0.266/0.585 Average
Color of blue 0.147/0.06 Good
Overscan 0.0% Good
Defeatable edge enhancement Y Good
480i 2:3 pull-down, 24 fps Pass Good
1080i video resolution Pass Good
1080i film resolution Pass Good

Power consumption: In both default and calibrated picture modes the little Sony uses a bit more power than a standard incandescent 60-watt light bulb, and compares well with the Samsung C350.

Juice box
Sony KDL-32BX300 Picture settings
Default Calibrated Power Save
Picture on (watts) 61.62 65.87 31.6
Picture on (watts/sq. inch) 0.16 0.15 0.07
Standby (watts) 0.01 0.01 0.01
Cost per year $15.27 $14.45 $6.94
Score (considering size) Average
Score (overall) Good

Annual power consumption cost after calibration

Although we haven't reviewed any small-screen LED models to compare, based on similar comparisons at larger screen sizes (check out the power consumption section of the Samsung LN46C630 review, for example), we believe there's little reason to pay extra for an LED-based model based on efficiency.

Read more about how we test TVs.

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