If you're struggling to convince your other half that you need a larger telly, opting for a 37-inch set like the 1080p Sony Bravia KDL-37EX403 might be a good compromise. That's especially true since this LCD TV's asking price of roughly £450 won't be overly punitive on the household finances.
The KDL-37EX403 doesn't look all that striking when you take it out of the box. It uses traditional CCFL backlighting, so it's rather bulbous around the back compared to the latest LED sets. But, once you've sat it on the swivelling stand, it looks quite handsome, thanks to its angular design and the grey bar that runs along the bottom of the chassis. In fact, the design does a good job of hiding the set's chunky dimensions -- you won't notice the extra girth unless you actually peer around the back.
With four HDMI ports, you should have no problem connecting up all of your high-definition kit to the TV. These HDMI sockets are joined by a set of component inputs, a pair of Scart sockets and a VGA connector. There's also a USB port on the side, and an Ethernet socket on the rear.
The USB port and Ethernet socket can be used for media playback either via the Internet or locally attached storage devices, such as a USB key or hard drive. Note that you'll need external power for most hard drives, as the USB port doesn't seem to provide enough juice to power them on its own.
Unfortunately, the TV's file-format support isn't all that good. Although the TV plays DivX and Xvid files, it refuses to play ball with MKV files -- and even budget LG sets now support MKV. The good news, however, is that the set's support for Internet services is top-notch. Along with BBC iPlayer, you'll have access to other offerings, like Demand Five and Sony's own Qriocity movie- and music-on-demand service.
As with Sony's higher-end TVs, this one uses the XrossMediaBar system for displaying menus. This is similar to the menu system used on the PlayStation console. It looks pretty futuristic and covers all the TV's key functions, from picture and audio controls to the various online media services. You can even use it to channel surf if you want.
The TV has a Freeview HD tuner, so you'll find HD offerings from the Beeb, ITV and Channel 4 in among the usual standard-definition channels in the speedy and well-presented electronic programme guide.