Hi, it’s HandyAndy Tech Tips here, and today I’m going to be giving you my review of the Sony BRAVIA KDL-32W700C Smart TV. So let’s start with the basics – this is a really nice looking display. As the name suggests, it measures in at 32 inches diagonal, and it has a thin bezel and very nice minimalistic stand.
Now the panel is 1080p, which is absolutely fine for a TV of this size. And the image quality is fantastic from the moment you turn it on. It has horizontal and vertical viewing angles of 178 degrees, and it produces sharp pictures, vivid colours and quite good contrast as well.
So, in terms of sound, you’re actually getting a surprisingly decent set of in-built speakers. I mean, just like with any other flat-panel TV, you’re not going to be getting the best sound quality in the world, but I felt that it was perfectly adequate.
Another thing that’s adequate are the inputs. You’ll get component and composite inputs, if you actually still use them, you’ll get an Ethernet input and you’ll get four HDMI ins – three on the back and one on the side for quick access.
So you’ve got this TV, set everything up, plugged everything in and now you want to watch some free-to-air broadcasts. And this works really well. You can easily change channels, look at the electronic program guide and even see some descriptive stats about the station that you’re tuned to – actually, let me change that to VERY descriptive.
The only thing that annoyed me about the free-to-air experience is that it takes about fifteen or twenty seconds after you turn the TV on until you’re able to change channels. A little bit bizarre at first, but you certainly get used to it.
Another thing that I’ve got used to quite quickly is the in-built PVR function. You just need to plug in a USB device with a size greater than 32GB, register it, initialise it, and then you can just press the Record button on the remote any time you want to save a TV show.
But, of course, this is not just a dumb TV with a PVR built-in, it also has heaps of internet-enabled features. To take advantage of these, you just plug an Ethernet cable into the back, or, more easily, you can just connect to your Wi-Fi network.
Then, just press the Home button on your remote, and you’ll see this nicely designed interface based around a couple of tabs. Each one of these actually offer a choice between locally stored and network stored content.
So, if you go into the Music tab for example, you can view either music videos from VEVO or you can listen to MP3 files that are stored on a connected flash drive. But I hear you asking, “What about the apps? How many of them are there, and how good are they?” Well, as you can see, there’s a few.
Quite a few. You’ve got all your big names, like Netflix, YouTube and, if you live in Australia, catch-up services like ABC iView, and then there’s all the rest. TED, Billabong, CNBC, the Huffington Post, College Humor, I could go on and on and on.
But are any of them any good? Well, most of them do a really good job at presenting a 10-foot user interface, which means that they have big fonts, big icons, and they’re generally very usable at long distances away from the screen.
But the web browser seems to be a bit of an exception to that. I mean, sure, don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome to be able to browse websites on your TV, but there’s a couple of things wrong with it. For a start, the URL bar, icons and tabs are just way too small.
And whenever you need to type something into a page – for example, a search query into Google – then another problem surfaces. It’s incredibly hard and frustrating to navigate the on-screen QWERTY keyboard using the D-pad on the remote control.
And this issue doesn’t just affect the web browser, it makes it hard to enter text in any app, for example, when you’re searching for videos on YouTube. Just to clarify, this TV has no Bluetooth, and trying to connect a USB keyboard was met with no luck.
So from what I understand anyway, you’re basically stuck with the on-screen one, not so good. But on a more positive note, the amount of adjustments and features that this TV has is nothing short of stunning.
Now, admittedly, some of them are novelties. One of them is called Social View, which allows you to display tweets from the program that you’re currently watching down the bottom of the screen. Another one is picture-in-picture, so you can, for example, watch a DVD in any of the four corners of your screen and watch live TV at the same time.
And of course, in terms of adjustments, you’ve got a full suite of picture enhancements, including digital noise reduction. So it might have the odd little quirk, but in my opinion, the Sony BRAVIA KDL-32W700C – wow, is that name just a bit of a pain to say – is a good all-round smart TV, especially since it costs under 700 Australian dollars.
So I’m actually a really big fan of this Smart TV, but what did you think? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. I’m HandyAndy, and, as always, thank you very much for watching my video.