Sony KDL-37V5500 review

It's a capable set, without doubt, but once again we see the limitations of Sony's backlighting Tested at £700.00

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Our Verdict

A capable TV, but it can’t quite match the best for all-round performance

For

  • Full HD spec alongside a wealth of other features
  • stylish design and easy to use
  • good tuner, good sound
  • fine HD images

Against

  • Blotchy backlight is visible
  • not the last word in detail

Oh sweet Lord, Sony. Here we go again with one of the stories that last year dominated our TV reviews, was the talk of our Forums and impacted on our Awards: backlighting clouding.

The problem, as it has been before with Sony sets, is that the backlight is uneven. This reveals itself in blotches of light on the screen when it should otherwise be black – and at times there are even visible lighter patches when watching video content.

So, once more, we must say exercise caution when considering this Sony model.

The silver lining
That not inconsiderable clouding problem aside, this Sony ticks all the specification boxes.

The V5500 sits in the middle of Sony's long lineup of TVs, but still packs in four HDMI inputs, DLNA connectivity, Applicast technology for viewing selected online content and a USB input.

That's a fair amount for your £700 – or less if you shop around.

This set is fairly easy on the eye, as is usual for Sony, while the familiar remote control is intuitive and thoughtfully organised. Switch on, and the XrossMediaBar makes for a smooth navigation experience, so we're soon enjoying the set in action.

Punchy, sharp pictures
Watching off-air content from the digital TV tuner the picture is punchy and sharp. BBC HD's content looks superb from a Sky HD box while standard definition content is handled confidently avoiding any noise, instability or motion issues.

It's more good news when we send some Blu-ray content. The gripping District 9 shows the ‘V5500 capable of solid black levels that still uncover sometimes hidden details from gloomy corners, while brighter scenes show clean, fresh whites and punchy colours.

The set does a fine job of delivering smooth but realistic motion, too. It's all topped off by full-bodied, expansive sound.

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So what's wrong? Well, there's that backlight unevenness which does shine through in light scenes at times and more obviously in dimly-lit scenes.

Also, it doesn't quite match the best around for probing insight and the subsequent sense of three-dimensionality that comes with it.

So yet again (in recent memory) it's qualified praise for what is at times an excellent Sony LCD TV.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Brand NameSony
Product SeriesV5500
Product TypeLCD TV
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product LineBRAVIA
Manufacturer Part NumberKDL37V5500
Product NameSony KDL-37V5500
Product ModelKDL-37V5500

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • BRAVIA KDL-37V5500 LCD TV
  • Table-top Stand
  • European Warranty Card
  • Power Cable
  • Product Registration Card
  • product Registration CD
  • Alkaline Battery
  • Remote Control
  • Screws for Table-top Stand
DLNA CertifiedYes

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
VGAYes
USBYes
Total Number of HDMI Ports4

Technical Information

FeaturesTeletext, Channel Labeling, Auto Power On, Auto Program, Picture in Picture, Favorite Channel Selection
Aspect Ratio16:9
Vertical Viewing Angle178°
Horizontal Viewing Angle178°
Screen Size94 cm (37")

Energy and Performance

Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080

Audio

RMS Output Power20 W
Sound SystemDolby, Surround Sound

Video

Digital TunerDVB-T
Scan Format1080p

Physical Characteristics

Weight with Stand Approximate18 kg
Weight Approximate15 kg
ColourPiano Black

Warranty

Limited Warranty3 Year