If you’re looking at the best 32-inch TVs today, you’ll quickly notice something – they’re basically all HD or Full HD, with 32-inch 4K TVs virtually non-existent on the big brands.
There’s a reason for this, and we delve into why 32-inch 4K TVs aren’t really a thing before, but it largely comes down to costs: 4K screens that small (like those used in 4K monitors) are expensive to buy. produce, which means the end result costs as much as a 55-inch 4K TV. Most people prefer the cheaper, low-res version.
But not everyone. For some viewers who want a TV in their bedroom or office where they’re not too far away, a 32-inch 4K TV would be the dream… and there’s actually an ideal model, from Sony. It’s just that even I – a professional whose job it is to know about TV models – didn’t know it existed until I stumbled across it at a custom installer show.
It’s called Sony FW-32BZ30J and it was released last year. The reason it hasn’t received much attention is that it’s technically part of Sony’s ‘Pro’ line of screens. But the technology here is all Sony’s regular TV for normal people, and that’s what makes it so exciting – and what makes it look so good.
Equipped for serious business
Let’s start with the specs, which are way beyond what you get from other 32-inch TVs, even beyond 4K resolution. As well as being Ultra HD, it supports Dolby Vision HDR, and the image is powered by Sony’s X1 image processor, which is used in the brand new Sony X85K 4K TV, so you’re not getting skimpy tech here.
You also get four HDMI ports, which is basically unheard of on 32-inch TVs, plus HDMI eARC support on one of them, for high-quality sound output to a soundbar (the Sonos Beam 2nd Gen would be the perfect match) .
And the pictures look fantastic! It’s just an edge-lit panel, so don’t expect deeper contrasts, but that’s never stopped sets like the Samsung BU8500 from shining anyway. Colors are strong and rich – I’ve seen it alongside the 42-inch Sony A90K OLED TV, and the difference between the new premium tech and this one really wasn’t that big.
That’s partly due to this TV using Sony’s Triluminos Pro technology, which features quantum dots for wider color reproduction – it’s basically Sony’s QLED version.
And, of course, the 4K screen of this size is incredibly sharp. Sony’s image processing helps with everything, but if you want ultra-sharp images at this size, I don’t think anything else suits this – a 4K monitor lacks the image processing to help ensure that compressed video looks its best, for example.
The downside? Well, there’s not much in the way of audio support – there’s no built-in Dolby Atmos decoding, for example, and you’ll want to use that HDMI ARC port for detailed, powerful sound. It also doesn’t run Google TV like Sony’s other TVs, and so isn’t equipped with smart TV features or a tuner – you’ll want to add an Apple TV 4K or Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max or something like that. But that’s ok, because you have a lot of HDMI ports!
It’s not really equipped for gaming either – it’s a 60Hz display, no HDMI 2.1 capabilities and not even a gaming mode, so latency will be high.
And it’s not cheap. You can get a much, much bigger TV from our list of the best TVs under $1,000 or best TVs under £1,000 for around £700/$700 that will cost you. It’s not widely available either, but it’s not hard to find online either.
But if you don’t have the space for a bigger TV, that won’t help you. If you’re a picture quality junkie (like me) who’d love to get premium footage in a space where bigger TVs literally don’t fit, this might be the mini movie wonder you’ve been looking for. This seriously impressed me, and I wish it were more known, so I’m doing my part to help with that.