What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Mon, 28 Jan 2013, 3:15pm

LG 32LS5600

Tested at £299
80100
4

Good pictures, sound and TV tuner: this is a budget TV that gets the basics right

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For

  • Good Freeview tuner
  • USB input
  • DLNA connectivity
  • Decent sound
  • Good pictures

Against

  • No Freeview HD or smart TV apps
  • Black levels not faultless
  • Patchy backlight

LG has been making headlines for slim and smart top-end televisions recently, but the company first made in-roads into the TV landscape with more affordable sets. So do its entry-level models have the same attention to detail as the top dogs in the roster?

Out of the box this LCD/LED set looks perfectly acceptable. Solid enough in terms of build quality and with a pedestal stand that feels nicely put together, it looks the part.

We’re impressed by the features on offer here. The LG S5600 is a Full HD resolution, 100Hz set, with three HDMI inputs, a USB input capable of playing videos, and a digital optical audio output. There’s also an ethernet connection for connecting to the internet and streaming media.

LG 32LS5600 review: No smart TV
There’s no smart TV functionality however. And the standard definition Freeview tuner doesn’t give you access to any of the Freeview HD channels.

Elsewhere, the TV does its best to feel like any other in LG’s wider range. It’s not the latest LG interface, rather it has the last-gen look, with easy-to-access picture and sound settings.

And there is plenty of potential for tweaking. There’s an eco mode (which for best results we steer clear of), plus motion processing (we opt for low) and dynamic contrast (low) options.

LG 32LS5600
 
LG 32LS5600 review: Performance
The LG performs well with live TV. Standard-def Freeview channels look sharp and show good levels of detail. Colours are natural, avoiding overly bright shades, and skin tones are realistic. The picture is largely free of any digital noise and the sound quality of the speakers is pretty good, avoiding the harsh sound of many flatscreens.

Switch to DVD and it’s more of the same. The sharpness of the picture and the level of detail are impressive for such an affordable TV, while motion is largely smooth.

The darkest black levels aren’t as solid as we’ve seen elsewhere, and the backlight is a little uneven, but we’re largely impressed. Feed in HD content and the LS5600 happily conveys the extra information for a better picture.

LG 32LS5600 review: Verdict
We don’t expect a great deal from a £300 TV and while this LG isn’t packed with features what it does pack is great performance. Crucially, there’s a strong Freeview tuner, good sound and sharp, detailed pictures. Seems LG still knows how to make a budget TV, then.

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