What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Mon, 12 Jan 2009, 12:00pm

LG 32LG4000

Tested at £400
60100
3

There's a place for convenience over function, but your LCD TV is not it

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For

  • Temptingly low price
  • integrated DVD player
  • good internal scaling

Against

  • Coarse TV reception
  • noisy DVD player
  • it'
  • s one TV, but it'
  • s finished in two colours

Like the JVC LT-32DE9BJ, this LG uses a 1366 x 768 panel and has a Unique Selling Point in its integrated DVD player. Actually, the two-tone black-and-red chassis finish is unique too, but as that's a matter of taste, we'll not dwell on it.

Set up is great, the picture less so
The 32LG4000 scores heavily and early with the quality of its on-screen menus and EPGs – big, legible and simple to navigate, they're an object lesson in how to do these things without getting all Sony-flashy. But where picture performance is concerned, the LG is a more qualified success.

TV reception, for instance, is passable without ever quite becoming impressive; images from either analogue or digital tuner are slightly coarse and prone to noise.

Colours are vivid, certainly, but the palette lacks the subtleties of more accomplished rivals. The shortage of detail in dark scenes becomes galling in no time.

DVD pictures (delivered, let's not forget, from on board the TV) are respectable, with improved levels of detail and punchy contrasts, though the player is intrusively noisy when loading discs and navigating menu pages. It calms down once the film is under way.

Colours are vibrant
Blu-ray performance (The Dark Knight) is another step up in quality, as is only right and proper. Colours are vibrant without becoming garish, edges are drawn smoothly and motion is gripped with something like competence – the LG's video scaling is obviously decent.

Curiously, the 4000 is as bright as they come during the bright white scenes, but loses out quite badly in the darker scenes, which are very dark and quickly become quite difficult to follow.

We're not expecting the Earth where the sound of an LCD TV is concerned, but we do expect more than the hollow, boneless sound of the LG. This screen, and prospective owners with it, won't appreciate being played loud.

If the convenience of the LG appeals, it's worth an audition. Even at this price, though, we struggle to make a case for it.

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