What Hi Fi Sound and Vision
Mon, 7 Jul 2008, 10:00am
It's affordable and stylish, but picture quality isn't up to the high standards set by the competition
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- Competitive price
- good build/style for the money
- decent picture with DVD/Blu-ray
- Poor TV tuner
- malnourished sound
- picture not as sharp or natural as some rivals
Flatscreen prices have fallen so dramatically that even if you have a small budget, you can own a big-brand set.
Take the 32LG5000: it has the honour of being the cheapest set in the test, despite being from a household name, rather than a 'supermarket special' label.
As is usual with LG, it's a smoothly finished, stylish design. Specification is as you'd expect for the money: it's HD Ready, and comes fitted with the usual assortment of connections, including three HDMI inputs and a Freeview tuner.
TVs can be power-hungry beasts, so it's good to see that LG has introduced technology to help combat this. The 32LG5000 features the company's Intelligent Sensor.
It constantly analyses the brightness and colour temperature of the surrounding area, and can alter various aspects of the image, including contrast, brightness, colour, sharpness and white balance.
LG claims this technology can help protect against eyestrain, and reduce power consumption by up to 62 per cent. If you select the Intelligent Sensor in the on-screen menu, you can actually see the TV alter the settings.
Fascinating stuff. However, once the TV settles on an image, it doesn't look particularly impressive, so try tweaking the TV's customisable picture settings instead.
Sadly, all the button bashing in the world struggles to improve the picture from the Freeview tuner. Images are soft, lacking edge definition, and colours are over-saturated.
Feed the TV a standard DVD signal, or the 1080p/24fps signal from a Blu-ray player, and the LG tries to make amends. Edges are sharper, the image is more poised and confident, while the colour balance is slightly calmer.
However, the TV relapses when it comes to sound quality. Its thin and splashy top end sticks out, while the bottom end is extremely lightweight.
The LG's low price is a draw, but question marks over its picture and sound quality could see this set struggle.