The 32LC46 is, to our knowledge, LG’s cheapest 32in TV so far, which is saying something from a brand that’s regularly at the forefront of any price cutting action.

But with one or two of LG’s top-end TVs not delivering recently, we are not especially hopeful about this one. It doesn’t look cheap, though.

More for less

The high gloss, black bezel is cute in itself, but it becomes even more so when set against the matt black speaker section and silver trim along the bottom edge.

Connectivity also contains no serious deficiencies, as you get twin HDMIs, a component video input and a PC port as well as all the old school basics.

What’s more, the HDMIs can accept 1080p feeds. The good news continues with the discovery of more features on the 32LC46 than you might expect for £500.

For instance, it clings on to LG’s XD Engine processing, designed to improve colours, black levels, fine detailing and motion clarity.

There are manual tweaks available, too, to the extent that XD Engine works on contrast, colour, MPEG noise reduction and standard noise reduction elements.

On top of this there’s a selectable black level booster, plus a dynamic backlight system claiming a very respectable 5,000:1 contrast ratio.

Good HD performance

In many ways this is a good TV, for the money. Colours, for instance, are extremely intense, avoiding a common budget pitfall, and also contain decent amounts of blend subtlety for a TV that’s not full HD.

The set also handles motion adequately in that while there is evidence of LCD smearing, it’s seldom really distracting.

HD material, meanwhile, looks sharp and detailed, and on first glance standard daytime TV has better black levels than we’d hoped.

However, it only takes a single really dark scene to punch a hole in our initial black level optimism, as we see really quite excessive backlight seepage on the picture from the screen’s corners and edges.

Noisy pictures

The pools of seepage in the top right and bottom left corners are particularly distracting. Skin tones can sporadically start to look rather unnatural and plasticky.

There’s rather a lot of noise (especially during SD viewing) and there’s quite serious juddering when showing 1080p/24fps, although this isn’t too important given how little it’s going to be used.

Sonically the 32LC46 is above average for such a cheap and relatively small TV, with a clean, crisp soundstage.