LG 32ld490

Despite being one of LG's cheaper TVs, it still benefits from the same exemplary onscreen menu system found on the brand's higher-end TVs.

The presentation of the menus is first rate, with extensive use of HD-grade graphics and wording ensuring that you're never in doubt as to where you need to go to achieve a particular end.

The menus are superbly well structured, too, once you've realised that some of the more in-depth picture tweaks only open up if you first choose the ISF presets. What's more, there's no hint of sluggishness or unresponsiveness when navigating through all the options on offer.

Making this all the more impressive is the fact that there are so many features for the TV to deal with, something that would doubtless lead to much scratching of heads with a less accomplished operating system.

The remote control is also a cut above the efforts usually found with such affordable TVs. The elongated design is elegant and effective at separating out different sections of buttons, while little touches like the raised section where the volume and programme shifting buttons sit and the rocker switch approach to the navigation buttons, both help you find your way round the handset, even in a darkened room.

Sound

Perhaps because it's a bit chunkier than most of LG's TVs these days, the 32LD490 produces a slightly better audio performance than the average, affordable 32in screen. There's a tad more reach at the bass end of the spectrum, slightly more openness in the mid-range and treble details are reasonably clear without tipping over into harshness as readily as often happens with smaller TVs.

There's nothing outstandingly good going on here, just something that's pretty easy to listen to, which in itself is quite unusual with LCD TVs.

Value

If you're into multimedia, the fact that the 32LD490 has so much to offer in that department for so little money will make its price seem very attractive, especially as it's a solid performer and has a built-in Freeview HD tuner.

Anyone focused purely on picture quality might consider spending just a little bit more to get superior performance from some similarly specified Samsung or Sony rivals, but there's not much around below £400 that can perform significantly better than the 32LD490.

The 32LD490 is one of LG's classic 'tick all the boxes' TVs. It first catches your eye with its price, which is aggressive right away for any 32in TV from a leading brand. But it reels you in further with a tantalising mixture of surprisingly expansive multimedia talents and the sort of hardcore picture adjustment flexibility that some brands reserve for their professional-grade screens.

Its pictures seem expressly designed to leap out from the affordable 32in crowd, with their almost indecent amounts of brightness and filthy rich colours.