The LG 32LG6000 is fresh from a slick public relations campaign that managed to fool some well-known celebrities into attending the launch of a new TV series: Scarlet. It wasn't a lie, but the series in question turned out to be LG's LG6000 range.
And the reason for all the hullabaloo? Well, the 32LG6000 is red, or its rear-end is, anyway, making this an instant 'style' TV.
It's also got a hollowed-out hole under the screen, rimmed with an LED light that glows red when the telly's off and white when it's on, while doubling as a touch-sensitive on/off button.
Basic feature set
Its HD Ready resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels might seem to indicate that this is old hat, as many 32-inchers now have full HD 1080p resolutions, but it would be harsh to call this an outdated model.
More forward looking is the generous provision of ins and outs. Elsewhere, it's a set that's got just enough grunt for the hi-def era. Although it can't display every single pixel from 1080p sources, such as games consoles and Blu-ray players, it uses its 24p TruCinema tech to play the latter discs at their native 24fps.
Another innovative feature is the 32LG6000's Intelligent Sensor. It optimises brightness, contrast, colour, sharpness and white balance, claiming to reduce power consumption by as much as 62 per cent. No wonder it comes Energy Saving Recommended.
Fantastic menu system
The onscreen menus are stunning, being at once logical, transparent and a joy to use. Tuning in digital TV channels, stacked in a simple electronic programme guide, takes about 10 minutes.
Six of them are presented on the same screen, with programme information available for either digital TV or radio, the next two hours at a glance or up to seven days in total. Sporting high-resolution graphics and a blend of blue, grey and red, it's one of the best looking and most effective pieces of DTV software we've seen and far better than most standalone set-top boxes.
A quick view button on the remote even lets you see the last couple of channels you've been watching, so switching between your favourites is no problem. A special music mode is supplied, as are various presets for the picture. For most of us, AV mode is more than enough.
An orange button on the excellent remote control enables you to toggle between cinema, sports and games modes, while similar audio presets are also available. Swapping between these picture modes, however, does interrupt the audio.
Sporting picture wonder
Shots of golf's Scottish Open on BBC2 reveal a so-so Freeview picture.
A lot of motion artefacts can be seen around the players and onscreen graphics.
There's plenty of contrast on show, which helps give the colour palette a healthy glow, though skin tones do appear a touch over-cooked. Bizarrely, the use of the 'sport' mode worsens the picture noise. Better to opt for the 'game' mode, which suppresses a lot of the video nasties and makes it a lot easier on the eye.
Switch to the BBC HD channel from a Virgin V+ box and the results are initially amazing. A still shot of TV gardener Monty Don at the Taj Mahal reveals exquisite detailing in the marble structure, with contrast bolstering the fabulous colours of the garden around it.
Moving objects, such as swaying trees and the thronging crowds of colourful tourists appear ﬂuid with solid edges, though camera pans can be ruined by judder.
Backgrounds are occasionally dotted with picture noise, but this is a minor criticism. More of a let-down is a slight softness to darker pictures.
The 32LG6000's close-ups during murky shots, such as Coldplay at the BBC on BBC HD, lack the hi-def wow factor. Blu-ray looks much better.
Using the set's built-in 'cinema' mode does take some ﬁne detail away, but in its place is an ultra clean picture. That said, the problem with moving pictures continues and the slight image lag can become annoying.
Excellent value LCD
Without drivers and grilles, the speakers are studded invisibly into the outside of the TV's frame, which is designed to create a wider 'sweet spot'.
In practice, however, the sound quality is no more powerful or enveloping than most other TV speakers, although its SRS TruSurroundXT mode is worth using for movies.
At just £444 on the high street, the LG 32LG6000 is a great value 32in LCD TV that's by far the most joyous to use in its price range. And while it doesn't excel with either Freeview or Blu-ray, Scarlet makes a decent option for consumers who want to embrace the HD era without forgetting DVDs and Freeview.