One thing that strikes you about the 32LH4000 right away is how well-featured it is for its price.

Among its connections, for instance, resides a USB 2.0 port capable of playing JPEG picture and MP3 audio files and not something we'd ordinarily expect to see on a £550 TV.

The 32LH4000 also hosts a surprising number of user tweaks within its attractive onscreen menus. Among the most unusual of these are a switchable dynamic contrast system, a dynamic colour option for boosting colour saturations, various noise reduction settings, an Eye Care mode, a black level booster, an edge enhancement processor and even the option to adjust the image's gamma levels.

LG has also equipped the TV with a genuinely handy Picture Wizard, which uses a series of test signals to help you settle on the optimum settings.

The 32LH4000's design also belies its lowly price. The minimalist styling and high-gloss finish are both seriously appealing, and it feels surprisingly robust, too, notwithstanding some minor wobble on its desktop pedestal.

Performance

At first glance the 32LH4000's early appeal also seems to extend to its picture quality. A striking combination of rich, vibrant colours; impressive sharpness with HD footage and extreme brightness – even by LCD standards – immediately grab your attention.

Also contributing to the overt dynamism of pictures is a strikingly pure white balance, while the sharpness we noted is blemished much less than expected by LCD's motion blur problems.

The longer you spend with the 32LH4000, though, the more you'll start to notice a flaw or two.

First and worst, the picture loses colour saturation and contrast quite badly if watched from any angle greater than around 35-40 degrees.

Next, dark scenes in movies catch the 32LH4000's black levels out, as a greyish blue cloud filters into the picture, flattening the image out and obscuring precious details in the shadows.

Finally, that bluish overtone to dark scenes can cause one or two colour tones during standard-def dark scenes to look off key.

In the end, despite looking occasionally excellent, pictures are only generally average, as is the 32LH4000's audio. For the 'invisible' speakers tucked away behind the set's bezel fail to produce enough power to handle even a relatively low-key action scene.

The sound system does handle most normal TV fare with clarity and conviction. It's just with films and premium dramas that the cracks start to show, as is the case with many flatscreens.

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