LG's 37LF66 is a full HD LCD TV costing just £1,000, so it immediately has what may be seen as an unfair advantage over its rivals. But can it make that benefit count?

It starts well by being effortlessly cool with its gloss black bezel, silver strip below the screen and matt black speaker section.

Connectivity is solid enough too, with its inclusion of two HDMIs, digital audio output, component video inputs and a D-Sub PC port. The HDMIs can take the 1080p/24fps format favoured by many HD disk movie transfers, and carry Simplink capability so that the TV's remote can control connected LG source equipment.

The set makes the most of its full HD pixel count, meanwhile, by carrying a 1:1 pixel mode for scaling-free presentation of 1080-line sources, and sports an unusually extensive roster of image processing systems. These include LG's own XD Engine for reducing noise and improving colours, detailing, and contrast, as well as Faroudja's DCDi de-interlacing system for smoother contours and Active Colour Management.

A high claimed contrast ratio of 5000:1 is made possible by a dynamic contrast feature that dims the backlight output during dark scenes to produce a deeper black level response.

Performance

For all its on-paper grandeur, however, the 37LF66 seldom reaches any great picture heights. Its black levels aren't great and flatten out dark scenes into grey earlier than we'd like, undermining the dynamism that a bold approach to colours tries to create.

SD pictures often look really quite unnatural, as if the 37LF66's various processing engines are trying too hard, with the result that they often add noise rather than always tidying them up.

Colours, while never anything less than eyecatching often don't look very authentic in tone, and even HD sources can feature sickly or over-ripe skin tones and reds.

You do at least get a sense of the screen's full HD resolution in the crispness and detailing with which HD sources are shown. And this isn't severely marred by motion blur either. Sonically, bass-rich audio wraps the package up nicely.