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LG 32LXR2 review

An HD-ready LCD at a three-figure price... Shock, horror

Our Verdict

LG's 32LXR2 is definitely one of the better budget models, especially if you already own a separate Freeview tuner


  • Competitive price

    HDTV Ready

    Stylish design

    Easy to use


  • No digital TV tuner

    Limited connections

    Lacks 3D contrast

Even when falling prices mean that LCDs are more affordable than ever, paying less than a grand for a 32-inch, HD-ready screen is a steal of almost criminal proportions.

In a line-up of the latest high-def models, you wouldn't immediately pick out LG's 32LXR2 as the cut-price culprit. The heavily glossed black frame, swivel stand and subtle neon blue lighting do well to disguise the otherwise ordinary build quality.

With a WXGA resolution the screen is compatible with high definition content from Sky's imminent HD services or a corresponding DVD player. And images are enhanced by LG's own XD Engine picture processing technology. But before you celebrate the money-saving specification, be aware that a few compromises have been made to keep the cost down.

Firstly, there's no integrated digital TV tuner, which means that you'll have to fork out for a separate set top box if you want to watch Freeview channels. The 32LXR2's connections are less abundant too (and less accessible) than more expensive screens.

There's still a comprehensive collection including a pair of Scarts (only one is RGB enabled, however), progressive scan component inputs, a digital video HDMI input and PC compatible DVI input with accompanying audio. However, there are fewer multiple options and no easily accessible AV inputs to connect temporary devices like a games console or camcorder.

Nonetheless, there's a surprisingly extensive array of advanced picture and sound settings, all of which are easily controlled via a graphical menu system and the oversized remote featuring several short cut keys for convenience.

But the proof is always in the picture and the 32LXR2 deserves some praise, especially at this price. It might only boast an analogue tuner, but it's significantly better than the ones you'll find as alternatives in most dual integrated iDTVs. Terrestrial channels are consistently stable with decent definition and less disruptive noise than you'll usually see from analogue broadcasts using a flat screen.

Step up the signal using an upscaled 720p image from an HDMI equipped DVD player and you'll get an idea of what the screen is really capable of.

The picture is exceptionally clean with dense detail and rich, cohesive colours. Black levels could delve deeper to create the sort of depth defining contrast that only class leaders are capable of and movement could be smoother - but that's the price you pay to save on spending.