An eye-catchingly affordable designer TV that’s not just extremely pretty on the outside
Black levels could be a tad better
Not enough bass
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If you're going to call a TV range 'Design Art', you really are raising expectations of something truly spectacular and unlike anything that's been seen before.
Which is precisely why our first impression of LG's 32LB75 is one of slight disappointment. The simple addition of an arced bottom edge and a glossy, dark red, half-barrel arrangement where the TV attaches to its stand, doesn't make the aesthetic leap we'd hoped for.
To be fair, though, just because it doesn't quite live up to marketing-inspired expectations does not mean it isn't still a very pretty TV.
What's more, it enhances that prettiness with a neat little cable management system built around the rear of the red 'barrel' section. And this cable management system will probably come in very handy given how many connections the 32LB75 has.
Especially striking are its three HDMI sockets - one more than anticipated. What's more, they can take 1080p/24 feeds of the sort now emerging from some high- definition disc players.
Other connections of note include a digital tuner input, a component video input, a PC port, an RS232 control/service port, and a digital audio output for shipping Dolby Digital 5.1 inputs received via the HDMIs.
The 32LB75's features are headed up by LG's Advanced XD Engine. This is the latest incarnation of LG's long-running proprietary image processor with its focus on noise reduction, colour boosting, contrast enhancement, motion blur suppression and fine detail improvement.
You can manually tweak some of its elements, such as the level of standard and MPEG noise reduction. But we actually found the 'auto' mode to work perfectly well by itself.
Other image improvements come courtesy of a dynamic backlight system that helps the set achieve a claimed contrast ratio of 5,000:1; an 'xTreme Contour Compensation' tool designed to reduce picture noise and colour banding over moving objects, plus an efficient black level booster.
Audio wise, the set carries a 3D surround MAX virtual surround processor and LG's innovative dimple speaker design that's claimed to produce the maximum sound from the smallest speakers.
Ease of use
The 32LB75's onscreen menus combine an unusual level of attractiveness with utter clarity and a totally logical structure. The same applies to the remote control.
We're pleased to say the 32LB75's efforts have taken a big step forward for LG's LCD picture quality.
Standard-def performance has made the greatest strides, since SD sources were previously very noisy, presumably due to deficiencies in the XD Engine image processing system. LG's standard-definition images have also suffered from colour toning issues and larger increases in motion blur, compared to HD images, than we'd like.
The good news is that all these problems are hugely reduced by the 32LB75. Noise levels, for instance, are far less troubling, even when watching notoriously blocky fare like the BBC's digital channels.
The advance is made all the more impressive by the fact that standard-definition pictures now look sharper and more detailed than they've tended to before.
As for colours, while they're a little less intense than on previous LCD models, they certainly look more natural - a strength we'd more readily accept over aggressive saturations any day. Especially when the image is still very bright and not lacking in eye-catching impact.
There's no 100Hz system built into the 32LB75's processing make up, but the natural response time of its LCD panel seems unusually strong, with even pretty fast moving objects such as football players, losing pleasingly little resolution as they charge about.
LG LCD TVs have traditionally been reasonably comfortable with HD material and that trend continues with this set. The picture looks winningly crisp and detailed, and there's impressively little noise created by rescaling 1,080-line images to the screen's 1,366 x 768-pixel native resolution.
Colours look slightly richer and even more natural than with standard definition, meanwhile, and there's seemingly even less trouble with motion blur.
The trickiest element of the 32LB75's picture to judge is its black level response. For while on the one hand there's less greyness over dark images than we're used to seeing with LG TVs, we have seen more profound blackness on one or two rivals. Though to be fair, none of these rivals cost as little as £600.
One other problem with the picture is that it loses quite a lot of contrast if watched from the side.
Sonically, the set is nothing more than okay. Treble details are clearly rendered, but they also sound too dominant and 'mechanical' owing to a fairly fundamental lack of bass.
What few gripes we have with the LG 32LB75 become much easier to forgive in light of the set's extremely approachable £600 asking price.
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