LG 32sl8000 lcd tv

Most Blu-ray buffs will aim for a set much bigger than this one, so we're going to be scoring the 32SL8000 on its ability with Freeview, DVD and broadcast HDTV channels – as well as user-friendliness – as much as we are on its treatment of Full HD images from Blu-ray.

And although the 32SL8000's picture quality isn't benchmark, its failings actually seem to help its versatility – and widen its appeal.

Take its HD performance. The fabulous colours of the re-mastered Baraka on Blu-ray are handled well, and although we've seen better contrast levels, the pictures hold up.

The skin tones of worshippers at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall are spot on while a panoramic shot across the Ghats of the Ganges shows a host of colourful characters in cinematic splendour.

Soft picture

There is, however, a slight softness. An aerial shot of Iraq's burning oilfields lacks a little sharpness and contrast, and the flames shooting up from the desert seem stilted. A brighter shot swoops over an aeroplane graveyard near Phoenix, with more detail on show and – with TruMotion 200Hz set to low – no sign of judder or blur.

It passes a more serious test well, too; as a camera pans across a shop front in The Matrix Reloaded, Real Cinema and TruMotion 200Hz (again used on its low setting) remove all judder.

Ramped-up to 'high' for the high-octane fight scene between Agent Smith and Neo, TruMotion 200Hz does, though, produce some flicker around moving edges. Where it's most effective is on slow camera pans; toned-down TruMotion 200Hz ably removes virtually all judder and helps create a much more lifelike picture.

But the 32SL8000's slight lack of sharpness (and it really is slight) actually proves its making when it comes to digital TV and DVD.

Solid and well saturated, there's few LCD TVs out there that can match the 32SL8000 for sheer watch-ability during the low bitrate of digital broadcasts on Freeview.

A broadcast from BBC News looks far cleaner and more colourful here than on most LCD TVs. The image is a tad soft, but perhaps that's helping hide the digital blocking and artefacts that we know exist in such broadcasts.

Decent upscaling

DVDs also get treated well – there's obviously some good internal upscaling circuitry inside 32SL8000 that make it just as effective as most dedicated DVD decks that claim to ramp-up resolution to 1080p.

DivX HD trailers played straight from a USB stick play quickly and proves a nice extra feature, though there is a little more judder to contend with when compared to Blu-ray.

One failing that doesn't add to the TV's overall appeal is its design. Classy it may be, but the pane of glass that stretches across the whole screen can cause some unwanted reflections and a sense of a 'double image'.

Watch from straight on and it's not a major issue, but from an angle it can be distracting. That's a shame because the 32SL8000's viewing angle is wider than most, with little discernable loss of colour – though areas of black aren't as convincing when watched from the wings.