The price is a pleasant surprise, but it would be nice to see fewer compromises made
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The brand's cost-cutting has had an impact on the aesthetic of this set. Unusually for LG, this screen isn't much of a looker. There's been some attempt to inject panache - the see-through strip running beneath the screen - but ultimately the design is perhaps too plasticky and random.
That said, it can rightly claim to be HD Ready. There's an HDCP-enabled DVI jack, a set of component video inputs and a couple of Scarts, though no D-Sub PC interface - however PC users needn't despair, since the DVI jack can accept PC as well as video signals. Of course, this means users will have to double up on the same connection, though.
Looking backwards rather than forwards, the 32LZ55 doesn't have a digital TV tuner. But the quality of the driver electronics is high. LG's XD Engine image processing system is resident to boost dynamic range, contrast, flesh tones, and colour response.
Given the TV's low price, interesting features are thin on the ground. Still, at least some of the screen's specs read impressively - LG claims a contrast of 1200:1, and brightness of 600cd/m2. Our real world lab tests, however rated contrast at 725:1, after calibration.
The native resolution of the panel is 1366 x 768. Given a good digital source, the set can look very nice. Our Charlie And The Chocolate Factory DVD reference scenes displayed strong colours. Willy Wonka's candies positively glow with colour and light. Actually, it proved impossible to obtain a correct colour temperature. The best obtained was a warm 8300K. Despite their intensity, colours tends to stay fixed within their proper boundaries. Fine detail is good. Fed HD source material and the image really begins to pop.
The LG's biggest picture caveat is its black level. In the dark parts of the picture, like the murkier corners of some of the chocolate factory's caverns, shadow detail can look greyed out and flat. This affects all sources, even HD.
The analogue TV tuner and some lower-quality digital feeds are less than impressive. Ropier sources seem to confuse XD Engine, leading to an image that looks rather processed. Moving objects can appear blurred.
When it comes to audio, the 32LZ55 ensures that dialogue is generally clear, at least during most normal TV viewing. But a raucous action scene soon reveals a serious dearth of bass and can cause harshness and distortion.
The LG RZ-32LZ55 can be considered fair value for money. It's good to finally find a big brand sneaking under the £1,000 level for a 32in TV. But at the same time, we'd recommend buyers spend more, instead of than having to compromise on a digital tuner and limited black level. John Archer
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