LG is no stranger to the world of the low-cost TVs. After all, it's made more of them than practically any other mainstream brand we can think of. But even by LG's standards, the 32LC46 looks like a bargain, offering 32 inches of excellent picture for under £500. But the price and quality raises just one question: what's the catch?
LG's uncanny knack for delivering attractive TV designs hasn't been affected by the need to make the 32LC46 less expensive. Its glossy black bezel is pretty and the silver speaker colour scheme is similar to the vast majority of regularly-priced competitors.
It also keeps pace with many costlier rivals with its connections, including two HDMIs, a component video input and a PC port. In fact, it goes beyond the call of affordable 32-inch TV duty by allowing its HDMIs to receive 1080p feeds of the sort gaining prominence on HD film discs.
This TV continues to punch well above its price weight with its features. For instance, unlike the vast majority of rival sets in the same price bracket, the 32LC46 boasts a dynamic contrast system, where the backlight output automatically reduces during dark scenes to boost black level response. Thanks to this, the 32LC46 claims a contrast ratio of 5000:1 versus figures of around 1000:1 for screens without a dynamic contrast system.
There's a rather sophisticated picture processing engine onboard, too: LG's own XD Engine, with its focus on boosting colours, black levels, motion handling, noise reduction and sharpness. As you'd hope, these sorts of features help the 32LC46 produce images noticeably superior to the vast majority of its budget rivals.
Colours, for instance, look as vibrant, rich and fully saturated as those on some TVs costing nearly twice as much. Colour blends are also surprisingly subtle, with pleasingly little sign of the 'striping' effect that troubles many budget flat TVs.
HD images, meanwhile, enjoy impressive clarity and sharpness, with surprisingly little in the way of motion smearing noise, even during action scenes. With normal 'daytime TV' footage, the 32LC46's images look really quite dynamic, with reasonable black levels and bright peak whites.