No sooner do we have JVC unleashing a 32-inch LCD TV combined with a built-in hard disk recording system -- the-- than LG steps forward with a combi 32-inch TV of its own, the £500 32LG4000. Only this time it's not a PVR that's been built in, but a DVD player...
Despite all the hype surrounding Blu-ray right now, DVD continues to do massive business. So while die-hard future-heads might wish that the 32LG4000 had a built-in Blu-ray player, there really is more than enough life left in DVD to justify the combi's existence.
In fact, the idea of putting a Blu-ray deck into a TV as small as 32 inches actually seems rather incongruous to us -- and would probably have made the TV prohibitively expensive.
The DVD player is tucked neatly away down the TV's right-hand rear side so as not to compromise the TV's rather gorgeous red and black design. The TV's speakers, too, have been hidden out of sight -- though before you start worrying about the effect this might have on their sound quality, it's worth pointing out that they've been tuned by industry audio guru Mark Levinson. So there you go.
Despite having a DVD deck built-in, the 32LG4000 still provides three HDMI inputs for other sources to use, and unlike the recently reviewed JVC PVR combi TV, there's also a D-Sub port for PC use.
Other handy features include 1080p/24 format support, the ability of the DVD deck to play DivX discs, and so much flexibility in its picture adjustments that it can be professionally calibrated by an Imaging Science Foundation engineer. Starting our tests with that all-important DVD deck, we were very pleased indeed to find only low-level traces of MPEG blocking or twitching noise, and decent levels of sharpness.
The 32LG4000's TV and HD pictures, meanwhile, are agreeably bright and punchy, with vivid colours and clean whites. HD pictures look reasonably detailed too, considering this TV doesn't have much in the way of image processing (not even LG's usually omnipresent XD Engine system).
The lack of processing actually helps the 32LG4000's pictures look very natural, too, thanks to the absence of any sort of processing side effects -- especially as moving objects suffer surprisingly little from LCD's blurring problems.