LG 52LG5000 review: LG 52LG5000

Typical Price: £1,350.00
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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Size; well designed; bright and colourful pictures.

The Bad Black levels aren't grea; viewing angle is rather limited; some colour tones are slightly strange.

The Bottom Line While we appreciate LG's efforts in making a 52-inch LCD TV available for just £1,350, it's a pity that -- perhaps inevitably -- you have to swallow a few performance compromises along the way. Whether you can live with these compromises is pretty much a personal choice of whether you value sheer screen size more than top-drawer picture quality

6.5 Overall

LG's 52-inch 2LG5000 LCD TV is big, reasonably clever and unusually cheap. For while the jump from 46- and 47-inch LCD TVs to the 50-inch-plus level generally causes all sorts of pricing issues for many LCD brands, the 52LG5000 is going in various internet places for under £1,350. Let's just hope LG hasn't had to shave too many corners to make such a price feasible.

Positives
The 52LG5000 may be cheap, but it certainly doesn't look it. In fact, its bodywork actually looks quite opulent with its glossy finish and overtly minimalist stance. An 'invisible' speaker system means the TV's bodywork doesn't even have to trouble itself with such tedious practicalities as incorporating speakers.

There's no sign of any of the flashes of red that distinguish many other designs in LG's current TV range, but those of you with subtle tastes might not consider that a bad thing.

Happily for us the 52LG5000's aggressive pricing hasn't dented the set's connectivity. It still manages, among other things, three v1.3 HDMIs, a digital audio output, a PC port and even an RS-232C port to help integrate the TV into a wider AV system.

Screen resolution is inevitably a 'full HD' 1920x1080 pixels, and this is joined on the impressive specification front by a very high contrast ratio of 50,000:1, achieved by dimming the backlight output during dark scenes.

With LG's XD Engine processing on hand to help pictures out, there are elements of the 52LG5000's performance that are really quite good. Colours, for instance, are spectacularly vivid and richly saturated.

Given that the TV doesn't have 100Hz processing, we were also relieved to note how little motion blur we saw while watching a couple of HD Premiership footie matches -- at least with all the TV's OTT noise reduction routines deactivated.

One further area of strength is audio. Unlike a number of rival 'invisible' speaker systems currently doing the rounds, the 52LG5000's actually delivers decent levels of power, clarity and dynamic range. So much so that even the opening 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan posed no problems for it -- especially if you use the Clear Voice option that helps keep vocals prominent in the mix.

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