Quick Take: LG LK520 series

The LG LK520 series is a budget LCD line that features LED edge lighting, 120Hz mode, and a high level of customization.

When you're looking for a big screen to replace a fallen TV, the sky's the limit when it comes to pricing.

Brands like Sharp and Bang & Olufsen are only too willing to rid you of the $1,000 notes hoarded under your mattress.

But at the more sensible end of town, brands like LG prove more popular and models like the LV4400 and LV5500 offer solid, though bare-bones, televisions for minimal outlay. Recently, we reviewed the LK450, and the step-up model is, this, the LK520.

Based on the spec sheet there is very little to separate the LK450 and LK520, apart from LG's somewhat ludicrous assertion the LK450 has a 10,000,000:1 contrast ratio--that's a bazillion to you and me--and this is especially funny given the TV performed poorly in black-level tests. In comparison, the LK520's black levels are listed at a more conservative 150,000:1.

Sports fans and people allergic to jerky camera movements may like the 120Hz mode, and tweakers will appreciate the inclusion of dedicated ISF modes.

Design-wise, it looks like most LG TVs of recent years with a black bezel and a gem-shaped swivel stand. Inputs are limited to three HDMI ports, and without Internet connectivity, you're also missing out on smart TV functionality. But if you're looking for "cheap and cheerful" the LK520 might just do that. You can keep those g-notes hidden...for now.