If you're in an electronics store and looking for a smaller TV to buy, let me start by saying that this TV won't jump out at you from the shelves. If the circa-2004 design doesn't put you off, then going deeper won't do much to change your mind.
LG had a pretty bad run in 2012 with some great-looking but poorly performing TVs, and the CS460 is unfortunately near the bottom of the pile. While a swivel stand and ergonomic remote are nice features at this price, they can't save what is an undernourished TV. Terrible black levels, minimal shadow detail and poor off-axis viewing means that I would recommend a third-tier brand offering like TCL before I did this particular TV.
If you have $300 to spend on a 32-inch TV, don't muck around; head straight toward the "S" section of your local electronics dealer (they are alphabetical, right?) and pick up the
Updated 4/2/2013: Based on conversations with LG's engineers, we have revisited this review and re-calibrated the television. This resulted in a slightly better performance and a change from 4 to 5 in its picture quality score, raisng the overall score from 4.7 to 5.0.
While LG's top-of-the-range TVs feature the best designs we've seen this year, the budget lines haven't had as much love. The LG CS460 features a black bezel, as most TVs still do these days, and it is underlined with a metallic strip at the bottom. The bezel itself is quite thick, and when compared against the slim Samsung EH400, it looks almost prehistoric. On a positive side the TV does come with a swivel stand, although it's hard to assemble -- you'll need a really, really long screwdriver to attach it.
The remote control is pretty smart, though, with friendly buttons and a logical arrangement. No backlight, however.
The CS460's menu system is the best of the TVs we tested and looks identical to those on LG's other televisions. It's easy to navigate and also quite friendly.
|Key TV features|
|Display technology||LCD||LED backlight||N/A|
|Smart TV||No||Internet connection||No|
|3D technology||No||3D glasses included||No|
|Refresh rate(s)||60Hz||Dejudder (smooth) processing||No|
|Other: 1,280x720-pixel (720p) resolution; compatible with 1080i and 1080p sources|
The LG 32CS460 is a 32-inch LCD with 720p resolution and a standard fluorescent (non-LED) backlight. It doesn't really sport any features beyond a light sensor (which might save you a few cents but not worth the trouble) and the swivel stand. It doesn't boast any a) smoothing modes or b) networking features, but if you want them, then the a) Samsung EH4000 and the b) Vizio E3D320VX would give you these.
Picture settings: As far as sophistication is concerned, the LG has the picture settings of the more expensive TVs in its lineup, but here it's a matter of implementation. While you get the normal Game and Cinema settings, the CS460 goes further and offers a two-point grayscale adjustment and a Color Management System. Unlike much more expensive systems, though, I found them difficult to use reliably. I have now revisited the TV with a less aggressive gamma setting with result of less green in shadow detail.
Connectivity: Like the Samsung EH4000 and the Sony BX330 I tested, the CS460 only includes two HDMI inputs, a component/composite, and a USB port. While it would have been a great addition, the LG misses out on the PC input of the Sony, meaning that it isn't a great monitor replacement.