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LG 32LB9D review: LG 32LB9D

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The Good Exceptional image quality. Attractive design. Wide range of connection options. Integrated HD tuner.

The Bad Must be tweaked via User mode to find best image quality. PC resolutions must be selected manually. Minor standard definition issues. Distortion at high volumes.

The Bottom Line The LG 32LB9D offers exceptional image quality at a reasonable price. It isn't jam packed with features like some televisions but picture quality and design are all it really needs.

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8.5 Overall

The LG 32LB9D has the distinction of passing all our tests with no major problems. When it comes to image quality, design and versatility this television is certainly at the top of its game. However, since this unit is quite old by LCD standards, there are other units on the market that now exceed it when it comes to feature set. That's not to say that you should discount what it has to offer by any means. In fact, considering its range of connection options and overall excellence, it's still a great option.

Design
In keeping with most of the panels on the market at the moment, the LB9 series has a piano black bezel and matching stand. The stand needs to be assembled when setting up the unit but it is a very simple process. The speakers are hidden away and the rear and side connections are intuitive and easy to access.

Features
The LG 32LB9D has a native resolution of 1366x768 and can accept video signals up to 1080i resolution. The connections at the rear feature three HDMI, two component, one composite, one S-Video, and a 15-pin D-Sub analogue port for PC. There is also an additional composite and S-Video port on the side, in addition to a USB port which supports JPG and MP3 playback.

The feature count is where the panel is beaten by its similarly-priced competitors. The LG has an integrated HD tuner and basic tools like noise reduction and black enhancement but these kind of features have now become commonplace. That being said, perhaps good image quality is the only thing it needs, especially when you consider how poorly the "extra" features have been implemented in other units we have reviewed.

Performance
We tested the LG's capabilities in high definition, standard definition and PC connectivity. With each test, the unit performed extremely well. The only real issue we had with this unit became evident when we switched to the "User" picture mode. The "Vivid" and "Normal" picture modes are rife with oversharpening artefacts and offer no calibration tools. This problem can only be corrected by tweaking the image manually via the "User" mode. In this picture mode the black levels tend to be a little too gray and trying to find good balance between contrast, brightness and backlight intensity is difficult. While it may take a little more effort than some televisions to find the desirable image quality, it is certainly worth it once attained.

The high definition gaming and film tests were handled well with no excessive motion judder or major image quality issues. We found no pixelation or undue aliasing on edges and the level of detail was excellent.

In standard definition, we found some interpolation artefacts when viewing DVDs but this wasn't terribly noticeable from a comfortable viewing distance. There were also some minor de-interlacing problems but again, you'd have to be close to the unit to notice.

The sound quality was excellent at mid-volume but tended to get distorted at high volume. However, the volume level where this became a problem was rather loud and probably won't be commonly used by most people.

PC connectivity was excellent with clear and crisp desktop icons and flawless results in our "DisplayMate Video Edition" tests. The only complaint we would have is that the unit didn't automatically detect the resolution of the incoming signal and need to be selected manually.

Conclusion
If you are on the look-out for a simple LCD television that will connect to everything you need while also offering exceptional image quality, then LG 32LB9D will definitely keep you satisfied.

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