The 32-inch LG 32LV550T is a great LED TV, offering a cracking array of Internet features, good picture quality and a stylish design. We thoroughly approve.
The 32LV550T is the first TV we've seen from LG's line-up for 2011. This 32-inch, 1080p LED-illuminated LCD telly offers a number of impressive features, including the ability to be controlled via an iPhone or Android handset, and full Internet access. As an LED set, it's priced towards the higher end of the 32-inch market. It will set you back around £600.
The LV550T slots into LG's Infinia range. Whereas previous Infinia models had a single sheet of glass that seamlessly covered the bezel and screen, the LV550T's bezel protrudes beyond the screen by about 5mm. Nevertheless, the bezel is still expertly sculpted, with the glossy black finish tastefully segueing into a smoky, semi-transparent lip on the outer edge.
The TV has four HDMI ports on the rear. You'll need to use adaptor cables if you want to use the Scart sockets and component connections, though, which may prove awkward.
The LV550T has a Freeview HD tuner. That means you can watch HD channels from the likes of the BBC and ITV straight out of the box.
The TV also has an Ethernet port. LG has recently upgraded its Internet offering to include apps for the likes of BBC iPlayer and the Acetrax movie-on-demand service. Those apps sit alongside the YouTube and Accuweather apps seen on older LG TVs.
There's also now an app store, from which you can download some extra services, as well as some simple games. The app store is sparsely populated at the moment, but, even discounting it, the LV550T still offers enough to keep you entertained.
LG has followed Philips' lead by adding a full-blown Web browser into the mix. It lets you view pretty much any site on the Web but, unfortunately, it doesn't support Flash, so you'll miss out on CNET UK's smashing video reviews.
At times, the Web browser can be rather sluggish, and navigating the Internet using the remote control isn't the slickest experience in the world. But, if you've got an iPhone or Android handset, you can download the LG Remote Control app from the relevant app store and use it to control the TV instead. As long as your TV and phone are connected to the same network, you can use your blower's screen as a touchpad controller. It works wonderfully and makes navigation much easier.
As with all of LG's Internet-connected TVs, the set also supports streaming of digital media across a network, as well as media playback via one of the two USB ports. We had no problems streaming Xvid, DivX and MKV files from an Iomega network-attached storage drive. Even high-definition files played back without any problems.
Overall, the telly's pictures are very impressive. Images look very smooth and engaging, even when you're watching lower-quality material, such as DVD movies or standard-definition TV channels. There's little of the mosquito noise you get when watching standard-definition material on some sets.
The LED edge lighting is also surprisingly even across the set -- something that's evident during darker scenes. Blacks are impressively deep and consistent too. HD sources pretty much always look sharp on smaller screens such as this, but the LV550T really does excel in this arena. The TV's motion handling is, on the whole, pretty good, but action sequences aren't quite as crisp and clean-looking as they are on some other models we've seen.
Skinny LED sets often stumble when it comes to audio, but the LV550T's sound quality isn't too bad. Dialogue is clear and there's enough low-end punch to make music channels sound perfectly acceptable. The bass won't exactly keep your neighbours up, though.
The LG 32LV550T really is a very likeable set. Its Internet features are absolutely top-drawer, it looks supremely stylish and it has serious punch in the picture department. If you're looking for a TV for a modestly sized lounge, it's a great choice.
Edited by Charles Kloet