Usually when you've got a 32in TV going for just £390, you're talking about some no-name model you can pick up from the shelves of your local supermarket. But today that paltry sum can bag you the LGB-32DST from Humax, a brand which, while hardly premium, is certainly generally considered to sit at a slightly higher level than the Bushes, Goodmans, Prolines and Fergusons of the AV world. So here's hoping the 32DST turns out to be as big a bargain as it initially appears.
It has to be said that it rather looks its money. Its matt black fascia offset by a vaguely metallic metal strip and outer trim looks plasticky and the set's rear end is on the chunky side.
The 32DST's connections are a touch disappointing in one sense, as they only include two HDMIs when we like to find three these days. The reality, though, is that the two HDMI situation is pretty much par for the course at the Humax 32DST's price point. And you do at least get some pretty reasonable accompaniment in the form of the de rigueur component video port, a D-sub PC jack, and a digital audio output - among other things.
However, it's not just the number of HDMIs that's slightly disappointing. It's also the fact that they are v1.2 in specification rather than v1.3, meaning they can't handle such 1.3-specific features as auto lip synch and, more importantly, Deep Color. Furthermore, they don't appear able to take in 1080p/24 feeds of the sort most Blu-ray players like to produce as their preferred option these days. In fact, they don't appear able to take 1080p sources of any frame rate.
On a bigger TV this would be a serious crime. But we guess we can live with it on a 32in TV, where the extra finesse of 1080p/24 is harder to appreciate anyway. It's also worth considering that had such a budget TV tried handling progressive signals and, especially, 24Hz feeds, it might actually have ended up making a royal mess of things. So perhaps the 32DST's decision to top out at 1080i playback is merely the action of a TV prepared to accept its limitations.
It's imperative that we point out here, too, that the 32DST is not a Full HD TV, boasting instead a native resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels. This is only to be expected of such a cheap set, and obviously makes 1080p/24 compatibility less of an issue as there's going to have to be image scaling to translate a 1080-line source to the TV's 768 lines of pixels anyway.