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And so I come to those flaws I mentioned earlier. Starting off with - grrr - definite traces of aspect ratio troubles, as I'd been worried would be the case. For starters, if you watch a film where there are black bars above and below the picture, the image is clearly not correctly centred in the screen, meaning there's a slightly wider black bar at the bottom than the top.
Worse than this, though, is the way the image appears to be stretched ever so slightly vertically, leaving faces looking marginally elongated in some shots. You don't always notice this, but when you do it's a definite distraction. The only plus side to it is that I actually looked a bit thinner on home videos!
The 19LG3000 also fails to live up to its 15,000:1 contrast ratio, alas, as dark scenes suffer the classic budget LCD clouding problem. To be fair, the clouding is at least consistent, with little if any sign of the sort of backlight pooling seen on a few other LCD TVs in recent times. And I have seen considerably worse black level performances on small LCD TVs. But the Sharp LC-19D1E and Toshiba 19AV505D 19in models I've tested reasonably recently both delivered notably better black levels than the 19LG3000.
Finally in the negative column, colours sometimes look a bit peculiar, especially in standard definition. For instance, some brightly lit studio footage such as The Paul O'Grady Show (don't ask) suffers with a gently purple undertone to dark parts of the picture, and rather waxy skin tones. And generally dark scenes with standard and high definition alike sometimes look a little over-ripe, especially, again, where people's skin is concerned.
So is the LG 19LG3000 a bona fide small LCD budget star? Nope, afraid not. There are just too many things about its performance that aren't quite right. But is it at least better than similarly priced models from the vast majority of C-list brands like Goodmans and Proline? Indeed it is.
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