Review Price free/subscription
If you ask us, the big TV brands have been missing a trick over the past couple of years. They seem to have got so caught up in making screens bigger and picking sides in the HD DVD/Blu-ray war that they’ve forgotten almost completely about what we believe could still be a very lucrative money spinner: the LCD TV/DVD combi.
A quick poll of a few friends and work colleagues confirms this. When asked if they’d like the second TV in their bedroom, study or kitchen to have a built-in DVD player, the vast majority of them said yes, they would. The only rider was that they didn’t want to have to pay too much extra for the privilege. Typical…
Happily for these and other tightwads, LG finally seems to have spotted this current market ‘hole’, and is out to fill it with the 32LG4000.
This is a 32in LCD TV with a DVD player built into its rear that only costs £550 – a price that wouldn’t look high for any 32in LCD TV, never mind one with built-in DVD playback.
Impressively the 32LG4000’s inclusion of a built-in DVD player hasn’t really compromised its aesthetics at all. In fact, with its gloss black bezel and deep red underside and rear, it’s a bit of a stunner. The DVD slot is completely invisible from the front, only becoming apparent if you stick your head around the TV’s right side – something that’s made easier by the fact that the set can be mounted on a swivelling desktop stand.
As with a growing number of TVs these days, the 32LG4000 isn’t prepared to have its looks compromised by anything so ‘ugly’ as normal speakers. So it uses a combination of ‘exciters’ built into the panel and subwoofers to deliver its sound without the usual speaker grilles.
What’s more, the audio has apparently been tuned by audio guru Mark Levinson, and fires straight out at the viewer rather than slightly down towards the floor as can happen with conventional hidden speaker technology.
Not surprisingly for such an affordable 32in TV with a standard def DVD player built in, the 32LG4000 is not a Full HD set, instead topping out at the 1,366 x 768 HD Ready level. If you find this a touch disappointing, it’s worth saying that it could actually work to the TV’s advantage, as we’ve commonly found that HD Ready TVs do a better job than Full HD TVs when it comes to showing standard definition sources such as DVDs.
And anyway, the TV’s other specifications look pretty tasty, as a solid brightness output of 500cd/m2 joins forces with a really quite spectacular claimed contrast ratio of 50,000:1. Ah, if only manufacturers’ claimed contrast ratios could really be trusted…