One key area where the 32LG4000 does fall rather short of some of its latest rivals, though, is its black response. Parts of the picture that should be black during the night scenes of John Carpenter’s Escape From New York on Blu-ray seem to ‘glow’ a touch, as the set fails to control the backlight output as successfully as we’d like. This can leave dark scenes struggling to show shadow detail and looking a little flat, even after careful tweaking of the various gamma and black level options.
The black level problems do not, at least, affect the set’s colour toning as much as we might have expected, and aren’t severe enough to stop normal bright, general TV fare looking punchy. But the more extreme contrast demands of a typical film can certainly catch it out.
It doesn’t help, either, that the TV has a pretty small viewing angle, which finds black levels dropping off rapidly once you start to move beyond 40 degrees or so off axis.
Turning our attentions to the 32LG4000’s DVD playback, it proves to be a likeable if unremarkable affair, that can display crisp, reasonably clean pictures only very slightly affected by MPEG twitching, stutter or blocking artefacts. In other words, it’s as good as you’ve got any right to expect on a combi product like this, with the picture quality of your DVDs only let down by the picture foibles of the TV’s screen.
Sonically I was slightly underwhelmed by the 32LG4000 thanks to the way the soundstage becomes a bit muddy and even distorts slightly under moments of duress like those found at regular intervals during your average action film. To be fair, though, the audio is reasonably rich and clear during less demanding ‘daytime TV’-style fare.
The 32LG4000’s built-in DVD deck, really pretty design and very aggressive price make it a uniquely attractive second-room LCD TV option. Provided you’re not too upset by its unfortunate though certainly not disastrous black level shortcomings.