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Despite being remarkably cheap for what will turn out to be an unusually well-specified 32in TV, LG's 32LH7000 doesn't actually make the best first impression.
For starters, a big sticky sign plastered down one side of the TV when you first take it out of its box proudly proclaims, in large lettering, that the TV is 'Perfect Slim 39.7mm'. Ooh, that's pretty cool, I thought.
Only then in little letters underneath did I notice an apologetic explanation that the Perfect Slim design only applies to the 42in LH7000 set. The 32LH7000 is actually nearly twice as deep as 39.7mm. Er, oh.
Putting this disappointment behind me, I swiftly clocked another one. For while the 32LH7000's design is a typically (for LG) high-concept and stylish affair, it's also pretty huge by today's 32in standards. The bezel extends further around all of its sides than most TVs, a design choice that's taken to an extreme with the bottom edge, which lifts the screen a good five to six inches up from the glossy desktop stand.
It's important to stress that this chunky approach isn't some kind of clumsy accident on LG's part. The sheer, minimalist finish to the 32LH7000's bezel, the dramatically large and illuminated power light 'circle' under the screen, plus a bottom edge which is curved, transparent and infused with a sort of orangey hue all show that the TV's aesthetic is totally deliberate.
But while similar chassis-heavy designs on larger-screened LG TVs have worked quite well, it all looks too cumbersome for my tastes when wrapped around a mere 32in screen.
The final bad first impression comes, alarmingly, from the 32LH7000's pictures. For using the out-of-the-box Vivid picture preset LG has chosen as its preferred shipping option, images look depressingly bad. Here's hoping I'll be able to rescue them later when I get round to calibrating the TV properly.
Thankfully, from here on in things start to look up. For starters, the 32LH7000's connectivity is really quite excellent for such an affordable model. Four HDMIs catch the eye first, as does a USB port tucked directly above them. This USB is unusually talented, too, in that as well as MP3 and JPEG files it can play DivX video - including DivX HD. In other words, it's an Internet geek's dream come true.
More geek love is likely to be inspired by another connection you can't actually see: Bluetooth. This lets you a) wirelessly deliver pictures and music files from a Bluetooth phone to the TV, or b) listen to the TV's audio via Bluetooth headphones.
One final noteworthy jack is an RS-232C port, which allows the TV to be controlled by a remote AV network.
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