Review Price free/subscription
This year has seen the arrival of LG's most diverse TV range yet, boasting everything from die-hard budget models to high-concept design models and high-end feature-packed models. But despite the new diversity, one constant factor has remained throughout the range: they've all been remarkably cheap.
And that trend continues today with the 52LG5000: a huge 52in brute of an LCD TV that can be yours for a little over £1,300. Bargain. Or at least it will be if it manages to deliver any sort of quality.
It delivers a lot of sheer physical presence, at any rate. For as well as the sheer acreage of the 52in screen, the 52LG5000 sports a surprisingly wide bezel that extends more than two inches from the screen on all four sides.
Don't think this big old bezel means the TV is unfashionable, though. As with pretty much anything LG makes these days the 52LG5000 is rather a pretty thing, with its large bezel turned into a positive by its ultra-glossy finish and the minimalism of its lines.
Connections, meanwhile, are fair enough for a TV boasting such a relatively low price tag, including as they do three v1.3, Deep Color-enabled HDMIs, a digital audio output, a PC port, and an RS-232C jack for system integration.
Please note that there's no sign of the fourth HDMI or USB ports that can be found on LG's step-up LG6000 models. In fact, now that we're in a comparative frame of mind, we should point out that the 52LG5000 also doesn't boast the bright red butt that so distinguishes the LG6000 ‘Scarlet' models.
As you'd expect of any 50in-plus LCD TV these days, its resolution is a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. But that's certainly not the end of the impressive specs, for it also boasts a terrifically high 50,000:1 claimed contrast ratio, a set of four 2-way speakers cunningly hidden away so as not to spoil the TV's minimal aesthetics, a swivelling stand, and LG's proprietary XD Engine video processing.
This processing engine doesn't really do anything particularly innovative, truth be told; its attempts to boost motion handling, detail levels, colour tones/saturations and contrast are pretty well in line with what processing engines from rival brands offer. But after a slightly shaky start a few generations ago, XD Engine appears to gradually be developing into a reasonably likeable system.
Also deserving of a nod on the feature front is a Clear Voice mode that emphasises vocals in an audio mix so that they don't get overwhelmed during action sequences; LG's Intelligent Sensor technology for automatically adjusting multiple elements of the picture based on how bright your viewing room is; 1080p/24 support; and a Game mode specially designed for console gaming that tweaks the TV's processors to keep the screen's response time to a minimum.