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We also felt fairly nonplussed by the 32LZ55’s black levels. The 1200:1 claimed contrast ratio seems optimistic to say the least, as dark parts of the picture look greyed over and, as a result, low on the sort of depth that sorts the wheat from the chaff when it comes to TV contrast.
Our final significant niggle with this LG is that it doesn’t do a particularly good job with horizontal motion. Either because of problems with the XD Engine processing or, more likely, because the basic response time of the screen isn’t all that, motion can appear rather fuzzy and indistinct.
As well as being annoying in itself, this problem joins with the colour issues in sometimes making the picture look over-processed and unnatural, meaning it’s harder to forge a direct viewing connection.
On the upside, the 32LZ55 is right on the money when it comes to portraying fine detail in a high definition picture. This means that provided there’s not too much smeary motion for the screen to contend with, HD footage can look outstandingly sharp and textured.
Colours, meanwhile, although certainly not always natural, do tend to be blisteringly vibrant and bright. So great can be their sheer visceral impact, in fact, that they sometimes get close to distracting you from the tepidness of the black levels.
It’s unfortunately back to Average Street for the 32LZ55’s sound, however. Although its speakers have enough ability to sound reasonably appealing and clear with basic ‘daytime TV’ fodder, the set simply doesn’t carry the core power to burst into life when asked to by an aggressive film mix. Instead it tends to sink into bass-lite harshness and its soundstage actually seems to diminish.
We really did our best to like the 32LZ55. After all, with a cost of just £700 for a 32in LCD TV, it probably looks like the answer to countless cash-strapped punters’ prayers. But however hard we try, there’s ultimately just no getting round the fact that overall it fails to impress in any significant way.