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The set's resolution is an HD Ready 1,366 x 768, and its claimed contrast ratio - for what it's worth - is 1,000:1. Given how low this looks versus the contrast figures of 30,000:1 or more now rife in the LCD world, I suspect (hope!) that it represents the screen's native measurement, rather than being calculated with the TV's dynamic backlight feature switched on. All of which really just goes to show how you should never rely on a manufacturer's quoted contrast ratio anyway. So let's move swiftly on to the main business of the day: the LCD32-209's AV performance.
Picture-wise, it's probably best summed up as surprisingly good in some areas, but pretty darned ropey in others.
Let's get the bad news out of the way first. Starting with the screen's fairly dismal motion handling. The amount of smearing and resolution loss on show whenever anything moves across or up and down the screen really is excessive, constantly distracting you from what you're watching. What's more, this sorry state of affairs applies to HD as well as standard definition material, as amply proved by watching merely a few minutes of the latest England/West Indies test match in HD on Sky. As Freddie Flintoff prowls back to his bowling mark, every feature of his face leaves a smeary trail behind as it bounces up and down in time with his strides. And fast camera pans following the ball get so mushy it's actually hard to see what's going on at all.
My other main problem with the LCD32-209's pictures is their colour tone with standard definition. Skin tones in particular tend to look quite strange all too often - either pasty or too pink. And other fairly neutral colours tend to look slightly muted, too. It's only with really rich standard def stuff, such as Sky News graphics, that the LCD32-209 delivers much of a colour punch.
My last issue with the LCD32-209 concerns its noise handling. For both standard and high definition sources tend to look rather ‘alive' with grain and/or MPEG blocking noise, even using the noise reduction system on the only setting we'd ever contemplate (low).
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