Review Price £299.99
It’s also important to stress that the 32F8030-T isn’t hiding any backlight clouding issues behind a general lack of black level depth. On the contrary, Finlux’s remarkable little TV produces a very credible black colour, affected by precious little of the grey ‘wash’ we’ve come to expect from most budget – and a few not-so-budget! – LCD TVs during dark scenes.
Shadow detail aplenty
As if all this wasn’t already amazing enough on a sub-£300 32in LCD TV, the fact that the 32F8030-T’s black level response seems relatively natural to the panel (as opposed to being ‘concocted’ by drastic reductions in the image’s overall brightness levels) means that dark scenes retain far more shadow detail than we’d expect on such an affordable TV. This is essential in helping dark scenes look believable and ensuring that they deliver a similar sense of depth and space to light scenes.
And still there’s more. For the 32F8030-T’s impressive black level/contrast performance doesn’t even need you to activate the provided dynamic contrast system to make pictures look good. Which means you don’t have to worry about the picture looking unstable or flickery.
If you’re a gamer, moreover, then you’ll be very pleased indeed to hear that the 32F8030-T measured only 26ms of input lag on average during our tests, making it an unusually good LCD screen to use if you’re into wasting whiny American teenagers on Call of Duty.
While Finlux might have redefined our expectations of budget TV picture quality, though, it hasn’t worked quite so much magic on the 32F8030-T’s audio. The integrated speakers still succumb fairly readily to harshness when driven at all hard, and there’s hardly any bass worthy of the name.
However, the set does deliver a reasonable volume level without the cabinet phutting or the speakers distorting nastily, and there’s just enough mid-range ‘space’ to allow vocals to remain believable and intelligible even during raucous moments.
If you’re in the market for a cheap 32in TV, it’s hard to see how you could do any better right now than the Finlux 32F8030-T. Despite some occasional motion artefacts its pictures are so assured and immersive that they humble those of some TVs costing twice as much. Chuck in decent multimedia features and even a bit of online streaming support, and you’ve got what genuinely deserves to be called a budget classic.
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