Heading into the 22LU4000’s onscreen menus, I was pleasantly surprised to find them built around the same eye-catching and intuitive icon-driven system noted with LG’s much larger TVs. The slickness and high production values of these menus join forces with the 22LU4000’s startling design in creating a much more ‘high-end’ impression than you would expect to get for under £290.
This impression grows still further once you start to investigate the options the TV carries within its glamourpuss menus. Among the more unexpected fine-tuning bits and bobs are separate backlight, brightness and contrast controls; a dynamic colour option; gamma adjustment; a black level booster; a brightness-reducing ‘Eye Care’ mode, edge enhancement processing, and the option to choose between standard and wide colour gamuts.
What’s more, the TV even includes a Picture Wizard feature whereby you’re guided through getting the best out of its pictures via a series of clearly rendered test signals. Some people might feel this is overkill for a 22in TV. But so far as I’m concerned, if you’ve spent £290 on a 22LU4000, any touches that might help you get the very best out of it can only be considered a very good thing!
Even more surprising than its array of picture tweaks is the 22LU4000’s attention to audio detail. For despite its diminutive proportions, it uses one of LG’s trademark ‘invisible’ sound systems, where the speakers are essentially exciters built into the TV’s frame. The TV also offers such processing niceties as Clear Voice (for emphasising vocals), and SRS TruSurround XT processing, for a pseudo surround sound effect.
Unfortunately, though, I feel moved to start an assessment of the 22LU4000’s performance by stating unequivocally that these audio features are more or less a waste of time. For the set’s speakers are so fundamentally weedy and underpowered that even the thought of applying any sort of ‘booster’ processing to them is pretty much laughable. You can’t, after all, make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
The 22LU4000’s audio sounds pretty tinny and one-dimensional even when you’re only watching a simple voice-only documentary, so it’s hardly surprising that things start to sound almost teeth-grindingly harsh and artificial when the audio going gets tough.