We’re pleased to say we didn’t spot any seriously unpleasant side effects from the XD Engine processing, even while watching fairly low-rent standard definition pictures. This means there’s no major price to pay for all the myriad benefits that XD Engine brings.
The general lack of digital processing artefacts and motion smearing also contributes to some impressive sharpness levels – levels which are particularly, though not exclusively, brought to the fore when watching high definition film trailers and games on our resident Xbox 360.
With ordinary TV viewing, meanwhile, the 32LX2R shows a pleasingly natural touch in the way it combines the authentic but vibrant colour schemes mentioned earlier with reasonably profound black levels, impressive suppression of grain and dot crawl noise, smooth contouring and enough colour subtlety to ensure pictures look reasonably three-dimensional.
As for those caveats we mentioned, the first would be that the picture flickers from time to time. The cause of this isn’t entirely clear, though we suspect it may have something to do with the XD Engine processing system getting a little confused occasionally.
Next, while the 32LX2R’s black level response is good enough to round out most TV footage, the higher contrast demands of movies and some of the darker Xbox 360 games can reveal a slightly bluish, detail-obscuring undertone to the LG’s attempts at really dark hues.
Finally, while viewing via DVI and HDMI we occasionally spotted quite noticeable amounts of digital blocking noise – a surprisingly common LCD trait caused by the aggressive nature of the technology’s backlighting system.
Sonically the 32LX2R doesn’t set the world on fire. We’re not saying it actually sounds bad or anything; in fact, with your typical ‘day time TV’ fodder it sounds punchy and clear. But let loose on a rowdy film mix there’s no denying that a shortage of bass soon becomes apparent; mid tones sound like they’re getting compressed (resulting in some mushy-sounding speech); and peak trebles can get so harsh they threaten to make your ears bleed.
LG’s 32LX2R is certainly not without its flaws on both the picture and sound fronts – and it’s a pity it hasn’t got a digital tuner. Yet its forward thinking connectivity, sleek design and above all low price ticket mean it’s still at least worth considering.