This Freeview tuner is actually the third of the home cinema gadgets we said the LP32 had rolled into one. Yes, yes, we know that a digital tuner is hardly unique; most LCD TVs these days have them built in rather than forcing you to use an external Freeview receiver. But frankly if we can think of any argument, however lame, that can boost our case for the clutter-busting potential of the LP32, we’re going to use it. So there!
Naturally the Freeview tuner is backed up by full 8-day EPG support, and there’s the facility to set up to 12 timer recording events simply by selecting desired programmes from the listings. In addition to this, the HDD can ‘cache’ the content of the channel it’s set to, so you can rewind a programme that’s on if you, say, walk in just after it’s started. The HDD system also supports live TV pausing.
Another key element in the LP32’s make up is the fact that it actually carries two digital tuners. This is obviously crucial on a TV with a built-in PVR, since it allows you to record one Freeview channel while watching another. Other smaller but still noteworthy features of the LP32 include SRS TruSurround XT audio processing for a wider soundstage, noise reduction options, and various settings for adjusting the appearance of skin tones.
With so much clear and winning potential in its cut-price armoury, it’s a pity that a somewhat uninspiring performance level takes the gloss off the LP32’s considerable surface appeal.
Pictures initially make a fairly winning impression, mind. A combination of some surprisingly deep black levels for this price point and bright, richly saturated colours ensure that images make an instant, aggressive impact – especially with the dynamic colour schemes of animated movies or Xbox 360 HD games.
Colours actually bear up quite well with subtler fare too, though, as the low-lit skin tones and subdued backdrops of the Mines of Moria sequence in The Fellowship of The Ring all appear with a pleasing degree of naturalism.
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