Joining the Full HD resolution in giving us more than most 22in TVs is the TV’s Picture Wizard feature. This handily presents you with a series of nicely thought through test signals, along with explanations of how you should use them to optimise the TV’s picture quality.
Again, I guess you could argue this is a bit ‘overkill’ for a 22in TV, but personally I’m always happy when someone helps me get the best out of ANY TV, not matter how small it might be.
Yet more good up-front news finds the 22LU5000 boasting a startlingly high (for the sub-26in market) contrast ratio of 20,000:1, which suggests that this TV might actually have something approaching a decent black level response.
Other bits and bobs of note include: an Energy Saving mode that lets you adjust the TV’s running power or even turn the screen off completely if you’re watching something you only need the audio for; a dynamic backlight adjustment; and even an Advanced Control picture menu containing such niceties as a dynamic contrast system, dynamic colour booster, multi-level noise reduction circuit, gamma adjustment, black level booster, edge enhancement circuit, and an eye care mode that compresses the image’s dynamic range to reduce retinal stress.
And so to the moment of truth. Does having a Full HD resolution in the 22LU5000 really take its performance to another level versus the considerably (£100 at least) cheaper 22LU4000?
Actually, it’s quite hard to tell. For while the 22LU5000’s pictures do look better than those of the 22LU4000, I’m not fully convinced that this is down to the extra pixels.
The 22LU5000 certainly does look likeably sharp with HD, but I didn’t feel that it was obviously sharper and more detailed than the ‘merely’ HD Ready 22LU4000 – certainly from any sort of sensible viewing distance.
Stick your face right up against the screen and set the TV’s aspect ratio to its ‘Just’ pixel for pixel, no-overscanning mode, and I guess it’s possible that Blu-rays look fractionally cleaner. But even then it’s a very minor thing.
Much more impressive is how much brighter and more dynamic the 22LU5000’s pictures look. The 22LU4000 actually impressed in both these regards compared with the usually dull, flat pictures of most small LCD TVs we see, yet the 22LU5000 takes things a step further again.
Bright fare of the sort found while watching daytime TV – likely the most common source this ‘second-room’ TV will entertain – looks strikingly vibrant and punchy, with relatively high light output and some richly saturated but also natural colours ensuring that the image has no trouble at all competing with the sun-drenched surroundings of, for instance, a sun-lounge or conservatory.