I was also impressed with the 22LU5000’s black level response for the most part. This key part of any picture performance is often all but ignored by many small screen TVs, but dark scenes on the 22LU5000 look startlingly credible, with impressively little of the usual grey pall hanging over everything.
There’s some price to pay for this black level performance in the shape of enough missing shadow details to leave really dark parts of the picture looking a bit empty. And there are also subtle and mercifully thin strips of inconsistent backlighting down the screen’s left and right edges. But neither of these problems is truly severe, and so it’s the positives about the screen’s black levels that you ultimately take away with you.
The 22LU5000 surprised me, too, by handling standard definition images really well for a Full HD TV, upscaling them to the screen’s native resolution without introducing the softness and noise that we still commonly see with affordable Full HD TVs.
Overall, the 22LU5000’s pictures are hugely accomplished for a 22in LCD TV. But inevitably the TV isn’t actually perfect.
For as well as the minor black level issues mentioned earlier, the TV suffers predictably with motion blur and judder, and even more predictably serves up some unimpressive audio. There’s practically no bass at all, leaving trebles sounding over-dominant and wince-inducingly harsh and tinny at times, while vocals tend to sound ‘breathy’ and thus unconvincing.
While I can’t bring myself to give a second-room TV with underwhelming audio an unreserved recommendation, the 22LU5000 certainly deserves praise for its startlingly decent pictures and eye-catching – so long as you like this sort of thing! – design.
The set’s extra brightness and dynamism make it a superior option to the cheaper 22LU4000 when it comes to use in a conservatory or, possibly, kitchen, too. However, given that the advantages of the 22LU5000’s extra resolution over the HD Ready 22LU4000 aren’t particularly pronounced, if you’re looking for a TV for a reasonably dark study or bedroom, you might be as well to save yourself a good few bob and get the cheaper model instead.