The 22LU7000 isn’t just interested in standard definition, though; in fact, its scaling engine also helps it deliver an impressive sense of detail and crispness when fed HD sources.
At first glance, I was even quite satisfied by the 22LU7000’s black level response, with relatively straightforward ‘studio’, daytime TV fodder seeming to have enough of a range between its darkest and brightest picture areas to look snappy.
However, the wheels come off a little if you get the built-in DVD deck to play an overwhelmingly dark movie scene. For without bright image elements to distract me, I couldn’t help but note obvious evidence of LCD’s notorious ‘grey mist’ effect. What’s more, dark scenes also showed up distracting backlight bleed over the outermost cm or so of all four sides of the picture.
Dark scenes also let the colour side down a little, by suffering a few notably offish looking colours – over-dominant reds, salmony skin tones, etc. This stands in stark contrast to the naturalness of most tones during bright scenes.
One final flaw in the 22LU7000’s picture make up is a sporadic tendency to suffer with motion blur. This really doesn’t crop up all that often compared with the smeary mess commonly seen on budget, small LCD TVs. But funnily enough, its rarity means that when you do see it, it stands out like a sore thumb.
Shifting focus to the 22LU7000’s sound, it’s not too bad by 22in LCD standards. Though of course, those standards are notoriously low!
The highlight of the audio performance is the way the set manages to eke out more of the subtle details in a mix than is common, which helps give a film soundtrack a sense of space and dynamism. The speakers don’t generally distort under pressure, either. Just don’t expect your favourite action DVD explosions to resonate with any significant amount of bass, or the soundstage to expand far beyond the confines of the TV’s body.
Although the LG 22LU7000’s performance is predictably flawed, its extremely affordable price makes its AV shortcomings reasonably easy to tolerate. Plus its genuinely innovative approach to fitting two products into one box is a winner all the way.
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