The set is also well connected for a TV with a built-in DVD player, including as it does, three HDMIs, all built to the v1.3 standard, a PC input, and a digital audio output. We were initially also chuffed to spot a USB port, but on closer inspection this turns out to be for Service use only, rather than a portal for viewing our digital photos. Darn.
Casting our net for other features uncovers 1080p/24 compatibility and the ability of the DVD player to play DiVX discs. There are also a series of thematic video presets including a dedicated game mode, and a surprising number (given the TV’s price) of really subtle bits and bobs such as contrast and colour boosters, gamma adjustment, and a black level booster. In fact, the TV can even be calibrated by an Imaging Science Foundation engineer to suit your room’s day and night conditions.
The only unexpected absentee from the features list is LG’s XD Engine video processing system – something that we’ve previously come to expect as pretty much a fixture of all LG TVs.
The good news is that we didn’t find ourselves missing the XD Engine as much as we might have expected. In fact, in some ways we arguably found the set’s pictures more natural without it, especially with standard definition sources, as they tend to look slightly less noisy and gritty on the 32LG4000 than they can on some XD Engine models.
More unexpectedly, the 32LG4000 doesn’t seem to blur motion as overtly as we found with LG’s XD Engine-equipped 32LG5000 set not too long ago. The problem is still certainly noticeable, especially with standard definition fare, but it seems generally slightly easier to live with. It’s worth noting, too, that the lack of heavy processing on the TV leaves it free of the edge glitching and shimmering problems that can afflict some more processing-heavy sets during camera pans.
On the downside, pictures aren’t as detailed or crisp as we’ve found with XD Engine sets, especially where standard definition is concerned. But overall there are times, at least, where I actually preferred the 32LG4000’s softer but more natural approach.
The 32LG4000 also scores points for its brightness, and the extreme saturations of its colours. In fact, some bold reds and blues look just about as vibrant as I’ve seen them on any 32in LCD TV, never mind one as cheap as the 32LG4000.
HD images also look likeably crisp even though there’s no XD Engine to help out, and the set is having to downscale the UK’s 1080-line HD sources to its native 1,366 x 768 pixel count. Admittedly, we’ve seen Full HD sets deliver even more HD sharpness – especially those with 100Hz processors – but we’ve also seen full HD sets look softer with HD, too.