To make matters worse, the 52LG5000’s viewing angle leaves a little to be desired, with some pretty severe drop off in colour saturation and black level response once you start sitting at an angle of any more than 40 degrees or so from face on.
Now we’re firmly back in a negative frame of mind, it’s worth adding that although they’re eye-catchingly vibrant, colours are also prone to one or two suspect tones, especially where skin is concerned. There’s a definite trace of orange in the way some flesh looks, and the lack of a truly deep black to counterpoint bright colours during dark scenes can leave them looking a bit radioactive, too.
Please also note that all of the colour tone issues we’re reporting are made worse if you make the mistake of setting the TV’s ‘Fresh Colour’ option any higher than ‘Low’.
Our more negative comment would be that the 52LG5000 doesn’t deliver as much ‘HD dazzle’ in terms of detailing and sharpness as some of its best rivals. For instance, the fur of the CGI Sabre Tooth tiger (they couldn’t find a real one, apparently) in ”10,000 B.C.” doesn’t contain quite as much clarity and hair delineation as it does on our reference Pioneer plasma or Philips LCD screens. Skin tones, too, tend to look a bit waxy thanks to their slight lack of definition.
Or at least this lack of HD precision is the case when there’s any sort of motion going on. To be fair detail levels are up there with the best of them with relatively static HD shots.
The final area of concern regarding the 52LG5000’s pictures is its standard definition scaling. I found that images from all but the very finest quality SD sources look rather noisy, and the whole orangey/waxy skin tone thing sometimes goes into overdrive.
Sonically the 52LG5000 is a pretty respectable effort. It produces some very high volumes during the ”10,000 B.C.” slave/mammoth revolt finale, while retaining good dialogue clarity (especially with Clear Voice in play) and pushing subtle effects over a decently wide range. Bass levels are solid, too, though not quite deep enough to stop the occasional moment of harshness creeping in.
The 52LG5000 isn’t anything like the horror show we’d feared it might be after spending time with its much smaller sibling. In fact, with the right sort of bright, colourful, relatively static HD footage, its pictures can look very appealing indeed – and this could be enough to win it many fans given its price, especially if you can feed it a predominantly high definition diet.
But at the same time various shortcomings cause its pictures to slide dangerously close to average territory a bit too often for comfort, especially if you spend most of your time in standard definition land.