Now, though, we come to the prices you have to pay with the 32S700F for all that fearsome brightness and colour saturation.
The first and easily worst problem concerns the consistency of its backlight. For it’s impossible not to notice, during dark scenes, the very clear patches of higher brightness in each of the screen’s corners. These spill into the picture a good few inches, and can be distracting when you see them.
Happily, they’re not visible during bright content. But then how many dramas and films have you watched – aside, perhaps, from one or two animated films – that don’t feature any dark scenes?
It has to be said, too, that the set’s black level generally is only rather average. There’s definitely some greyness hanging over parts of the picture that ought to look black.
You can, of course, improve both the greyness and the backlight inconsistency situation if you really push down the 32S700F’s brightness setting. But neither issue ever disappears entirely. Plus we were loathe to reduce the brightness too far, for that took away the set’s most attractive feature.
Other lesser problems include a limited viewing angle (nothing unusual about that with LCD technology, of course); slightly noisy standard definition pictures; and the fact that the set’s colour intensity can lead to one or two rather unnatural-looking tones – especially given that the set’s general colour balance doesn’t seem tuned to a particularly European taste.
Despite their flaws, though, there are enough positives about the 32S700F’s pictures to suggest that Pangoo could be a brand to watch in the coming months.
The same, alas, cannot be said of its sound. For its speakers are strikingly weak even by the usually uninspiring standards of the 32in LCD market. A total lack of anything you could call bass leaves the soundstage extremely unbalanced in favour of the treble end of the spectrum – a situation not helped by the fact that even the set’s mid-range performance lacks dynamic range and potency. The set just about sounds OK with simple ‘daytime TV’ chat shows and the like, but it’s totally unconvincing with anything more demanding.
There’s something very appealing about the idea of being able to get a design-led 32in edge-LED TV for just £550. Especially when that TV somehow chucks out brightness and colours of attention-grabbing intensity. But the surface appeal is inevitably dented, in particular, by the set’s backlight consistency problems and below-par audio performance.