Black levels usually present a very stiff test for any budget LCD TV – but on the 32PFL7562D the darkest corners of Bioshock on the Xbox 360 or The Bourne Supremacy on HD DVD look really convincingly black, with precious little of LCD’s usual greying over problem.
Similarly impressive versus the majority of its price-based rivals is the sharpness of the 32PFL7562D’s images. Pixel Plus 2 raises standard definition pictures to something at least half way to high definition, while high definition pictures look pin sharp and full of all the subtle texturing and extra clarity that makes the HD format so appealing. And yes, the set’s HD prowess really does stand out even though it’s only appearing on a relatively small 32in screen.
Further good news comes from the 32PFL7562D’s colours, which are portrayed with terrific intensity and brightness without – crucially – letting tones become cartoonish, even when dealing with tricky fare such as the skin tones during the ultra-naturalistic Bourne Supremacy cinematography. Just occasionally a particularly rich red can take on a slightly orangey hue, but that’s really not a heavy sin at this price point. And in any case it’s something that, strangely, you just get used to over time.
There are, however, reasons why the 32PFL7562D only gets an 8 for picture in our scores – and why AV perfectionists might still want to spend more elsewhere. For instance, while watching Jason Bourne’s lightning fast fisticuffs, plus an England/India one day cricket match, we found the set a touch prone to motion smearing. Not as much as with many sub-£600 sets, it has to be said, but enough to force us to mention it.
Something about the Pixel Plus 2 HD system also sometimes causes skin tones to look rather ‘mannequin-like’, and pictures can become noisy if you don’t do the sensible thing and keep the TV’s contrast reined in. Finally, Digital Natural Motion does its usual trick of making most pictures look so fluid that things actually start to appear unnatural. Just as well, then, that you can leave the feature turned off…
It’s back to the good stuff with the 32PFL7562D’s audio, though, which combines plenty of power with more frequency response than is common with budget 32in LCDs.
If you look carefully, it’s easy to see the ‘cracks’ left by the features the 32PFL7562D has had to go without in order to hit its low price. But with some judicious tweaking of the TV’s settings, it’s possible to at least partially Polyfilla over some of those cracks, leaving you with a TV that easily outperforms its price point.