LG 32LH604V

FOR Glossy, deep blacks; bright whites; vi­brant pic­ture AGAINST Slow in­ter­face; ri­vals of­fer greater subtlety

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Con­tents -

The 32LH604V isn’t high enough up in LG’S TV range to qual­ify for an OLED panel, nor does it have Ul­tra HD 4K res­o­lu­tion. But we’re hardly ex­pect­ing top pic­ture tech on a small screen at this price. Full HD res­o­lu­tion is per­fectly re­spectable for a 32in TV – and it comes with the lat­est WE­BOS 3.0 in­ter­face.

Mars ex­pe­ri­ence

Since it was first in­tro­duced in 2014, we have waxed lyri­cal about LG’S WE­BOS. Now in its third it­er­a­tion, the colour­ful card-launcher in­ter­face has been tweaked for its 2016 TVS.

Two new sec­tions join the neat row of cards at the bot­tom of the screen: My Chan­nels and My Con­tent, where you can store your favourite chan­nels and shows for even quicker ac­cess. Want to watch the next episode of Archer but don’t want to wait for the Net­flix app to launch? Just add to My Con­tent, and the spoof spy show is just a click away.

But there is one glar­ing prob­lem: it’s slow. WE­BOS is slick and seam­less on LG’S top-range TVS, but a real drag to use on the 32LH604V. Launch­ing apps, or even the pro­gramme guide, takes far too long – some­times we are wait­ing for a good 10 sec­onds or more. It is deeply frus­trat­ing and mars the over­all WE­BOS ex­pe­ri­ence, which is a shame as the 32LH604V has plenty to of­fer.

A Free­view HD tuner gives you all your chan­nels and, along with Net­flix, there’s Ama­zon Video, Now TV and De­mand 5 – but, cu­ri­ously, no BBC iplayer or Youtube. These are odd omis­sions, but they should be avail­able af­ter a soft­ware up­date. LG is also re­port­edly in line to in­te­grate Free­view Play into its TVS, which should give you more catch-up apps in ITV Hub and All 4.

The LG has built-in wi-fi, but there’s a wired eth­er­net port for a more sta­ble in­ter­net con­nec­tion. There are also three HDMI in­puts, two USB ports and ana­logue con­nec­tions on the back, plus an op­ti­cal out­put for adding a sound­bar.

At this price, we’re not ex­pect­ing a par­tic­u­larly slim flatscreen telly, and the LG is rather on the chunky side. You wouldn’t know it from the front, though. The slim bezel and plain black feet aren’t overly smart or sleek, but do mean your at­ten­tion is fo­cused on the 32in screen. The 32LH604V may be some­what frus­trat­ing to use, but its glossy, eye-catch­ing pic­ture makes up for it. What strikes us most is just how vel­vety deep the blacks are – much darker and more solid than on ri­val 32in sets such as the Pana­sonic TX32DS500B.

Stark whites gleam against the inky blacks, and colours have a rich depth to them. Play Guardians Of The Galaxy on Blu-ray and the bold yel­low jump­suits, the green skin and the sci-fi blues all pop vividly against a back­ground that has be­liev­able depth.

TV with foibles

The LG’S colour pal­ette teeters just on the right side of over­sat­u­rated. Sk­in­tones look de­cent, and there’s plenty of subtlety in shad­ing to make char­ac­ters look three-di­men­sional. Strands of hair, the tex­ture of roads, threads on clothes – they’re all crisply etched in Full HD.

Its clos­est ri­val Sony KDL32WD603 has an HD Ready res­o­lu­tion, so we’re ex­pect­ing a sharper pic­ture qual­ity on the LG in com­par­i­son. But the Sony isn’t too far off in per­for­mance: its blacks may not go as deep as the LG, but it does of­fer a tad more shadow de­tail with­out com­pro­mis­ing its strong con­trast.

The LG swal­lows up some finer nu­ances in inky pools of black, and it doesn’t al­ways look as solid dur­ing day­light scenes. The Sony can glean more in­for­ma­tion from the bright ar­eas, too, and does a bet­ter job at con­vey­ing how in­tense and punchy a light source is.

The LG’S sound qual­ity mir­rors its pic­ture per­for­mance: loud, pow­er­ful, full-bod­ied and en­joy­able. It can be rather thick at times, but it’s a small price to pay when you’re get­ting such a big, bold sound out of a 32in TV. Voices are full of warmth, and there’s a de­cent heft to en­gines and sound ef­fects.

The LG 32LH604V’S glossy pic­ture is an en­joy­able watch, though slightly flawed. The main grum­ble lies with its frus­trat­ingly slow in­ter­face, but if you can live through the TV’S foibles, then the LG’S punchy and ap­peal­ing pic­ture qual­ity is well worth search­ing out.

The LG’S slim bezel means all your at­ten­tion is fo­cused on the ac­tion on the 32in screen

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