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