• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Out of the frying pan into the fire with 32" LCD


Established Member
Hi guy's,

Looking for a bit of advice here. I've just purchased a LG 32LD490 that I'm going to return as I find the SD picture truly awful as I'm used to my good old Loewe CRT. I mainly wanted a set for the bedroom but first of all I didn't want to spend to much on it as this is not my main viewing arena. I'm now having a rethink and I'm currently looking at a Samsung LE32C650 as it gets good reviews for SD but would like to know if I'll find the same disappointing picture on this as well, It's mainly SD that I'll be viewing. I can't go to Plasma as 32" is the biggest I can get away with. Also, Media playback via USB and HD freeview is a must.

So, if money was no object what would you recommend?


Andrew McP

Standard Member
I can't help, but I can agree with you. I took delivery of a 32LD490 on Thursday, tempted by the excellent feature set and decent price. But I've got it stood on top of my ancient Sony 28" CRT at the moment and I'm shocked at how poor the LG's display of the same data is. (And it's no better when totally isolated).

I've spent several days tweaking options and reading threads here, but nothing has so far convinced me this TV could ever have passed any QA tests. The menu system and jpg display from a USB stick are sharp as razors. Lovely! But anything with any motion is highly problematic unless you're 5+ yards away.

I don't have any blu-rays, and HD Freeview isn't an option yet in my flat, so -- like you -- SD is going to be very important for the foreseeable future. And although I really want to love this TV, I can't. If I put it and the CRT on at the same time, the CRT handles motion *so* much better. The only time the LG's image is lovely and smooth is when the sharpness is set to 0, and then it looks significantly more defocused than the CRT.

I had my fingers crossed for this, but I guess there's no such thing as a bargain when it comes to TVs. You get what you pay for. :)

Andrew McP

Standard Member
For the sake of fairness I just want to add that I've just discovered I have some (very good) HD content on my PS3's GT5 installation. The intro movie is absolutely superb on the 32LD490, hinting that this set is absolutely optimised for 1080P. Which is a bit of a shame, because the vast majority of, well, everything I'll watch for the foreseeable future isn't!

Earlier I also noticed that my Matrix DVD was the first film I could play and be watching the movie rather than the distracting image quality. Part of this may be the fact the dark palette behaves better than average, hiding some of this set's weaknesses. However when I turned on my CRT I immediately noticed, as I have all week, that although the 490 can sometimes be sharper, it is never better than my CRT in terms of overall experience. The colours, the edge effects, the motion... I just find myself editing settings all the time looking for some kind of Holy Grail.

I have found it, but only in the HD movies for Grand Turismo. I suppose that's better than nothing.

Edit: As a bit of a beginner on this subject, you'll perhaps forgive me for missing a few tricks. I have just spotted the upscaling options on my PS3, which is much newer than my combined DVD/Freeview HD box (which has no upscaling options*). If I play DVDs in the PS3, with the upscaling turned to fullscreen, there is a noticeable improvement in edge rendering quality. So much so that it only leaves the motion tracking as an issue. And I always knew that would be an issue with this tech.

I now have some hope that if I upgrade my Freeview recorder (necessary anyway if I want to record any HD channels when I can get them) I may be able to get a better quality SD image than the LG's onboard decoder can manage.

I may be clutching at straws. :) Or I may, slowly, be learning about the various tricks required to get the best out of modern TV kit.

*Actually it does, but I was misunderstanding the options.
Last edited:


Established Member
guys, the C650 should have better Sd performance, but please dont expect miracles.

HD TV are meant to watch HD content, I my self own an LG SL8000 47 HD set and yes when I watch DVD on it i want to throw up. but Blu-ray is beautiful.

I think you should just give in, and starting to put Blu-rays into that PS3 of yours :)

Andrew McP

Standard Member
but please dont expect miracles.

Well, I certainly didn't expect miracles. But I would certainly have appreciated a better algorithm for blowing up SD content. Blurry & soft I can live with, but my eyes are somewhat allergic to crinkly-crunkly mpegorama glitchovision. :->

I think you should just give in, and starting to put Blu-rays into that PS3 of yours :)

I have no intention of buying any blu-rays. Dead format if you ask me. I think the world in general will skip straight to digital download, leaving blu-ray as the laser disk for this generation. :->

Having said that, I am tempted by a blu-ray equipped Freeview HD recorder (though not the prices), because DVDs have never been -- for me any way -- a useful size for backing up recorded TV. I think I may be drifting somewhat off topic though. :)

Andrew McP

Standard Member
Blurry & soft I can live with, but my eyes are somewhat allergic to crinkly-crunkly mpegorama glitchovision. :->

Ok, I think I finally found a solution! This last week or so has been a bit of a learning curve, thanks to the way CRT tech covers up a multitude of Freeview sins.

I've found that if I ignore the TV's onboard tuner and force my Freeview recorder to output at 720p, rather than AUTO or 1080p I get a much smoother image... as you'd expect. Text looks less mangled at the edges and the overall picture has no obvious compression type distractions. It really does look obviously nicer than the TV's onboard tuner output.

I think I may, finally, be approaching some kind of satisfaction with this set. Either that or it's beaten me into submission. ;-)

The latest video from AVForums

Is 8K TV dead? Philips OLED+907, Pioneer LX505 AVR plus B&W 700 S3 Reviews & Visit + AV/HiFi News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom