LG 32LB560B LED TV Review
The very definition of "middling"
By now, most people who don't own a smart TV at least have access to online content through an HDMI stick, a gaming console, or something like a Roku. This—combined with the slow onset of 4K content—is why TVs like the LG 32LB560B (MSRP $249.99) remain an attractive option for bargain hunters looking for something to tide them over until the proliferation of UHD.
Certainly no one expects a TV of this caliber to be packed with features or present a dazzling picture, but there are still expectations that the LB560B fails to meet.
For all of its shortcomings, however, it's still an affordable TV that gets the job done. It won't bowl you over, but if you fit into the narrow group of people that this TV is aimed at, you might find it to be a sensible option.
The Looks & Experience
Nothing new from LG—but that's not necessarily a bad thing
From a design standpoint, the LB560B falls right in line with the rest of LG's 2014 entry-level and mid-range lineup. Like the LB6000 and the LB5600, the LB560B features a narrow, gunmetal gray-colored bezel that rests atop two angular, wide-set feet.
I've expressed my appreciation for this design in the past, and my feelings haven't changed in the slightest. The thin bezel combined with the minimal design of the stand causes the panel to pop off whatever backdrop you've placed it in front of.
There's also something to be said for the uniqueness of the look, which avoids the homogeneity of the industry's penchant for the black-panel-on-a-square-black-stand look, especially among cheap TVs.
The LB560B's remote control is also identical to the ones we've previously seen in LG's 2014 entry-level and mid-range model. It's nothing to write home about, but then again, it doesn't need to be; the LB560B has no need for anything more than the basic control set. And were this TV equipped with a smart platform, the price would be significantly higher.
On the back of the TV's panel, you'll find component/composite inputs, a coaxial jack, RS-232C, and a USB port. If you're looking to hook up multiple devices to this TV, take note: The LB560B only has two HDMI ports. That shouldn't be an issue for most, but if you are planning on adding something like a Chromecast to this set, it'll occupy one of those ports.
It won't be the star of your living room.
The biggest mark against the LB560B's picture is its resolution, which tops out at 720p. And though it's easy to justify the lack of a smart platform in a 32-inch, entry-level TV, it's difficult to justify the fact that the LB560B doesn't achieve full-HD status. That said, for consumers hunting for a TV in this price range, the LB560B's price tag might trump its 720p resolution.
Another thing to consider is how far away you're planning on sitting from the TV. At 32 inches, the decreased pixel density of the panel may not be visible if you're sitting more than 7-8 feet away. If you're closer than that, a 1080p set will likely look sharper.
Unfortunately, from a sheer performance standpoint, the LB560's picture is a constant reminder of its exceptionally low price. Despite relatively accurate color production, colors on the LB560B don't exactly "pop" the way you want them to, and this washed-out look is especially noticeable in bright, highly-stylized content.
The LB560B also struggled to accommodate scenes of fast-paced motion, and while I didn't notice any messy blurring, the TV rendered action in a juttery, staccato fashion. These reasons–along with the TV's lack of full-HD resolution–make it a poor choice for people who intend to do a fair amount of gaming.
But let's keep things in perspective: This is a $250, 32-inch TV. Its picture is flawed, but consider the alternatives.
And a word about calibration: For the type of TV the LB560B is, it has significantly more customization options than you'd expect. While this is of more use to calibrators than most consumers, it does let you improve the picture somewhat. For more on this—including our calibration settings—check out the science page.
Before you buy the LG 32LB560B, take a look at these other televisions.
One look at the LB560B's price tag and it's easy to see the appeal. The Panasonic TC-32A400U, for example, is priced the same and doesn't hold a candle to the LB560B. And then there's the Hisense 32H3, which is significantly cheaper than the LB560B, but managed to be the worst entry-level TV we reviewed last year.
Alternatively, the Sharp LC-32LE551U is around $60 more than the LB560B, and edges it out from a performance standpoint. The LC-32LE551U also has the luxury of calling itself a full-HD TV.
But maybe resolution doesn't make a difference. Perhaps you're looking for a smaller TV with a great picture for under $300. The LB560B fits right at home in a spare bedroom or dorm room, won't break the bank, and will please people who don't need their TV to come equipped with a smart platform.
The LB560B isn't a knock-out performer, but if your needs are modest, it could settle into your home quite nicely.
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