televisions

LG 32LH20 LCD HDTV Review

32 in.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Blacks & Whites

Blacks & Whites Summary
{{article.attachments['LG-32LH20-vanity.jpg']}} • Good deep blacks • Solid contrast ratio

• Some problems downscaling 1080p/i content

• Tested using DisplayMate software

{{article.attachments['tvi-prev.jpg']}} Tour & Design Page 3 of 18 Color Accuracy {{article.attachments['tvi-next.jpg']}}

Black Level*(7.27)*


We measured the LG 32LH20's black level at 0.14 candelas per meter squared (cd/m2), which is above average performance, and compares well with other models, as you can see from the chart below. We're particularly happy to see this kind of black performance from a lower-end model in the LG lineup, you can see that it did far better than the higher-end LG 37LH55, which surprises us. The 32LH20's deep blacks will allow the television to provide more detail in dark scenes.

Black Level
{{article.attachments['LG-32LH20-blacklevel.jpg']}}

 

Peak Brightness*(8.34)*


The LG 32LH20 put up an almost exactly average performance in our peak brightness test, with a measured brightness of 302.36 cd/m2. You can see below that compared to its competitors the 32LH20 sits right around the middle, as you would expect. Not nearly as bright as the Samsung LN32B360, but brigther than the Sony KDL-32L5000. From a practical standpoint 300 cd/m2 is plenty bright for almost any situation.

Peak Brightness
{{article.attachments['LG-32LH20-peakbrightness.jpg']}}

 

Contrast*(7.36)*


As contrast is basically the difference between the darkest black and the brightest whites you may have gathered from our previous two sections that the LG 32LH20 performs reasonably well here, and you'd be right. The 32LH20's contrast ratio is about 2160:1. Although slightly below average, it's about the same as the Sony KDL-32L5000, and far better than the LG 37LH55, which you can see below. It doesn't quite match up to the excellent standards of the Samsung LN32B360, but for an entry-level HDTV it should provide a wide enough range of contrast to ensure that you get clear differences between gradiations of light and dark, which is what you want.

Contrast
{{article.attachments['LG-32LH20-contrastratio.jpg']}}

 

Tunnel Contrast*(9.94)*


In this section we look at what happens to the LG 32LH20's black level as we take the total amount of black on the screen from 100% to 5%. The 32LH20 holds up pretty well, with only minimal variance across the range. This is important as it ensures that you're not going to lose those deep blacks, even if only a small portion of the screen is dark.

Tunnel Contrast
{{article.attachments['LG-32LH20-tunnelcontrast.jpg']}}

 

White Falloff*(9.99)*


This is the opposite of our previous test, here we look at how well the peak brightness holds up as we go from a 100% white screen to a 5% white screen. Once again we don't want to see a drop off in brightness as this would mean you lose contrast ratio when there's not a lot of bright areas on the display. Thankfully the LG 32LH20 didn't show any sign of this, with the peak brightness staying rock solid across the range, as you can see form the chart below.

White Falloff
{{article.attachments['LG-32LH20-whitefalloff.jpg']}}

 

Uniformity*(9.0)*


Here we look at how uniform the LG 32LH20's display is when viewing an all black or all white display. We were very impressed with the 32LH20's performance here. Normally all televisions have a certain amount of uneveness in lighting across the display, particularly at the corners and along the edges. With the 32LH20 this effect was almost undetectable, making it one of the most uniform displays we've ever seen.

 

Greyscale Gamma*(7.66)*


A television's gamma reflects the curve along which it shifts from light to dark. Ideally a television will have a gamma between 2.1 and 2.2. The LG 32LH20's gamma curve was 2.59, which is slightly above this ideal range. What it means in practice is that the 32LH20 will be a bit more aggressive in transitioning from dark to light than we would want, but given the 32LH20's deep black level and decent brightness this should not cause any significant problems.

Greyscale Gamma
{{article.attachments['LG-32LH20-greyscalegamma.jpg']}}

 

Resolution Scaling*(5.27)*


The LG 32LH20 is a native 720p television, which means it can display 720 lines from top to bottom. Content comes in a wide range of resolutions, however, and in this section we look at how well the 32LH20 handles those other resolutions.

480p*(7.8)*

This is the resolution used by standard definition television, so normal broadcast TV, as well as DVDs. The 32LH20 did a reasonable job with this standard definition content. About 2% of the display was cut off at every edge, a phenomenon known as overscan. We also saw some problems reproducing complex patterns, but found the legibility and resolution were fine.

1080i*(3.5)*

The LG 32LH20 had significant problems with 1080i content. This format has 1080 lines from top to bottom, but unlike the 1080p format we discuss below it does not display all of those lines at once, instead alternating between two sets of 540 lines and interlacing them. On the LG 32LH20 we found that there were significant problems with complex patterns, known as moire patterns. Legibility was also very poor, we had to get up to 12 point to be able to read anything, and even then there were problems. Finally there were major problems display fine detail in resolution. This is a concern because 1080i is the standard used for most broadcast HD content, both over the air and from your cable box.

1080p*(4.5)*

The 32LH20 had many of the same problems with 1080p content that we saw with 1080i content above, ableit to a lesser extent. This is likely due to the fact that unlike 1080i, 1080p content is not interlaced together, which makes it easier for the television to process. We still saw significant moire patterns, however, much more than we would find acceptable, and while legibility was a bit better, it was still poor. We also saw the same problems with resolution. 1080p is usually only found on Blu-ray discs, so if you're looking for a television to go with your new Blu-ray player we'd avoid the 32LH20.

 

Compare the LG 32LH20 to other HDTVs
{{article.attachments['Samsung-LN32B360-vanity.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['Sony-KDL-32L5000-vanity.jpg']}} {{article.attachments['LG-37LH55-vanity.jpg']}}
Samsung LN32B360 32' Sony KDL-32L5000 32' LG 37LH55 37'
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Remote Control
  9. Connectivity
  10. Audio & Menus
  11. Formats & Media
  12. Power Consumption
  13. Vs Samsung LN32B360
  14. Vs Sony KDL32L5000
  15. Vs LG 37LH55
  16. Conclusion
  17. Series Comparison
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Compare Prices
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What's Your Take?

All Comments