"Great Picture, Easy Setup, Better Sound With HTMI Cable"4.0 starson by Charles-Patel
Pros: Picture is crisp and clear
Sound is decent
Buttons are sensitive
Has a headphone jack
Remote seems to be well laid-out
Cons: I/O Board seems a bit flimsy
Summary: After 17 years, our 27" Sony crapped out. Just upped and died. A week earlier, my wife and I were discussing what we'd do if it ever did go, and we said we'd get someone to repair it. Hah! Nobody repairs anything with a tube anymore. So it was a good thing we started to look.
The first consideration was size, and the place we have to watch this set can take a 32", but even a 37" would be too large. We headed over to BestBuy - the only game in this town - and looked at Sony, Samsung, LG, and Toshiba. A couple of years ago, we would have chosen the Toshiba, but we didn't care for the picture quality (even though we diddled a bit with the setting in the store). The Sony was $200 more, and for the amount of TV we normally want, that put it as an outside choice. Samsung was more money, but over all, we liked the picture on the LG best.
We took it home, hooked it up (the hardest part was deciphering the instructions for installing the stand: the "manuals" are truly terrible) and that's when the fun started. Turns out you CAN'T watch hi-def on a HD set unless your cable box can get to the HD channels. I don't know about other "services," but Comcast charges an extra $30 a month. Well, it's baseball season, so what he heck. We now get about 20 HD channels.
BUT, if for example, we're watching Channel 3, it says "Watch in HD," and you have to press "Enter" to get to Channel 703. That goes for most broadcast stations. It doesn't seem to apply to three of the PBS channels.
Okay, so much for basics. The remote was great, but now we have to use the Comcast remote which was not designed for human use. The buttons are all wrong... but this is about the TV set. After fooling around with the various combos, we settled on "Expert 1" where I could set the contrast, brightness, etc. Vivid was the next choice, and most of the others didn't work out for us. Every once in a while, we hit a channel where, although it's HD, it doesn't fill the screen or the colors are "off." But we go back a looonnng way, and when we got our first color TV, we learned to live with purple people, so we can cope with the foibles of Comcast and channels.
Why 4 stars? It IS energy efficient, but the cable box runs about 100 watts. It has a clear and bright picture, and it isn't LG's fault that we're not willing to pay $130 a month for all HD and the "premium" channels. But, the sound is variable. By that I mean that it can change from channel to channel, but look at this variation: for baseball, we turn it to 18-22. For broadcast news, sometimes as high as 25-28. But for PBS - which is rarely in HD if you watch "Mystery" and even some "Nova," I've had it up to 90!!! It's not muffled, but why so high? I have no idea.
(We were deciding whether to get external speakers, but changing the "RCA" cables for one HTMI improved the sound by 100%. Now, normal range is 10-20.)
As for the following: Intelligent Sensor, ISFccc Ready, and Picture Wizard, they seem useless. At least we haven't found a use for them. We do like being able to plug a digital camera into the front, though we probably won't do that more than once or twice. And I have my photos on a USB drive that plugs into the left side. You can access the pictures and your own music on that drive with the LG remote. However, there is good an bad in that. If your pictures started with a 3.2 mp camera, and now go to a 14 mp, many will not be in HD and many will show the poor quality of 3.2 mp from 2001-2005. So, we won't be watching slide shows any more than we did when we bored people to tears in 1970.
I do recommend the LG ( and if you will buy this LG TV I suggest you have to compare prices before you decide at: *********.info/LG-32LK450 ). But check with your cable company or Dish or whatever to find out what you need. BY ALL MEANS, GO NO LOWER THAN 1080p! Anything less, and you might as well do without HD. Want to see the difference: At your local video store, try a 32" 720p and a 32" 1080p. Perhaps a 19" is okay at 720, but anything that remotely resembles HD has to be 1080.