LG 20LC1RB £315
30th Sep 2006 | 23:00
A basic LCD TV fails to impress
No matter how hard we looked - and we looked pretty hard - the LG's 20LC1RB yielded scarcely a single interesting feature or specification.
Connections, for instance, are utterly bog-standard, comprising just a single RGB Scart, an S-video input, a composite video input, stereo audio inputs and an RF input, which wouldn't connect to an analogue only tuner.
There's not even any means of connecting a PC, so you can't even justify the TV's rather high price tag by doubling it up as a computer monitor.
In terms of specifications, the aspect ratio is a traditional 4:3, the native resolution is a paltry 640x480, the claimed contrast ratio is a seriously uninspiring 350:1, and brightness is rated at an absolutely par for the course 450cd/m2. Boring, boring, boring and, indeed, boring.
A good rummage in the TV's onscreen menus also reveals absolutely nothing beyond the utter basics common to every TV.
Luckily the TV's almost complete feature and specification blandness doesn't extend to the 20LC1RB's exterior. It's really quite attractive in a 'laddish' kind of way, thanks to its all-black livery, cute shape and fancy cyan-coloured lozenge power light.
According to LG's specifications, there are actually one or two slightly intriguing things going on 'behind the scenes'. For instance, the TV apparently features Faroudja's DCDi de-interlacing processing, a black stretch circuit, and a digital comb filter. But since the same online specs also say the TV is 1080i/720p compatible when it clearly isn't, we'd best treat the other spec claims with a hefty pinch of salt too.
Another key feature the set is lacking is an aspect ratio adjustment for watching anamorphic widescreen sources from, for instance, an attached Freeview or Sky receiver.
Thankfully, the 20LC1RB redeems itself slightly with its picture quality. First to impress is the absence of noise in the picture, be it grain, dot crawl or colour moiring. Colours, meanwhile, are exceptionally rich and bright, and combine with an unexpectedly decent black level performance to create a good, solid picture with a fair sense of scale.
Motion is handled more crisply than by some rivals in this group, leaving a lack of fine detail as the picture's only significant weakness.
Sadly the 20LC1RB's audio doesn't do its pictures justice. A gross lack of bass and simple power makes the TV almost laughably incapable of coping with anything more demanding than simple daytime TV news or a chat show.
With its stylish looks and good pictures, the set may have made a decent second-room TV, despite its total lack of features and feeble sound, were it not for its price. If you ask us, £400 is at least £100 too much for a TV with such a fundamentally basic specification.