Are 32" LCD TVs Ready For Prime Time?

Are 32" LCD TV Sets (Finally) Ready For Prime Time?

Until now, we have preferred 26" or 27" sets, for a very simple reason: Most of that size have offered better contrast, black depth, and above all, pixel interpolation compared to the larger sets. So why the disparity in picture-quality?

"Low-definition" media like broadcast television, DTV or even standard DVD are the norm as HDTV broadcasts slowly become available. Unfortunately, available panels have trouble rescaling these low-definition sources to display them on an LCD with much higher resolution - 1366x768 or 1280x720. The 30" and 32" sets have had mediocre interpolation that most often showed up as violent jaggedness of the picture, or else a "Vaseline-lens" softness of the contours in wares offered by less-scrupulous manufacturers. But finally, we've found some 32" sets that make the grade. It wasn't easy, but some of the sets we tested offer performance worthy of the Toshiba 27WL56P or the Samsung LT-P266W.

Note: We used our new LCD test methodology to put these sets through their paces. You can read about it in THG Unveils New LCD Benchmarking Method.

The LG 32LP1D

Let's jump right in with the LG 32LP1D LCD TV. Its 32" diagonal measurement offers a good compromise between display area and resolution. But how is its interpolation?