I Want My 32" LCD TV


That ends the second installment of our comparison of LCD TV sets. What's the upshot? Judging from the results of our various tests, we can draw a few conclusions. The first is that 30" and 32" models don't perform well with low-resolution sources. We thus conclude that this is an overall failure for sets in this category.

The 26" models we tested did much better in this area due to their smaller pixel size. Then, the black level on TV sets with this screen size is not deep enough - a direct result of manufacturers' determination to put brightness before other qualities. That's a shame, since when you consider that people watch 90% of the movies they show in the dark (out of simple habit), you realize that a brightness of 350 nits is abnormal, even if you're sitting far from the screen.

So, given the current status of visual home entertainment content, we recommend that you focus on 26" models if you really want to invest in LCD. They'll give you a better picture and you'll be able to continue using your "old" equipment without seeing too much stair stepping. So for now I'd recommend the LW26A33W from Samsung. It has the best quality / price ratio, by far.

However if you're already the proud owner of leading-edge equipment, with a high-performance scaler and/or HDTV, and if you still need a 32" LCD to make your dream setup complete, you can invest in the ViewSonic N3200W. It's more expensive than the other sets, but it's also better equipped and offers a quality picture, provided you can overcome the scaling problem.