With a glossy piano-black frontage, the LG Scarlet sports a fetching (albeit shiny) red rear, and a frame that extends well below the screen to conceal the inbuilt speaker system. At the centre of the frame’s base is a stylized hollow ring which glows scarlet (of course) when in standby mode and also lets you turn the TV on or off with a single touch—oddly appealing and appealingly odd. But do these winsome looks also make for bewitching performance? Let’s take a look.
First some techno-babble: The TV offers full HD (high definition) 1080p support—which means that HDTV programmes can be viewed in 1920x1080 resolution. LG has beefed up this model’s dynamic contrast ratio (the ratio of the luminance of the brightest colour to the luminance of the darkest colour) to 50,000:1.
Its “24p Real Cinema” ensures that hi-definition movies run in their native 24 frames per second. In terms of response time, it boasts of 5millisecond (ms) G-to-G (grey-to-grey response times indicate how fast an LCD monitor can refresh its images on screen).
Attempting to go beyond simple ambient light/brightness sensing to adjust backlighting, the LG “Intelligent Sensor” is said to employ 4,096 sensing steps to evaluate its surroundings and then optimize picture-quality elements (brightness, contrast, colour, sharpness and white balance) accordingly.
Price: Rs.1.09 lakh. www.in.lge.com/scarlet/index.html
Along with brightness rated at 500 cd/m2, the Scarlet offers a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees.
And what do all these juliennes of jargon actually translate into for the viewer? Apart from excellent RGB (red, green, blue) contrasts, the Scarlet produces images that are eye-poppingly vibrant, bright and crisp—especially in high-definition mode. Its high dynamic contrast ratio means that the system is capable of producing bright whites and very deep blacks.
The overall depth of field—evident from the sharpness of wide landscape shots—is good. There is distinct evidence of digital-motion artefacts (slight undesirable image irregularities that result from an image changing over time—that is, from an object’s motion within the image or camera panning—as pixels are updated from one frame to the next) in hi-definition action movies.
These artefacts vanish when viewing regular cable and DTH satellite television broadcasts or standard definition video. But the images in standard mode appear a tad softer and less sharp. Due to its 5ms response time, virtually no distortion, fringing or ghosting of images is visible.
No chromatic aberrations can be detected either. Tuning speed is tolerable.
As far as audio output goes, the Scarlet’s hidden twin (10W+10W) SRS TruSurround sound speakers are capable of producing superb decibel quality. Tuned by hi-fi specialists Mark Levinson, they deliver crackle- and distortion-free audio almost all the way up to full volume, with pretty decent bass richness.
On the connectivity front, this LG model offers inputs that range from as many as four HDMI V.1.3, a USB 2.0 (for JPEG and MP3 input), to a whole array of component video-input offerings. Though conveniently located on one side, accessing these is not as easy if you plan to wall-mount the TV.
Opting for any gadget or gizmo necessitates an appraisal of its three Ps: pedigree, performance and price (not at all in that order; or for that matter, not in any set proportion either). This must depend entirely on your own priorities and preferences.
In terms of pedigree, LG is right there at the top. As a performer, the Scarlet undoubtedly impresses (yes, we admit some of you may find it overly imposing in its overall appearance). And with such a seductive price tag, this LCD TV is positively a good value-for-money proposition.