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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

HP LC3200N

Usually you buy a television to look at the screen, but the back panel of the HP LC3200N is pretty impressive too, as it has an incredible number of ports to which you can connect other equipment; it even has FireWire ports for showing footage from a digital video camcorder or exporting to a digital-VHS deck. The one addition we'd like to see is a second HDMI port

You'll find a large selection of on-screen color controls, as well. Though this panel is made by Sharp and is very similar to the Sharp Aquos LC-32D6U, the HP set adds six-color hue, saturation, and image-value adjustments. (We couldn't take full advantage of those controls in our image-quality tests, however, because we use standard settings and a set calibration routine.) The HP set trailed the Aquos unit in overall image quality, though it came very close in high-definition programming and in DVD playback. As with the Aquos, switching to this set's alternate picture modes (most of which are customizable) gave us a more attractive image.

The LC3200N's screen, which is surrounded by a shiny black bezel, sits on a humongous silver base that makes the set very stable but isn't elegant. The speakers can mount on the sides of the screen, making the panel look even wider than it is. The TV has a Dolby Virtual surround-sound mode that's somewhat effective, but the speakers' audio quality is merely adequate. The long, thin remote control has cheap-feeling buttons, though they are backlit.

Upshot: The LC3200N didn't win our image-quality tests, but it does have a wide array of ports to connect racks full of equipment, and its extensive image adjustments should help you get the picture you want.

Source: pcworld

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