While the majority of specifications of the typical flat-panel may have settled down in recent months, the contrast ratio has remained an ever-moving target. Not so very long ago, LCD screens were happy to wallow in the region of 500:1-700:1. But the likes of LG Electronics and Samsung decided to push the envelope a little, nudging the contrast ratio to 1,000:1 and, from there to 2,000:1 and then 5,000:1. Now the latest 22in LG claims a gigantic 8,000:1 contrast ratio.
Of course, as with all of these LCDs, that figure isn't quite genuine. To switch it on, you have to enable the DFC (Digital Fine Contrast) feature by selecting the Movie Mode from the F-Engine button. In practice, this'll give you an extra blast of colour for those special occasions - firing up a DVD or Blu-ray disc for instance, or displaying your favourite photographs in their most glorious hues.
The effect is quite impressive, although it obviously doesn't compare to those of the latest plasma screens, where contrast ratios of more than 20,000:1 are available.
However, we do have some issues with this feature. Or rather, not the feature itself, but the flat-panel it's built into. Such a high contrast ratio, surely, would be perfect for high-definition images. Right? Well, LG doesn't totally agree, since it kits out this screen with a meagre analogue D-Sub connector. There's no digital socket - not even a DVI, let alone the increasingly popular HDMI - so those looking to plug the screen straight into home entertainment kit will be disappointed.
NEXT PAGE: Quality results without DVI?