Syntax Olevia LT32HV 32-inch 720P LCD TV - Review

Syntax Olevia LT32HV 32-inch 720p LCD TV
Syntax Olevia LT32HV 32-inch 720p LCD TV. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Original Publish Date: 03/19/2005
Reformatted and Updated: 12/03/2015
The Syntax Olevia LT32HV is a great performer. For less than $2,000, this set sports a 32-inch 16x9 aspect ratio screen, as well as HD-compatible progressive scan-enabled component and DVI-HDCP inputs; perfect for watching DVD and HD material. The LT32HV also has extensive picture adjustment controls, a very wide viewing angle, and good response time.

The LT32HV includes great sounding side-mounted speakers, and an output to connect an external subwoofer; for those without an external audio system.

Product Features

1. LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) HD-compatible (480p, 720p, 1080i) screen display capability with 1366x768 native pixel resolution (approximately 720p), 1200:1 contrast ratio, and 60,000 hour backlight life. The actual LCD panel is made by LG/Philips which features Super In-Plane Switching, providing for a very wide viewing angle and fast motion response time.

2. This unit comes with Dual-NTSC tuners with PIP (Picture-in-Picture), Split-Screen, and Multi-Screen display capability, as well as 3 Composite, 3 S-video, and 2 HD-compatible (up to 1080i) Component video inputs. There is also a DVI-HDCP input for HD sources and a standard VGA input for PC use.

3.For audio, there is a 15 watt-per-channel audio amp with side mounted speakers and a line output for optional powered subwoofer.

A headphone output is included, as well as audio outputs for connection to stereo or surround sound system.

4. All controls can be accessed from the unit itself or via the supplied remote control. One convenient feature is the rear/side panel light system, which can be activated to allow the user to more easily see the AV connections.

5. The LT32HV comes supplied with a table stand, but can be wall mounted via optional wall mounting kit.

6.The Syntax Olevia LT32HV comes with a one year on-site warranty.

Testing Setup

Unpacking and setting up the Olevia LT32HV was easy. Since the unit is only about 55 pounds, it was fairly easy to lift onto a table (although it can be lifted by one person, it is easier with two, due to its flat shape). An equivalent 32-inch CRT television can weigh as much as 200 pounds.

All the connections are either side or down-facing so that your cable connectors do not protrude from the rear of the set. This is a great space saver. Also, there is a back panel light that makes connections easier to see.

I used several DVD players including: Samsung DVD-HD931 (DVI input), Philips DVDR985 and Kiss Technology DP470 (Progressive Scan Component and Standard AV), Pioneer DV-525 (S-video, standard component, and Standard AV). In addition, an RCA VR725HF S-VHS VCR (Using both Standard AV and S-video connections) was used and a standard RF cable connection (no box) was also made to the LT32HV.

DVD software used included scenes from the following: Kill Bill - Vol1/Vol2, Master and Commander, Chicago, Valley Of Gwangi, Passionada, Alien Vs Predator, Spiderman 2, and Moulin Rouge.

Several VHS film editions, including; Star Wars Trilogy, Batman, and Total Recall were also used.

Performance with DVD Content

The results from the Samsung DVD-HD931, through its DVI HD-upscaling function, were great. The 720p setting on the Samsung looked the best, more closely matching the LT32HV's native 1366x768 pixel resolution. Color and contrast looked great. No motion artifacts were noticeable.

Using the Philips DVDR985 and Kiss DP470 with a standard 480p progressive scan connection, I found that the color and contrast was also very good, just slightly below that of the Samsung's DVI connection, when using its 480p setting.

The internal Faroudja DCDi processors on the Samsung and Philips also contributed to the video performance.

Utilizing the Pioneer DV-525 on S-Video, I found a good image, but not quite up to par with either the Samsung or the Philips. The color and contrast were fine, but reds were very slightly overblown, which would be expected. In addition, I found little difference between the non-progressive component and S-Video connections, although reds improved with component.

There was some drop in quality when using composite AV connections on both the Pioneer DV-525 and RCA VR725. The DVD material had a more "washed out" look with standard AV connections than with S-Video; however, I felt the quality was very acceptable for LCD.

Performance With VHS and RF Content Sources

The LT32HV didn't fair as well with lower resolution VHS material, magnifying the bad aspects of VHS picture quality, as well as introducing some motion lag on dark or muddy-looking scenes.

I tested the television's onboard NTSC tuners, using a standard, no-cable box, connection. The performance was average. On stations that appeared to have strong signals, the images looked somewhat consistent in terms of color and contrast. Channels that had weak signals, exhibited less consistency and some motion lag on dark scenes.

Another comparison I made was inputting the same cable signal through the Philips DVR985's onboard tuner and viewing the cable channels using the progressive scan output from the Philips to the LT32HV. I got better results, with reference to color and contrast, in this setup.

Fixed pixel displays, such as LCD and Plasma, generally have more difficulty with analog video than standard CRT sets in real world situations; however, the LT32HV is better in this area than some LCD televisions. One noticeable improvement was the faster recovery time of the LT32HV in comparison to other LCD TVs I have seen, which minimized motion lag, except on the poorest signals and darkest scenes as mentioned above.

Audio Performance

In addition, not to be overlooked, is the audio side of the Olevia LV32HV. Although most consumers elect to have the audio from their DVD player and other components connected through a separate home theater system, this unit has decent onboard audio. The 15 watt-per-channel onboard amplifier is a good match for its side mounted speakers, which produce a very wide stereo soundstage. In addition, the Olevia has a subwoofer line output, which lets you combine a compact subwoofer, with the onboard speaker system to provide much fuller stereo sound.

What I Liked About The LT32HV

1. The LT32HV is very stylish. All the controls are accessible via both the TV and remote control. The side/rear AV hookups and light make it very easy to connect the rest your components.

2. The LT32HV offers good progressive scan performance; HD performance via DVI input is impressive. The color is excellent, with no overblown reds when using Component, or DVI-inputs, and very little with S-Video.

3. The LT32HV has a great sounding internal speaker system; I really like the line output for an added powered subwoofer.

4. The screen brightness was excellent; the "soft" backlight setting is more than adequate.

5. The LT32HV has great picture adjustment flexibility. Not only does it have the standard brightness, contrast, and color temperature controls, but I really liked the fact that it have separate saturation controls for Red, Green, and Blue. This adds more setting choices to maximize color texture.

6. Very wide viewing angle provides flexible seating.

7. The onscreen menu functions are easy to navigate - great PIP/split screen/POP. Although the remote control has some quirks, overall, it was easy to use.

8. The Owner's manual and Quick Start Guide were both well illustrated, with brief, to-the-point, instructions.

What I Didn't Like About The LT32HV

1. The Zoom function only has one setting. Having a variable zoom control would allow greater flexibility in adjusting 4x3 and letterboxed images to fit the 16x9 screen.

2. I found the table stand design a little awkward. The large footprint of the table stand does not allow convenient placement on a shorter width table. The table needs to be almost as wide as the LCD TV itself, which detracts from its otherwise sleek design.

3. The location of the DVI and VGA connections, which was underneath the set, were inconveniently located. There seems to be plenty of room on the left side panel where these connections could have been placed, much the same way the rest of the AV connections were placed on the right side/rear panels.

4. The backlight setting is reversed, the bright setting appears to dim the backlight, while the soft setting appears to intensify the backlight. However, once I was aware of this "glitch", I considered this a minor issue.

Bottom Line

With DVD sources utilizing S-video, component, and upscaled HD sources, the LT32HV performed great, with excellent color and detail, as well as improved contrast over some other LCD units I have seen. This unit is just the ticket if you desire an inexpensive flat panel television for viewing primarily DVDs and High Definition source material.

Although its performance with low-resolution analog material, such as analog cable and standard video (VHS) sources, falls short when compared to standard CRT-based direct view and projection televisions, the LT32HV definitely exhibited improved performance in this area over past LCD televisions I have viewed.

The quality of the source material definitely contributes to what you end up with on the screen. This brings me to my next point; I did not use the Olevia with a direct HD-cable, HD-broadcast, or HD-satellite source. However, based on the results I observed with the DVD progressive scan and DVI input sources, I would expect good results from any HD or progressive scan signal source.

Overall, video performance was very good and much improved over many past LCD televisions I have seen, especially for the price.

Overall, the LT32HV represents a great value in design, functionality, and progressive scan and high definition performance, as well as improved analog performance, for an LCD TV in its price range. This set is definitely worth consideration for DVD and HDTV fans on a budget; and also makes a great large screen computer or video game monitor.

The LT32HV demonstrates how much LCD technology has improved in the area of large screen applications in recent years. Continued improvement in contrast and response time will bring LCD closer to CRT performance.

More Info

Since its production run from 2004-to-2006, the not only has the Syntax Olevia LT32HV LCD TV been discontinued, but Syntax Olevia TVs are no longer sold in the U.S. market. Also, LCD TV technology has greatly improved since LT32HV was available with technologies.

For a look what is currently available in the LCD TV product category, refer to my periodically updated lists for LCD and LED/LCD TVs in screen sizes 40-inches and Larger, 32 to 39-inches, 26 to 29-inches, and 24-inches and smaller.