Review Price free/subscription
LG 42LE4900 - Good User Interface, Troubling Picture
The thoughtfulness behind the Picture Wizard extends to most of the 42LE4900’s operating system, which combines some excellent use of icons and graphics with clear text and a likeable remote control. This is just the sort of approach any TV should be taking if it has many multimedia features to handle.
Turning to the NetCast online platform, its content appears not to have changed since last time we checked it out. Meaning you get AccuWeather, Picasa, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Google Maps, vTuner, twitter, Facebook, accedo, Viewster, MLB.tv, and AceTrax.
Up to this point, we’re getting pretty excited about the 42LE4900. It has the looks and features to be a potentially huge bargain. So it’s all the more devastating to have our hopes dashed on the rocks of some serious picture flaws.
The 42LE4900’s most immediately obvious and consistently aggravating problem is motion blur. As with the recently reviewed Sharp 37LDE320E, this finds motion with any source, though especially standard def tuner fare, looking smeary and indistinct. Inevitably, this distracts you from what you’re watching as well as frequently reducing the image’s sharpness levels dramatically - and the blurring seemingly can’t be removed by manipulating any of the provided picture settings.
Unfortunately, motion blur isn’t the only problem the 42LE4900 has in common with the Sharp 37LE320E. It also suffers with that all-too-common edge LED issue of inconsistent backlighting. During dark scenes, you’re often aware of the way some patches of the screen look noticeably brighter than others.
Each of the four corners has a little inch or so of extra brightness, for instance. But worse are the four large splodges of inconsistency sitting nearer the screen’s centre.
With some TVs, you can remove or at least massively reduce these sorts of brightness inconsistency problems by cranking down the backlight. But even with its backlight at just 30 per cent - the low level actually selected by LG for its Cinema picture preset - the 42LE4900’s issues with backlight inconsistency remain.