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With fellow Korean outfit Samsung setting the TV bar right now when it comes to balancing keen pricing with high performance levels, LG could really do with stepping up its game to keep the local rivalry strong. Especially as the continuation of such a competitive situation can only spell good news for us bargain-hunting AV punters. So let's keep everything crossed for LG's latest big-screen LCD TV, the 42in 42LF66.
First impressions suggest that our hopes are going to be lived up to. The set's design, for instance, is a class act, partly because of the sheer glossiness of the bezel's finish, and partly because of the unusual slenderness of the chassis. We wouldn't perhaps describe it as ‘razor' thin like LG does in its marketing blurb, but it's certainly noticeably less chunky than most 42in TV rivals, making it an ideal prospect for wall hanging.
Happily its skinniness hasn't prevented the 42LF66 from cramming in our favourite pixel count of 1,920 x 1,080, making it a Full HD set perfectly matched – in theory at least – to the 1080i HD pictures delivered by practically all of the UK's HD sources, including the Sky HD receiver and the vast majority of HD DVD and Blu-ray players.
Even better, LG has gone the extra mile to ensure that the journey from source to screen is relatively uncompromised, by a) providing a mode that removes all overscanning so 1080-line sources can be mapped pixel for pixel to its screen and b) making its HDMI sockets able to take the 1080p format most HD movies are encoded to disc in, and which can now be output by one or two HD players.
Many of the 42LF66's other specifications read well. Its connections, for instance, include a healthy two HDMIs, a D-Sub PC port, a digital audio output for passing HDMI-received digital audio tracks to an AV receiver, and all the paraphernalia associated with a built-in digital tuner. What's more, the HDMI socket is equipped with ‘Simplink', which allows you to control other LG gear connected to it via the TV's remote. Simplink does not appear to be as ‘other brand-friendly' as some rival systems, but we'd still rather have it than not.