It's increasingly starting to look as if the battle for TV sales in 2008 is going to be fought around design. We've got ultra slim TVs, TVs with a hint of colour, TVs with practically non-existent bezels, TVs with see-through panels… Really, it seems as if anything goes - so long as it's not the usual simple black rectangle.
But even by the standards of today's ‘stylemeisters' LG's new 42LG6000 is a bit special - not least because its entire rear panel is adorned unapologetically in a bright, rich, uncompromising red. Or rather, ‘Scarlet'.
Of course, you might argue that having a red butt is pretty pointless when TVs are made to be watched from the front. But the reality is that many flat TVs in the UK have at least a portion of their sides and rears visible from at least some of the viewing positions in the room. And, in any case, LG thoughtfully places the 42LG6000 on a swiveling stand so that you can leave the TV artfully angled whenever you've got guests coming round so that they can glimpse the bold red flourish in all its glory.
Not that a scarlet behind is the only thing that makes the 42LG6000 stand out, mind you. For its rear is also remarkable for how little it sticks out; just 80mm at its deepest point, making it a good 2cm slimmer than most 40-42in rivals.
This might not sound a lot, but it really does enhance the TV's aesthetic appeal to a surprising extent. As does the hole cut through the middle of the TV's bezel. Right underneath the LG logo the Korean brand has seen fit to put a really quite large transparent circular panel that lets you see right through to the back of the TV. What's more, the entire circle is illuminated - in a subtle grey when you're watching the TV, or, of course, scarlet when the TV is in standby.
To make room for this extraordinary - but certainly not unattractive - feature, the 42LG6000 has had to incorporate yet another: a bezel that stretches down an unusual distance below the screen, dramatically shunning the trend towards ever-more-slender bezels. Thanks to the rather gorgeous sheer, polished finish of this extended undercarriage, though, it's definitely yet one more element that enhances the 42LG6000's attractiveness rather than detracting from it.
Unbelievably we're STILL not done talking about the 42LG6000's design yet, either. For no matter how long and hard you stare at the front of the 42LG6000, there's one thing you'll never see: visible speakers. This is because LG has designed the set so that the sleek bezel works as a speaker, with numerous driver units embedded in strategic spots underneath and around the screen frame.
From everything we've seen so far, it's no great surprise that the LG Scarlet sets won an ‘Innovations' award at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.