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LG 42LH3000 42in LCD TV review

John Archer



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LG 42LH3000 42in LCD TV
  • LG 42LH3000 42in LCD TV
  • LG 42LH3000 42in LCD TV
  • LG 42LH3000 42in LCD TV
  • LG 42LH3000 42in LCD TV
  • LG 42LH3000 42in LCD TV
  • LG 42LH3000 42in LCD TV


Our Score:


January is traditionally bargain time in the TV world, and this appears true with knobs on at the still recession-plagued start of 2010. For hot on the heels of a cheap-as-chips Sony TV last week, here we’ve got our hands on a 42in full HD LCD TV from LG, the 42LH3000, that can be yours for around £500. So what’s the catch?!

Seemingly nothing, if the 42LH3000’s exterior is anything to go by. For starters, the glass-like finish looks and feels anything but cheap. But also the bold minimalist bezel design together with a tasteful curve along the bottom edge and strikingly large blue/red power light work together to create a really elegant addition to your living room.

We’re starting to get accustomed to finding LG pushing the envelope of what sort of features we hope to see at low price points. But actually, the 42LH3000 is pretty low on interesting bits and bobs.

When it comes to connections, for instance, the 42LH3000 only has three HDMIs rather than the four we now look for as more or less standard on big-screen TVs - even cheap ones.

Even more disappointing given LG’s usual enthusiasm for the multimedia world is the fact that while the 42LH3000 has a USB input, this is purely for service use. In other words, you can’t use it for playing photo, video, or music files stored on a USB device directly through to the TV’s screen.

The 42LH3000’s on-paper specification is a mixture of the good and the ‘meh’. On the meh side, the contrast ratio (for what it’s worth) is quoted at an uninspiring 50,000:1 - and that’s only achieved, of course, via a dynamic contrast system that dims the brightness during dark scenes to make black colours look more convincing.

Also, the set’s significant picture processing is pretty much restricted to LG’s solid but unspectacular XD Engine which, in keeping with the similar systems of many rival brands, just works in a fairly routine fashion on improving a wide variety of picture elements, including contrast, colour and motion.

I guess it’s also worth mentioning LG’s 24p Real Cinema routine for bolstering 1080p/24 Blu-ray playback. But in reality this doesn’t do anything you wouldn’t expect to find on the majority of other LCD TVs worth their salt these days. There are certainly no 100Hz or 200Hz systems on hand to tackle LCD’s traditional problems with motion blur. But then this is fair enough, really, on such a massively cheap TV.


January 26, 2010, 2:47 pm

Thanks John, I was looking around for my first LCD TV (dosen't count the 19" in kitchen).

Price is good for this LH3000 but also LH4000 or would you recommend an Samsung LE40B550/535...? I also wonder if it is a good chose to step up to 46/47" since it may give more "movie-feeling"...? (TV will be placed in the living room)

//Perra from Sweden


January 26, 2010, 9:10 pm

That is good value for a 42incher. It was not that long ago that I paid a similar amount for just a 26in tv.

@Perra in terms of tv size it depends entirely on your viewing distance. You want to sit close enough to experience the details of the pictures but not too close to see any artifacts. Also sitting too far away will leave you unable to appreciate the additional detail Full HD pictures have to offer.

I suggest looking at these links:



To give you and idea on the optimal size of your tv.


January 26, 2010, 9:58 pm

I bought one of these from amazon for bout 520 GBP just before christmas. They're really good. I found out about an unofficial "hack" for it which gives it the video, music, photo playback functionality of the next model up. Plays just about everything you throw at it. I use it mostly for xbox and movies and I can say that it is great for both. As for size, I was moving up from a 28" CRT and thought it was massive when it arrived but I have since got used to the size of it and think it is a good size (I sit about 8-9 feet away) I would say a 47" would be too big for my room but if i could fit it in and afford it I would get it.


January 26, 2010, 11:35 pm

you can unlock service usb for looking mkv movies:)


January 27, 2010, 2:36 pm

Thanks @RazorA, have checked the distance guide and since we will have about 11-12 feet to the TV-set it might be good to choose 46/47-inch screen.

Will try to price "battle" between too of the larger electronic shops in my city to see what the end price will be.

@crushy91, un-look usb port to view media files ...cool


January 27, 2010, 8:15 pm

If you do get the TV have a look here for the USB unlock: http://lgusb.wikispaces.com/

Sullivan McIntyre

January 29, 2010, 7:41 pm

I'd be interested in comparisons to the Samsung 550, too... anyone?


January 29, 2010, 10:04 pm

I had considered the Samsung before buying this LG. They are very similar but I went for the LG because it was slightly bigger, cheaper, and had the video playback through USB. The video playback was my main reason as it offered bascially the same functionality of one of those WDTV media players. Also the LG had optical out, so I could plug it into my home cinema.

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