Even LG's flagship TVs tend to be cheap as the proverbial chips these days. So it's no surprise to find a set that sits relatively low down the current LG range, the 42in 42LH4000, currently selling for a measly £618.
What does come as a bit of a surprise, though, is how appealing the TV is. For while it's no jaw-dropping classic in any particular way, as an all-round package for the money it has a lot going for it.
Take its design. The glass-like transparent top sheet that sits over the black bezel and protrudes slightly beyond it immediately makes it look more expensive than it is, while an extra touch of class comes from the way the left and right edges taper back into narrow slivers, creating the illusion that the TV is extremely slim. There's even a dash of boldness, too, in the form of a hint of blue running along the TV's bottom edge.
It's fairly well connected for its money, too, with highlights of three HDMIs, a dedicated D-Sub PC port, an RS-232 control jack, and a USB 2.0 jack able to play MP3 music and JPEG photo files.
The 42LH4000's feature count, meanwhile, looks even less like something that belongs on a truly affordable 42in TV. Particularly pleasing is its carriage of LG's TruMotion 100Hz processing system, for reducing blur and judder when showing motion. But also potentially useful contributors to the TV's performance are LG's XD Engine video processing system, a wide colour gamut system, and LG's 24p Real Cinema processing for handling 1080p/24 Blu-ray feeds.
Then there's the unexpected volume of image adjustments made available through the 42LH4000's delightful onscreen menus. Tinkerers can get their hands, for instance, on a multi-level gamma adjustment, an edge enhancement system, a multi-level noise reduction system, separate and multi-level dynamic contrast and colour options, and even an eye-care mode that reduces the image's intensity if you find the TV's natural brightness levels at all straining. You can even adjust the strength of the 100Hz engine - a very welcome bit of flexibility indeed, for reasons we'll cover a bit later on.
So extensive are the picture adjustments, in fact, that tucked at the bottom of the 42LH4000's impressive list of picture presets are two ISF Expert options, indicating that the TV's images can be professionally calibrated to suit your living conditions by an expert from the Imaging Science Foundation. Provided you're willing to pay for their services, obviously. This sort of feature really isn't something I'd expect to find on a sub-£700 42in TV. But obviously I'm not complaining!