LG 42LH5000 42in LCD TV - LG 42LH5000

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


Don't let the simplicity of the 42LH5000's front-end presentation fool you into thinking it lacks feature depth, though. There are actually all manner of tweaks and adjustments available for you to play around with.

Particularly helpful is a Picture Wizard, which uses a surprisingly large set of simple test signals to help you calibrate the picture correctly. Plus there's an Advanced Control menu that offers such minutiae as multi-level dynamic contrast and colour settings, multi-level noise reduction, multi-level gamma reduction, an Eye Care mode that reduces the image's brightness, and multi-level Edge Enhancement.

I was pleased, too, to find this Advanced menu containing an option to adjust the strength of the 'TruMotion' 200Hz processing, giving you a degree of flexibility with the processing that could come in handy for adapting it to different types of source. After all, the real time demands on the 200Hz processing engine will obviously be greater - and thus more prone to glitching - when watching a sports broadcast than they are with something relatively static like a studio chat show.

So wide-ranging are the 42LH5000's adjustments, in fact, that the TV's list of presets includes a couple designated 'ISF Expert'. This indicates that the TV is primed for professional calibration by a trained Imaging Science Foundation engineer, should you be willing to stump up the necessary cash for their services.

First impressions of the 42LH5000's pictures suggests two key things. First, that its pictures aren't quite as good as those of Sony's Z4500 200Hz models. But second that they aren't bad at all for their money, showing an immediate grasp of 200Hz that bodes well for the future.

Taking this latter feature onboard first, the degree to which the 200Hz engine improves the fluidity of motion and, especially, camera pans is truly impressive - even if you do the sensible thing and just use the feature's 'Low' setting. What's more, this nicely judged fluidity is joined by impressive motion clarity, with little if any of the blurring on show that usually blights LCD motion.

Perhaps the single most impressive - or at least, surprising - thing about the 42LH5000's 200Hz engine, though, is how clean it is. By which I mean that provided you stick as much as possible with the feature's Low setting, you'll find that you get the extra fluidity and clarity without having to suffer anything major in the way of processing side effects.

The system isn't perfect; really fast movements or pans, especially if there's a vertical as well as horizontal component to them, can seem to flicker and jump for a fraction of a second. And even on the Low setting you also sometimes see a shimmering halo around moving objects. For a good example of what I'm talking about, check out the barman as he walks toward the poker table after being summoned so that Bond can order his famous favourite drink in Casino Royale.

Still, while the TruMotion 200Hz engine might generate a few more glitches than Sony's 200Hz approach, I'd also say that the benefits of 200Hz are also slightly more obvious with the LG screen, and aren't accompanied by the slight softness sometimes noted with the Z4500s.

robert day

May 14, 2009, 7:09 pm

HI tehre - this was an informative review - not filled with techno babble for a non techno person like myself - I have only just found out LG have done a 200Mhz tv and this was only place I could find a review! I am keen to find out more and will have a look around - LG seem to be releasing new Tv's every other month now and sure they will improve on the blacks etc as you coomented on - Thanks for the review it was very useful

mark thompson

August 11, 2009, 5:33 pm

i have just purchased this tv but a 47".it was not the tv i planned on buying i was ou to purchase the samsung ub 8 series led back lite .but with future plans and price a consideration out of all the tvs that where available in the show rm i choose this and a good decision it was to .as the reveiw says from out friends at trusted,there are alot of bells and whistles with this tv and you can set up our veiwing options as you want them down to the finest set points as in gama etc .the 200 hz is great for movies,sport,the set points are available to be set on each for the multiude of outputs ie you can set each output to your personal settings to the corresponding output you have your kit hooked up to.i run the blue ray through a ps3 and the hd image is excellent but spending the money on a good hdmi lead is worth it also .i also run sky + hd great images and the dvd upscaling off the ps3 gives excellent images on this tv the black levels are great as in the reveiw they could do with a tweek but for the money the image is spot on .also the menu system is very easy to navagate and the picture wizard is great .the audio could do with a bit more bass but a av system will sort that out .value for money this is a vey good tv and id recommend it as in the top 5 for price and performance of all the sets i saw when looking .

liam 5

September 4, 2009, 11:17 am

hello there,, how will i be able to connect my net book to the tv? will i need a tv out on my net book? i own a eepc 901, will this be able to connect to the tv to view videos on the big screen? also how can it connect without wires trailing across my front room? is there anyway it can be done through a usb device attached to the tv's usb?any help much appriciated..im looking at buying the tv within the next few weeks,, at the moment iv seen it going for £662 online,,seems to be coming down daily,, thanks again..

Rob 15

November 21, 2009, 2:51 pm

After reading reviews on the 42" LCD I decided to take the plunge and am not disappointed. The HD pictures are superb via Sky+HD box and DVD clarity is just as good. This TV is great value for money currently and LG have produced a real contender in my view against some that are higher priced. The ability to adjust to my preferences in so many ways is also a bonus. You cannot go wrong for the money I paid £634 for this from Currys online.

Richard Blades

December 13, 2009, 3:05 am

Great reviews, I am Looking for a 42" lcd tv Tops 800 quid but it needs to play Wii and Xbox console games as well can anyone recommend a tv...??

Robert Davey

December 30, 2009, 4:05 pm

have just purchased the LH5000 37inch and having a problem trying to find an outlet to plug my RCA plugs for my surround sound system x my samsun has and left and right sound channel rca socket x according to the manual the only output is the fibre optic x have tried a europlug converter to rca and put it in av2 but still silence x any offers ??

samuel hawes

January 2, 2010, 6:05 pm

Hi Robert,ive owned the tv 3 months and am only just getting ym head round having to buy a new optical surround system.The only was i got my boston accoustics to work was through the headphone socket,but its not ideal and looks ugly.Let me know if you can come up with a way to get the sound out.!!!!!

Geoff Richards

January 2, 2010, 7:07 pm

@ Robert / Samuel - let me try to clear things up; using the correct terminology will certainly help diagnose your problem(s).

Check the colour chart / table here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

You guys don't specify exactly what surround sound system you are trying to hook up to, but I can only guess that they are older model, featuring only the Orange SPDIF / coax (RCA) connector, is that right?

I'd be interested to learn what equipment you have, since optical SPDIF has been around for over 10 years and while I don't handle this area every day, I would've expected most "surround" devices to feature it.

Again, from the limited information you've posted so far, I can only guess at two courses of action. Both may involve spending money, so I'm happy to try again once I know more about your setups.

Here are the possible setups between Source (Sky HD, or games console, or Blu-ray player), a surround sound "box", and your TV

Option 1:

Source output via HDMI

Surround input via HDMI

Surround output via HDMI

TV input via HDMI

This is the setup I have at home with my Blu-ray player, Onkyo receiver and TV. In short, the Onkyo gets the 5.1 information from the HDMI feed, and passes the video signal on via HDMI to the telly. Neat, but best if all your gear is HDMI, so not aimed at people with older equipment.

Option 2:

Source output via HDMI

TV input via HDMI

TV output via optical SPDIF

Surround input via optical SPDIF

This is the Plan B for anyone with non-HDMI surround gear. TV + 5.1 flows from the source to the TV, where the surround sound is fed back out the optical connector to your surround system. You will only get Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 from this - no TrueHD 7.1 for example, but it's certainly good enough for most people.

As you guys have noted, this requires an optical input on your surround system. If it (somehow) doesn't have one, it's time to upgrade, unfortunately.

Just as a final clarifying note, in case anyone else reading this is very new to home theatre, here is a quick list of plugs that do NOT support 5.1 surround sound:


- RCA (the red / white / yellow trio)

- headphone jacks

- composite (separate Red, Green, Blue cables are video only)

Instead, you're looking for HDMI, optical or the Orange coax SPDIF (the latter two are usually both offered on non-HDMI boxes).

Hope that helps!


March 25, 2010, 12:01 am

Hi Geoff,

I have read your reply regarding the LGLH500 and the optical out port. I have my LG42LH500 connected via HDMI to my PS3 and via optical out to mysurround system. If I use the TV optical out to my surround system I only get surround not dolby digital or DTS, so I have to plug the surround into the PS3 via optical, to get DD. How do I set the telly to optput DD via the optical port to the surrond system. While this doesn't sound like a problem, I don't always want to listen to the PS3 via surrond and happy to listen via telly speakers, especially when wife and kids in bed and don't want to wake them up playing GTA4 :-). Thanks for any help.



Geoff Richards

March 25, 2010, 3:49 am

Hi Mike,

Setting this TV to output DD via optical is very simple, but it comes at a slightly curious cost: you have to disable the TV speakers. This means your late-night GTA4 sessions will either involve a quick trip into the on-screen menu to re-enable them, or just turn your surround down to a quiet level. (if you have a powered subwoofer, switch that off to avoid family-waking rumbles)

Alternatively you might consider some headphones, though naturally this will be stereo only, and appears to (temporarily) disable the optical surround, if I'm reading the manual correctly.

Speaking of which, if you don't have the paper version of your manual, you can download the PDF from LG's website: http://www.lge.com/uk/tv-au... using the menu on the right.

Check Page 35, though you've figured that bit out so jump to Page 118 for the speaker menu option. That should be all you need to spit Dolby Digital / DTS 5.1 out of the optical from any HDMI device.

Naturally if you really prefer the TV speakers late at night, just follow the same steps to re-enable them.

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