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LG 42LH5000 42in LCD TV - LG 42LH5000

John Archer

By John Archer


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As usual with an LG television, the 42LH5000 scores another hit with the sheer dynamism of its pictures. They burst off the screen through a startling combination of strong, vibrant colours and impressive backlight strength, enabling them to dominate your vision and, more importantly, deliver a sense of impressive solidity and depth with both standard and high definition pictures alike.

I was also impressed by how natural the 42LH5000's colours look, particularly with high definition using the Cinema preset. Colour blends look exceptional too, thanks to both the screen's native Full HD resolution and, I'm inclined to think, improvements in LG's latest XD Engine video processing system.

But crucially standard definition pictures don't suffer anything like as severe a drop-off in colour toning as they've tended to on previous generations of LG LCD TV.

Still more good news concerns the sharpness with which the 42LH5000 shows HD pictures. With motion blur and judder largely removed by the 200Hz system, the degree of pure pixel-level detail and crispness the TV can resolve is left totally open to scrutiny, yet the 42LH5000 never left me feeling shortchanged of detail in any way, shape or form.

Standard definition pictures look decently sharp too. Though more important, so far as I'm concerned, is the fact that they also look much less noisy than we're used to seeing them look on Full HD TVs, particularly earlier LG ones.

Aside from the on-balance easily tolerable 200Hz glitches, the only other thing causing concern about the 42LH5000's pictures is their black level response. For instance, truly dark scenes or deep blacks within otherwise bright scenes suffer a little with the greyness that's all too familiar with LCD technology, while also looking a bit hollow thanks to a lack of visible shadow detail.

To be fair, the problem isn't severe by any means, and doesn't stop the vast majority of the 42LH5000's pictures from looking extremely dynamic and even a little cinematic. But it's just troubling enough to cost the set that 9 or 10 score necessary to bag a TrustedReviews Recommended badge. Especially since black levels deteriorate if you have to watch the screen from much of an angle.

Turning to the 42LH5000's audio, while the set's soundstage is clear and detailed during relatively straightforward scenes, it doesn't expand to embrace a loud action scene quite as dynamically as I would like.


LG might not have got everything right with the 42LH5000 - there's definitely room for improvement in the black level and viewing angle departments. But it's got to grips with 200Hz surprisingly albeit not perfectly well for a first try, and in doing so has yet again delivered a TV that's nothing if not good value.

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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/wiki/R...

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-audio... 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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