Even by LG’s usually pretty affordable standards, the 42PC1D plasma TV looks like a heck of a bargain on paper. Coming in at around £812 including VAT and delivery, it’s one of the cheapest 42in TVs on the market. Which is, of course, great so far as it goes. But then how often have we found with TVs that you only get what you pay for?
Luckily there’s no sign of the 42PC1D living down to that ‘getting what you pay for’ tag with its aesthetics. In fact, with its glossy black bezel offset prettily by a silvery speaker section and its sleek minimalist lines, it looks really quite opulent.
The good first impressions continue with the discovery that the set sports two HDMI inputs – double what we’d usually expect for this sort of money. These are backed up by a component video input for analogue high definition and progressive scan duties; three Scarts; a 15-pin PC connector; and, again impressively for the price, a digital audio output and a CI slot to support what must be a built-in digital tuner. The digital audio output can be used to ship to an AV receiver any Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks Freeview may eventually broadcast, while the CI slot lets you add subscription cards for pay TV services.
The HDMI and component connectivity joins forces with an HD native resolution of 1,024 x 768 to earn the 42PC1D its all-important HD Ready badge of honour. The seemingly ‘4:3’ pixel count, incidentally, is made widescreen by the fact that the pixels have been elongated horizontally – an act which we’re told permits greater flexibility in the phosphor colour balance for each pixel and so helps avoid the plasma tendency for greens to over-dominate. So now you know.
So far we’ve seen precious little to explain the lowness of the asking price, and this happy trait continues as we look deeper into the 42PC1D’s features. Particularly unexpected is the appearance of LG’s Clear Filter technology. This rather clever new screen design does away with plasma’s traditional ‘two-layer’ glass screen, resulting in the removal of the secondary offset ‘ghost’ image you can sometimes see if you watch a standard plasma TV from the side.