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The set also enjoys LG’s XD Engine image processing system which, as with most such systems on rival brands, tackles a variety of picture issues such as colour response and fine detailing to make the overall picture look better. The effects of XD Engine on contrast seem particularly spectacular, as the set claims a terrifically high contrast ratio of 10000:1 – the same sort of figure boasted by Panasonic’s superb latest plasmas.
We’re not done with the interesting features yet, either. For the attractive onscreen menus contain the sort of bits and bobs we’d scarcely expect to find on a screen costing twice as much, such as individual adjustments for the skin tones, blue tones and green tones; picture in picture facilities; a ‘normal’ noise reduction routine; and MPEG noise reduction for smoothing out any blockiness or shimmering present in some digital broadcasts.
Talking of digital broadcasts, we can also report that the set provides a decently presented 7-day electronic programme guide (EPG), complete with the facility to set timer events just by selecting programmes from the EPG listings.
Surely the 42PC1D’s price has to make its presence felt with the set’s picture performance, right? Not really. For while its pictures are certainly not going to win any awards or anything, they’re comfortably better than those of practically any other member of the sub-£1k 42in club.
Starting with the good stuff, the 42PC1D’s colours are really very impressive; vibrant but not overly aggressive, rich but not unnaturally toned, subtly textured but seldom prone to video noise. Excellent.
It does no harm to the 42PC1D’s colour prowess that its black level handling is also superb. As ever you have to take the 10000:1 contrast ratio claim with a hefty pinch of salt, but there’s no denying the lack of tell-tale ‘low contrast greyness’ over dark areas during murky movies like Alien. On this LG, when something’s supposed to look black, then it pretty much looks black.