LG has an uncanny knack of delivering TVs of outstanding value. And happily the new 42PX5D appears to be a chip off the old block.
For starters, your puny outlay of 1,700 notes gets you one of the plasma world’s more striking-looking TVs, complete with high-gloss black screen surround, slenderness-emphasising shape, and splendidly metallic outer silver trim. The set feels impressively robust and well made, too, avoiding the plasticky finish of many similarly priced plasmas.
Connectivity is better than expected for this price point too. There’s only one HDMI input when we’d naturally have preferred two, but good support comes from a component video input for analogue HD feeds; three SCART sockets; a PC interface; memory card slots able to play JPEG photos or MP3 audio files directly from a variety of different card formats; and a slot for adding a conditional access card for terrestrial digital subscription TV services like Top Up TV.
This latter slot naturally reveals the presence of a Freeview digital tuner, and that tuner is backed up by support for the Freeview 7-day electronic programme guide.
The 42PX5D is, of course, fully compliant with the AV industry’s HD Ready requirements, adding to its HD inputs a sufficiently high native resolution of 1,024 x 768 and compatibility with the necessary 720p and 1080i formats.
If, incidentally, you’re puzzled as to why an apparently widescreen TV should boast a non-widescreen 1,024 x 768 native pixel resolution, the answer lies in something called ‘asymmetrical pixel structure’. This sees the TV’s pixels getting stretched along the horizontal axis - a technique that apparently enables the TV to vary the per-pixel balance between the red, green and blue phosphors to produce a colour tone more in keeping with the real world.