LG 42SL8000 42in LCD TV - LG 42SL8000

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
LG 42SL8000 42in LCD TV

Summary

Our Score:

9

Another key element in the 42SL8000's winning picture formula is its sharpness. HD sources - especially Blu-rays - look pristine, with endless amounts of fine detail, exceptionally smooth colour blends, and that tantalising 'snap' that makes HD so beloved of all who've witnessed it at its best.

The '200Hz' engine contributes to the LG's HD sharpness too, as I would have hoped. There's practically no loss of resolution at all as objects cross the screen, and judder is hugely reduced, too.

The 42SL8000's 200Hz system isn't quite as potent as those of Samsung and Sony's 'true' 200Hz TVs. Plus its scanning backlight component does cause the sporadic appearance of the 'three-ball' phenomenon, where golf, cricket and tennis balls sometimes appear with a couple of ghostly echoes around them.

I'd recommend, too, that you only leave the 200Hz engine set to its 'low' level if you don't want to find your pictures succumbing to lots of unwanted side effects, like flickering and localised lag around large moving objects.

Overall, though, while you should use it with caution, the 200Hz engine's positives for me ultimately outweigh its negatives. What's more, even if you decide to turn the system off completely for some fast-moving sports event, the 42SL8000's picture still doesn't prove very susceptible to LCD's common blurring and judder phenomena.

Given that HD sadly still makes up the minority of our TV viewing time, it's also great to find that the 42SL8000 is rather accomplished at rescaling standard definition to its Full HD pixel count. Colours retain their tonal authenticity much more during the rescaling process than we've become accustomed to seeing with LG TVs, and standard def images are sharpened without noise being excessively exaggerated.

Aside from the limited viewing angle issue and (largely avoidable) 200Hz artefacts mentioned earlier, the only negatives I could really come up with about the 42SL8000's pictures are a slight tendency to over-sharpen some edges during very bright standard definition scenes, and the fact that the screen reflects ambient light from your room a little more obviously than I'd like.

The 42SL8000's audio is better than I'd expected considering how slender the TV is. There's much more raw power around than I've become accustomed to hearing from LG's flat TVs, and this power is delivered without distortion or 'muddiness'. High frequency sounds can occasionally sound a touch brittle, but otherwise it's all more than satisfying. Especially if you've got the Clear Voice option engaged to soup up the reproduction of vocals.

Verdict

Thanks to the 42SL8000, LG now has a truly outstanding LCD performer to add to its already well-established value and design talents. If this is the shape of things to come for LG, we could be in for a very interesting and competitive ride in the lead up to Christmas…

Hamish Campbell

September 8, 2009, 12:35 pm

Wow that looks gorgeous.

Philepo

September 8, 2009, 1:18 pm

that seems very poorly designed. why would you make a super flat screen so you could hang in on a wall like a picture and then have all the big fat cables coming out the back?

rav

September 8, 2009, 2:18 pm

Great review. I'm looking for a new living room telly and this could fit the bill. Just wanted to make a suggestion for your search filtering. Would be really useful if there was an option to select betweem, LCD, Plasma and LED. I'd prefer an LED but there's no easy way to find just those reviews.

Martin 6

September 8, 2009, 2:27 pm

So for about £1000 you get this TV


the Real question John though is:


If it was your money would you go for this TV or the Panasonic TX-P50G10 at £945 delivered from Dixons?


the reason I ask is I am getting ready to buy a nice new TV :)

PoisonJam

September 8, 2009, 3:48 pm

@ravmania - LED isn't really a technology on its own though. It's still an LCD, it's just LED backlit. OLED TVs are another thing and won't be priced this competitively for a while yet.





I think the review really undersells just how attractive this set is :)

Keithe6e

September 8, 2009, 3:54 pm

Is it me, or does the LG logo seem a bit in your face.. I wish manufactures would get out of the habit of advertising the product you have just bought. Nothing wrong with some sort of watermarking logo, but I hate these in your face shouting from the rooftops, "look at me I'm an LG".

comedian

September 8, 2009, 4:32 pm

That is a beautiful looking set.

rav

September 8, 2009, 6:13 pm

@Jordan


I know that LED backlit screens are still LCDs however John does distinguish in the review between the black level response of this TV and LED LCD TVs. Although they aren't a different technology their performace appears superior enough to warrant a distinction.





And it'd help me a lot right now when I'm trying to decide what to buy! Don't want to spend this much on a non LED LCD.

ffrankmccaffery

September 8, 2009, 8:16 pm

for sure beauty is in the eye of the beholder but for me this set is ridiculously overstyled. the bravia s-series reviewed here earlier this year by contrast an object lesson in understated design


@martin, the panny seems a much better choice in comparison aswell being futureproof with a built in hd freesat tuner

Enigma

September 9, 2009, 3:04 am

@Martin I share your sentiments.





Presently you can get LG 50PS3000 for £660-700; Panasonic TX-P50G10 was for £499 over the weekend in PC World (Dixons) & Samsung PS-50B451B for £635-799.





Keep in mind the viewing distance.

Geoff Richards

September 9, 2009, 3:21 am

That must be a typo - the Panasonic TX-P50G10 is a grand's worth of telly. How could it have been £499? Maybe a similarly named model?

Greg17b

September 9, 2009, 3:41 am

How about Divx, mkv etc playback via USB?

Enigma

September 9, 2009, 3:54 am

No typo. It was in large bold black numbers. Jut to be sure I checked with the staff and that it was not the price for the display model only but an already packed tv set or one delivered. I think it is a discontinued model and hence the price.





Having said that I got my brand spanking new Panasonic DMR-model 250GB HDD-DVD video recorder for about a £100 less than high street and most internet price markup before it was delivered to re-sellers by Pani. To my annoyance a month or so after delivery the same seller dropped the price another £20s or so.





Got other things similarly low priced when just out NEW rather than discontinued - pays to shop around.





How's this WD USB 1TB HDD for £68.99?

davidcrofter

September 9, 2009, 7:58 am

I think Enigma is getting confused here maybe the C10 for that price??





Because I feel pretty sure that if a 50" G10 was being sold for that price (half price almost) in two of the largest nationwide chains then it would be plastered all over the internet ...

Enigma

September 9, 2009, 11:48 pm

David I think Geoff could be right it may have been a typo by the retailer. In which case there are some lucky owners of the tv or some irate Customers.





I just had a look at the spec: Freesat tuner; Native 40,000:1 contrast; 600Hz Sub-field Drive Intelligent Frame Creation Pro etc.





Even for the 10C the £499 was still a very good offer given that the 10C is now £610 at Dixons online.

PoisonJam

September 15, 2009, 2:05 pm

@ravmania - I prefer to look at a screen's overall picture. I know you're not saying an LED screen will automatically be better than a non-LED LCD in all ways, but I think the technology is irrelevant; it's only the final picture that matters. Why write off non-LED screens?





Saying categorically that LED LCDs are better screens just wouldn't be accurate. What HiFi did a 42" TV group test recently and the only LED screen in the test came in 4th or 5th for overall image quality.





Not that I disagree that you should be able to group them into a different category if it makes things easier for you, tough...

davidcrofter

September 25, 2009, 9:57 pm

Agreed - seems that the term LED is SUPERIOR is this years Noob version of 2008's 1080p is a MUST ... people don't seem to understand that you get good and bad sets no matter what technology and processing is touted as being at work on the product and each have their own individual strengths and weaknesses.

Frank 7

October 8, 2009, 1:22 pm

I hope a review of 42/47SL9000 is coming soon

B.I.G.G.I.E

January 24, 2010, 6:25 pm

Have you noticed that reflaction on the screen-gloss when the background is black....Globally the tv set is AWESOME but that reflaction makes me nervous

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