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LG Infinia 42LE7900 42in LED LCD TV review

John Archer

By
Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score

8/10

User Score

Pros

  • Very slim
  • Nice multimedia tools
  • Superb clarity with bright scenes

Cons

  • Disappointing speakers
  • Not god for dark scenes
  • Poor Local Dimming feature

Review Price £769.99

Key Features: Four HDMI inputs; Freeview HD and analogue tuner; Full LED backlit LCD panel; 1920 x 1080 full HD; Ethernet port, 2 USB ports

Manufacturer: LG

I have to say that as swanky marketing names go, Infinia is pretty darned good. Not entirely original, I’ll grant you - the Viera and Bravia brand names have both proved already that you can’t go far wrong by just sticking an 'a' on the end of 'pseudo words' with lots of vowels in them. But still, Infinia raises visions and hopes of something a bit special - which in TV terms usually equates to 'something a bit more expensive'.

And so it proves with the Infinia 42LE7900. For while the 42LE7900 can’t be considered expensive in the context of the TV world as a whole, at £1,150 for a 42in TV, it’s certainly at the upper end of LG’s usually super-aggressive pricing scale. Let’s hope, then, that it lives up to the lofty image created by the Infinia name.

Design-wise, it definitely hits the spot. It’s strikingly slim, for a start: just 34.4mm deep in its cotton socks. What’s more, its slimness is exaggerated by its totally flat fascia, where the bezel and screen appear to exist on the same single level thanks to a glass top-sheet that sits over the lot. Delicious.

It’s just a pity that LG is persisting in trying to over-market the design by suggesting that it’s Borderless when clearly it isn’t. I’ve even seen bits of marketing fluff suggesting that one reason for the Borderless name is the way the darkness of the deepest black the TV can achieve matches the blackness of the, um, border! As we’ll see presently, this excuse is sadly not borne out by reality at all. Still, however riled I might be by LG’s marketeers, it bears repeating once more that the 42LE7900 really is a very fine looking TV.

It does its best to cheer me up, too, with its connections. For as well as the four HDMI inputs I would have expected, the set’s rear and side are packed with all sorts of nice multimedia tools.

Two USBs, for instance, prove able to handle MP3, JPEG and DivX HD files, as well as allowing you to add an optional Wi-Fi dongle. That’s not the only wireless system the TV supports either, for it additionally carries built-in Bluetooth, for either streaming in pictures and music from portable Bluetooth phones, or sending audio to Bluetooth headphones. There’s an Ethernet port, too, for wired network access, as well as an RS232 for home cinema control system integration, and a PC port.

The reasons for the Ethernet port and optional Wi-Fi system are impressively numerous. For a start, they allow the TV to access files on a DLNA PC. But also they allow access to any future Freeview HD interactive services - for yes, this is another in what’s fast becoming a deluge of TVs with built-in Freeview HD tuners. Last but by no means least, the Wi-Fi/Ethernet let you access LG’s new NetCast online service.

When I say new, it’s not completely new; the service has been available in a basic form on one or two of LG’s Blu-ray players. But it’s the first time NetCast has found its way onto one of LG’s UK TVs.

To be honest, the service is currently a bit of a poor relation compared with what the likes of Panasonic, Philips and especially Sony are doing online-wise right now. All you get are weather forecasts, the Picasa online photo album site, and the inevitable YouTube. However, LG’s Widgets-powered platform should be able to grow its content over the coming months; for instance, we know that Skype video calling is going to be supported soon - provided you get an external camera and mic, of course.

Next page

FreQ

April 13, 2010, 8:58 am

Hi John/TR team,





Interesting to read about the black level response. With all the new Freeview HD TV's hitting the stores, now is a good time to get proper decent out for them. There are quite a few Sony/Panasonic ones already.





I'm seriously considering a Panasonic 42G20B. When will you guys be reviewing this?





Cheers

paul

April 13, 2010, 1:31 pm

will you review the Lg 50 PK590 sooner or later?

John Archer

April 14, 2010, 3:57 pm

I will be reviewing a Panasonic P42G20 in the next couple of weeks, and I will also very likely be reviewing the LG 50PK590 at some point. Though reviews of the higher-level PK790 and PK990 models are going to be happening first.





One other point that I feel I should add here in the interest of fairness is that LG's 'Borderless' marketing campaign that's forever getting me worked up is a global LG strategy, and one that LG's eminently more sensible UK arm has actually refused to adopt. So while you might find lots of Borderless talk when hunting for technical background on non-UK LG sites, or if you visit the big non-UK technology shows like IFA and CES, you won't find the Borderless claim on any UK LG website. Lovely.

magicmat

April 14, 2010, 5:55 pm

Hi there. Will you be reviewing the LX9900 soon? I am hoping that with rear LED's, this will impress and excite you a bit more !

FreQ

April 15, 2010, 12:14 am

Hi John,





Thanks for the comment, I'll look forward to it.


That borderless stuff does sound a bit weird.....borderless should mean "no border", not "flat glass front". At least LG UK know what they're doing.

paul

April 15, 2010, 3:39 am

thanks john,i hope ive done the right thing because ive ordered the lg50 pk590 already,i think this borderless is just a very thin frame,i read a good review on cnet about the pk590 and i got it for £881 which i thought was really cheap

Damian

April 22, 2010, 2:58 pm

Good morning,





I was interested in purchasing a 37SL8000, but I waited until the 37LE7900 came out.


However, after reading your review on the LE7900, I am confused! Which one would you recommend in terms of:





* sound


* picture quality


* black levels





I would appreciate some advice, as both models are quite expensive.





Yours sincerely,





Damian

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