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.