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It’s a relief, too, to discover the 42PF5421 relatively unaffected by LCD’s infamous motion blur problems, as the players charge around the pitch during an HD Premiership encounter without looking significantly blurred.
The only HD problem that’s really fair to report on a £1200 42in LCD TV is the way some HD sources can look a touch grainy, as if the absence of any Pixel Plus processing means the TV hasn’t got anything to help it distinguish between noise and genuine picture information when preparing the picture for the screen.
This doesn’t stop the 42PF5421 from rating as a class HD act, though. So it’s a shame – if hardly a surprise – that things fall away rather with standard definition sources. The challenge of dealing with an inherently less detail-packed and pristine source finds the 42PF5421’s image engine struggling to cope, so that pictures soften up quite markedly, and moving objects suddenly start to suffer with the smearing so notable by its absence while viewing HD.These problems are particularly acute while watching analogue tuner footage, reminding us forcefully of the set’s lack of digital tuner.
The set’s sound, on the other hand, is completely independent of the quality of its source material, sounding equally punchy, clean and widely dispersed regardless of whether you’re watching an action or romance scene on the analogue tuner or a Blu-ray disc.
To figure out how worthwhile considering this TV is, you need to ask yourself these two questions: 1) do you need a digital tuner and 2) do you consider standard definition performance to be at least as important as HD performance. If the answer to either of these questions is yes, than reluctantly we should probably direct your attention elsewhere. If you could answer no to both, however, the 42PF5421 is an absolute bargain that you ignore at your peril.