It’s fair to say that 2010 was a tricky year for edge LED lighting technology in TVs. For while edge LED illumination undoubtedly makes it possible to deliver some extraordinarily thin TV designs and very bright, colourful pictures, we’ve become increasingly annoyed with the amount of edge LED TVs that can’t seem to produce a consistent backlight.
Just a couple of days ago, in fact, Toshiba’s flagship TV, the 55WL768, fell foul of precisely this problem, suffering with one of the most serious cases of backlight inconsistency - where patches of the picture look brighter than others - we’ve seen so far.
So the big question as we take delivery of the first TV we’ve ever tested from AOC, a brand better known for its PC products, has to be whether such a small brand with relatively limited AV experience can really teach its more established rivals an edge LED trick or two.
Before we get around to answering this question, though, we’ve got all the customary groundwork to cover. Starting with the LE42K0D7D’s design.
While the LE42K0D7D isn’t quite as stylish as AOC seems to think it is, it is certainly easier on the eye than the majority of TVs from second tier (or even arguably, in this case, third tier) brands. And yes, the edge LED lighting plays a big part in this, allowing the LE42K0D7D’s rear to protrude less than 50mm at its deepest point.
How impressed you are by the rest of the design depends on how much you like your tech to look a bit brash. For the bezel is quite large by today’s standards, at least along the bottom edge, and the whole kit and caboodle is finished in an ultra-glossy, hey-everyone-look-at-me black offset only by a little silvery strip under the AOC logo.
Our own thoughts were that the styling was a touch dated and the finish rather cheap and flimsy, but you’re entirely at liberty to disagree with us. Especially if your wardrobe is liberally littered with shoulder pads and shiny suits.
The LE42K0D7D’s connections are about what we’d expect of a TV that is, by 42in edge LED standards, decently affordable at £779. So you get three v1.3 HDMIs, and a modicum of multimedia support from a USB socket. Not too surprisingly, there’s no way of networking the LE42K0D7D for streaming files from a PC or accessing any online functions. But the USB port can, at least, handle JPEG, H.264 video and MP3 music files, which we guess isn’t a bad effort.