Nope, sorry, we just don’t get the LG 42LV450U. On paper it sounds like it should be a winner all the way, with its combination of 42in edge LED pictures and a price of just £569. But the more time we spend with it, and especially the more we look around at what’s available elsewhere within LG’s own range, the less compelling the set becomes.
First impressions are strong, however. The screen size for your buck ratio really is very appealing, especially as the 42in screen is a couple of inches bigger than the 40in screens offered by most other brands. Also impressive is how well dressed the 42LV450U is for its money. Its bezel is slender, very glossy and given extra definition by a little transparent outer trim, while its rear doesn’t stick out far at all - a predictable result of the TV’s use of edge LED lighting.
There are, however, clear signs of price-related compromises when you look through the 42LV450U’s connections. The most glaring omission is a LAN port. This immediately alerts you to the fact that the set supports neither LG’s latest Smart TV online service nor any DLNA/PLEX support for streaming files from networked computers.
Worse, though, the lack of a LAN also reveals that the 42LV450U doesn’t have a built in Freeview HD tuner. While we could understand the lack of online/DLNA functionality on an aggressively priced TV, not finding a Freeview HD tuner these days is hard to take at any price level. Yet actually, the 42LV450U is far from LG’s bottom-end LCD TV. In fact, weirdly, the next step down in the range, LG’s LV355U series, DOES have a Freeview HD tuner. Go figure.
Although it doesn’t support streaming from a PC, the 42LV450U isn’t a dead loss in multimedia terms. It’s got a D-Sub PC port, and it’s also got a single USB port through which you can play JPEG, MP3, MPEG-4 and Divx (including HD) files from USB storage devices.
One final notable connection is an RS-232C port with which you could, if you wish, integrate the TV in to a wider controlled home network.
Another slightly separate point worth noting about the 42LV450U’s connections is that many of them stick straight out of the rear panel, potentially creating a few problems for people intending to hang their new TV on the wall.
As we would have expected given the lack of a LAN port and any Smart TV functionality, the 42LV450U does not benefit from the Smart Hub onscreen menu system found on higher spec LG TVs. But that’s not to say that it’s operating system isn’t very good. In fact its onscreen menus are arguably the best around in the TV world right now, making bold use of large graphics on the initial ‘home’ menu screen, and presenting information in the secondary menus with impressive clarity and, for the most part, good organisation.