LG’s slavish pursuit of endorsements from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) continues with the 42LV450U, which means you can have your TV professionally calibrated if you’re willing to pay for the privilege. The ISF endorsement leads to two ISF Expert options among the picture presets, and if you choose either of these you’ll open up an Expert set of picture adjustments that include colour management and white balance fine tuning controls, plus a variety of gamma presets.
These ‘high level’ adjustments are joined by a host of other bits and bobs, such as an edge enhancer, standard and ‘digital’ noise reduction systems, a dynamic contrast system, and LG’s TruMotion processing. The latter tool comes with a variety of strength settings and a ‘manual’ mode that lets you fine tune the individual amounts of processing power addressed to system’s judder and blur reduction components.
LG claims a curious spec of MCI 400Hz for the 42LV450U. But this doesn't in reality mean the TV refreshes its images 400 times a second. Rather it's a figure like Samsung's 'CMR' spec that's derived from a combination of a genuine 100Hz refresh rate, a scanning backlight, and LG's frame interpolation processing.
There’s no local dimming system in the 42LV450U, but actually we’re not bothered by this, as more often than not such systems do more harm than good.
How good the 42LV450U’s pictures are depends on what you’re watching and, to some extent, the room conditions you’re watching them in. For while pictures are capable of looking very nice indeed when you’re watching bright, crisp HD footage, a few problems set in with standard definition and especially dark image content.
Focussing on the 42LV450U’s high points first, it’s capable of reproducing HD sources with good clarity and detail for such an affordable TV, making solid use of the screen’s full HD resolution to ensure that all the classic HD hallmarks - the weave in suits, pores on faces etc - are clearly visible. Resolution diminishes a little when things move, but not excessively so for such an affordable set.
If the resolution loss or judder does trouble you, though, feel free to experiment with the set’s TruMotion processing. Personally we found it produced a few too many unwanted side effects (shimmering edges and occasional flickering over really fast motion), but your best bet if you do decide to use the processing is to choose the manual setting and configure it so that the blur and judder settings are ramped down to only their two or three levels at most, as this produces some level of motion improvement without generating too many of the unwanted side effects.