So why aren’t we blown away by the 42LG5000’s pictures? The main problem is its inability to keep motion blur in check. Moving objects, such as a car zooming round the city or even more gentle movements like Will Smith raising his hand to his head, leave a really obvious trail behind them that gives the picture a disorienting haze and compromises edge definition. On this evidence LG’s claimed 5ms response time seems optimistic – perhaps the TruMotion 100Hz mode will eliminate the problem on its higher-end sets.
A second but less serious problem is black level, which doesn’t reach the depths that the quoted 50,000:1 contrast ratio would suggest, but they’re good enough to make movies seem adequately cinematic.
But even more unforgivable is the quality of standard definition pictures. We played a DVD on the Sony Blu-ray deck via HDMI (running at 576p) and the image suffers from a layer of dot noise across the screen, plus straight lines look jagged. Combined with the aforementioned image lag, it adds up to some rather scruffy looking pictures. We also tried upscaling the DVD to 1080/50p to see if it would help, but the same artifacts were visible.
On a more positive note, the invisible sound system works a treat, delivering rich and dynamic sound with more bass than you’d probably expect from such a slim frame. And SRS TruSurround does a wonderful job at making stereo sound seem louder and more expansive.
At first glance, the 42LG5000 looks like a winning proposition, with a vast number of innovative features and an alluring design, all for a reasonable price. And despite a good effort with high-definition material, its motion blur problems and poor SD pictures prevent it from earning our wholehearted recommendation.
Score in detail
Image Quality 6
Sound Quality 7