Don’t let the simplicity of the 42LH5000’s front-end presentation fool you into thinking it lacks feature depth, though. There are actually all manner of tweaks and adjustments available for you to play around with.
Particularly helpful is a Picture Wizard, which uses a surprisingly large set of simple test signals to help you calibrate the picture correctly. Plus there’s an Advanced Control menu that offers such minutiae as multi-level dynamic contrast and colour settings, multi-level noise reduction, multi-level gamma reduction, an Eye Care mode that reduces the image’s brightness, and multi-level Edge Enhancement.
I was pleased, too, to find this Advanced menu containing an option to adjust the strength of the ‘TruMotion’ 200Hz processing, giving you a degree of flexibility with the processing that could come in handy for adapting it to different types of source. After all, the real time demands on the 200Hz processing engine will obviously be greater – and thus more prone to glitching – when watching a sports broadcast than they are with something relatively static like a studio chat show.
So wide-ranging are the 42LH5000’s adjustments, in fact, that the TV’s list of presets includes a couple designated ‘ISF Expert’. This indicates that the TV is primed for professional calibration by a trained Imaging Science Foundation engineer, should you be willing to stump up the necessary cash for their services.
First impressions of the 42LH5000’s pictures suggests two key things. First, that its pictures aren’t quite as good as those of Sony’s Z4500 200Hz models. But second that they aren’t bad at all for their money, showing an immediate grasp of 200Hz that bodes well for the future.
Taking this latter feature onboard first, the degree to which the 200Hz engine improves the fluidity of motion and, especially, camera pans is truly impressive – even if you do the sensible thing and just use the feature’s ‘Low’ setting. What’s more, this nicely judged fluidity is joined by impressive motion clarity, with little if any of the blurring on show that usually blights LCD motion.
Perhaps the single most impressive – or at least, surprising – thing about the 42LH5000’s 200Hz engine, though, is how clean it is. By which I mean that provided you stick as much as possible with the feature’s Low setting, you’ll find that you get the extra fluidity and clarity without having to suffer anything major in the way of processing side effects.
The system isn’t perfect; really fast movements or pans, especially if there’s a vertical as well as horizontal component to them, can seem to flicker and jump for a fraction of a second. And even on the Low setting you also sometimes see a shimmering halo around moving objects. For a good example of what I’m talking about, check out the barman as he walks toward the poker table after being summoned so that Bond can order his famous favourite drink in ”Casino Royale”.
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Still, while the TruMotion 200Hz engine might generate a few more glitches than Sony’s 200Hz approach, I’d also say that the benefits of 200Hz are also slightly more obvious with the LG screen, and aren’t accompanied by the slight softness sometimes noted with the Z4500s.