As usual with an LG television, the 42LH5000 scores another hit with the sheer dynamism of its pictures. They burst off the screen through a startling combination of strong, vibrant colours and impressive backlight strength, enabling them to dominate your vision and, more importantly, deliver a sense of impressive solidity and depth with both standard and high definition pictures alike.
I was also impressed by how natural the 42LH5000’s colours look, particularly with high definition using the Cinema preset. Colour blends look exceptional too, thanks to both the screen’s native Full HD resolution and, I’m inclined to think, improvements in LG’s latest XD Engine video processing system.
But crucially standard definition pictures don’t suffer anything like as severe a drop-off in colour toning as they’ve tended to on previous generations of LG LCD TV.
Still more good news concerns the sharpness with which the 42LH5000 shows HD pictures. With motion blur and judder largely removed by the 200Hz system, the degree of pure pixel-level detail and crispness the TV can resolve is left totally open to scrutiny, yet the 42LH5000 never left me feeling shortchanged of detail in any way, shape or form.
Standard definition pictures look decently sharp too. Though more important, so far as I’m concerned, is the fact that they also look much less noisy than we’re used to seeing them look on Full HD TVs, particularly earlier LG ones.
Aside from the on-balance easily tolerable 200Hz glitches, the only other thing causing concern about the 42LH5000’s pictures is their black level response. For instance, truly dark scenes or deep blacks within otherwise bright scenes suffer a little with the greyness that’s all too familiar with LCD technology, while also looking a bit hollow thanks to a lack of visible shadow detail.
To be fair, the problem isn’t severe by any means, and doesn’t stop the vast majority of the 42LH5000’s pictures from looking extremely dynamic and even a little cinematic. But it’s just troubling enough to cost the set that 9 or 10 score necessary to bag a TrustedReviews Recommended badge. Especially since black levels deteriorate if you have to watch the screen from much of an angle.
Turning to the 42LH5000’s audio, while the set’s soundstage is clear and detailed during relatively straightforward scenes, it doesn’t expand to embrace a loud action scene quite as dynamically as I would like.
LG might not have got everything right with the 42LH5000 – there’s definitely room for improvement in the black level and viewing angle departments. But it’s got to grips with 200Hz surprisingly albeit not perfectly well for a first try, and in doing so has yet again delivered a TV that’s nothing if not good value.