Of course, though, while £940 might be cheap by edge LED standards, it’s actually pretty steep for a 42in TV by the standards of the LCD world as a whole. So it’s as well that the 42SL9500 has also got plenty of appealing specs to shout about.
Not least among these is the set’s huge claimed contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1, and its carriage of 100Hz processing for improved motion reproduction.
The set has a couple of neat multimedia talents, too. Specifically playback of JPEG, MP3 and DivX (including HD) files through a provided USB port, and Bluetooth connectivity. This latter tool, still unique to LG in the mainstream TV world, has two uses. First, it permits you to stream photographs stored on a Bluetooth phone wirelessly onto the TV screen. Second, it lets you listen to the TV’s audio on a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones.
Luddite curmudgeon that I am, I’m not sure I personally envisage myself using either of these Bluetooth features much. But then I famously once also declared that texting from mobile phones would never catch on either. Doh.
Even the most dedicated of Bluetooth lovers, though, shouldn’t allow their buzz over finding Bluetooth support on the 42SL9500 blind them to the fact that the set isn’t quite as multimedia savvy as it might have been. For it doesn’t join the growing band of TVs – including Samsung’s 7000 and 8000 LED series – that support online connectivity and streaming of files from DLNA PCs.
At which point it’s probably worth reminding ourselves that the 42SL9500 really isn’t expensive for a slinky edge-LED TV, and so probably couldn’t be fairly expected to carry everything its costlier rivals do.
At least it’s got a decent bit of ‘general utility’ processing in the form of LG’s own XD Engine system, as well as a handy suite of four v1.3 HDMIs.
I have to say, though, that it might have been nice if more of the provided connections had been positioned for sideways access. After all, a TV as slim as this has great appeal as a wall hanging option, yet having SCARTs, HDMIs, the power cable and so on sticking straight out of the back of the TV makes wall hanging much trickier. Samsung’s 7000 and 8000 TVs have many of their key connections set for sideways access, meaning the TV can hang much closer to the wall, thus preserving its sense of slimness without having to dig out cable channels in your wall plaster.
The 42SL9500 gets right back on track with its user-friendliness, though, once you explore its onscreen menus. For as well as being gorgeously and clearly presented, they also contain a winning degree of set up flexibility. Key options include a Picture Wizard tool that puts up a selection of picture test signals to help you calibrate the image correctly; a colour management system; gamma tweaking; and dynamic colour and contrast processing.
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In fact, the 42SL9500 is so flexible that it has been endorsed by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF), and carries two ISF options among its suite of presets.