You won’t be stuck for places to stick your cables thanks to the extensive range of sockets on the rear panel. We start, as ever, with the HDMI output, which is specified as v1.3 and lets you watch upscaled pictures on suitably equipped TVs. The deck offers 720p, 1080i and 1080p output and will upscale everything, including pictures from the built-in Freeview and analogue tuners.
The HDMI port is ably assisted by prog-scan capable component video output, RGB-capable SCART output and S-video output, while a second SCART socket accepts RGB, composite and S-video signals from external sources. For audio, there’s a choice of optical and coaxial digital audio and analogue stereo outputs.
The aforementioned Freeview tuner brings with it Freeview+ support, including Series Recording and alternate instance recording, which alerts you when programmes clash and suggests other times when they’re being shown.
There’s also an 8-day EPG, which is neatly laid out and easy to navigate using the colour-coded keys on the remote, plus it’s superimposed over live TV so you can keep track of what you’re watching. Despite its friendly layout, setting the timer from the EPG is a bit odd, just as we found on the RHT399H. Highlight the desired programme, hit the red button to record and four options appear written in pidgin English (‘It can be recorded as series’ being the best example). It’s an annoying niggle in what is an otherwise impressive EPG, and LG should really sort this out on next year’s models.
The rest of the onscreen graphics are fantastic, making it easy to find recordings and media files stored on disc, but what we like most is the way the screens dissolve when you exit. Press the Home menu button on the remote and a bar appears at the top of the screen, listing movie, music, photo submenus, each illustrated by a charming animated icon. You’ll also find the Setup and Recording Mode menus, but annoyingly the latter offers the only way to alter the recording quality as there isn’t a dedicated button for it on the remote.
The remote itself isn’t great, sporting a cluttered layout and burying the important programme change and EPG keys at the bottom, but the Home menu button is easy to spot and the menu controls are intuitively placed.