The lack of any Wi-Fi or Ethernet networking also reveals a more disconcerting shortcoming of the LE42K0D7D: no Freeview HD tuner. Instead, you just get a standard def Freeview one. While we know there are one or two much more expensive TVs that don’t have Freeview HD tuners – yes, we’re looking at you, Philips – it still has to count as an important oversight on AOC’s part. In fact, it’s arguably a bigger problem on a TV like the LE42K0D7D than it is on the Philips TVs, since the AOC’s relatively ‘entry-level’ nature means it’s less likely to be partnered with an external video receiver like a Sky box.
Searching through the presentationally bland but simply organised onscreen materials for features on the LE42K0D7D isn’t a particularly rewarding experience. The stand-out trick, at least in terms of surprise value, has to be a 100Hz system – especially as AOC has thoughtfully given you the facility to adjust how hard this processing works. Otherwise, the only things of note beyond a helpfully labelled set of picture presets are a basic noise reduction system, and a surprisingly flexible backlight adjustment.
The only other point you could argue is that actually the LE42K0D7D’s most striking feature is its price. For £779 obviously isn’t much to cough up for a 42in screen with an edge LED lighting system.
The first thing to say about the LE42K0D7D’s pictures is that they initially appear better than past experience of ‘c-list’ TVs would have led us to suspect. The main reason for this is that its pictures are driven by a startlingly high level of brightness – even by edge LED’s usually in your face standards.
The raw brightness helps colours look strikingly fully saturated for a relatively affordable set, creating an image that immediately catches your eye and holds your attention.
What makes these strengths all the more surprising is that despite the fulsome brightness, there at first appears to be at least a passable stab at delivering a believable black level response. Certainly, there’s isn’t as much grey mist hanging over dark parts of pictures as we might have anticipated.
Maybe the LE42K0D7D’s pictures will start to fall apart when it comes to sharpness? Actually, there’s a decent amount of fine detail and sharpness in its HD pictures – provided, at least, that these pictures don’t have much motion in them.