The first real sign of trouble with the LE42K0D7D occurs with some pretty obvious motion blurring during action scenes. This even remains a little with the 100Hz option switched on – especially as you can’t use the most potent 100Hz setting unless you want the picture to become bothered by obvious unwanted processing side effects.
Now we’ve spotted a first chink in the LE42K0D7D’s picture armour, a few more quickly come to light. Those bold colours, for instance, sometimes look rather peculiar in tone. Or perhaps a better way of looking at it would be to say that some colours look out of balance with the rest of the palette, especially if they involve shades of red or green. They also lack subtlety, looking one dimensional and cartoon-like.
Skin doesn’t look quite right sometimes either – people look either a touch too orange or a touch too pink.
More trouble’s in store with standard definition pictures. For unless they’re of an extremely high quality in the first place – a good DVD, say – they tend to gain quite a bit of video noise in the process of being upscaled to the LE42K0D7D’s full HD pixel count.
What ultimately turns us slightly against the LE42K0D7D’s pictures though, is the thing we were most concerned about right at the start of this review: a patchy backlight. In other words, even with the set’s backlight setting toned down to a sensible level, all four corners of the image look markedly brighter than the rest of it during dark scenes. Inevitably, this distracts you – at times quite severely – from what you’re trying to watch.
Remembering that built-in subwoofer we noted earlier, we turned our attentions to the LE42K0D7D’s audio with high hopes. But if anything its sound is even more inconsistent than its pictures. For while there is at least a sniff more bass around than you get with most very slim TVs, that bass doesn’t integrate at all well with the rest of the soundstage. This is largely down to the extremely feeble efforts of the painfully underpowered main speakers.
We’d like nothing better than to be able to sing the praises of a relatively minor TV brand. After all, we’re firm believers that the more competition there is out there, the more the TV world is forced to innovate and keep aggressive with pricing. But ultimately, after flattering to deceive in the early stages of this review, the AOC LE42K0D7D just isn’t interesting or good enough to make it worth hunting one down.
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