LG 42LB700V: 3D Picture Quality
After the weird, seemingly viewing angle-related 3D problems seen in the LG 55UB950V TV, we were pretty worried about what the 42LB700V might serve up in the third dimension. Fortunately it’s better – though the problems certainly haven’t been eradicated.
As usual with passive 3D it’s lovely to see 3D sources looking hardly any less bright or colourful once you’ve donned the 3D glasses than they do in 2D. Also it’s great that you can watch passive 3D in bright room conditions without feeling aware of the flickering you get with active 3D glasses.
The LG 42LB700V also delivers a very believable sense of depth and space, and while there is a reduction in resolution with Full HD 3D Blu-rays due to the way passive 3D works you only really feel this in the slightly jagged look to small objects and curved object edges.
The weird issues with localised crosstalk are thankfully less aggressive here than they were on LG’s bigger 55-inch UHD TV. But the bottom right hand quadrant of the screen does still suffer with noticeable double ghosting at times while the rest of the screen looks mostly pristine.
The issue is particularly acute with subtitles that appear at the bottom of the screen, which can be rendered all but unreadable.
It’s worth adding, too, that the vertical viewing angle you can view passive 3D with before crosstalk becomes a much more generalised problem feels like it’s reduced from an already pretty slight 13 degrees to around 10 or even less.
LG 42LB700V: Sound Quality
The LG 42LB700V boasts a 2.1-channel audio system, with the “.1” bass content coming courtesy of a subwoofer on the set’s rear. This helps it deliver a more expansive and well-rounded soundstage than your average flat TV, and the bass melds nicely to the bottom of the mid-range.
Dialogue remains well focused in the mix too, even during loud action sequences, and there’s enough raw power and dynamic range around to allow the soundstage to ‘open up’ when shifting from a normal scene to an action scene.
Treble detailing can sound a little muted when the going gets tough, though, and there’s a limit to the volumes you can aim for before the speakers start to phut and distort.
Also our test sample suffered with some lip-sync errors while showing Blu-rays – especially 3D ones.
Other things to consider
The superb webOS smart interface on the 42LB700V gets a perfect partner in the shape of LG’s ‘Magic Remote’. This small alternative handset – included free – combines a reduced button count with superb point and click technology backed up by a wonderfully tactile ‘clicking wheel’ device for scrolling quickly up and down menus.
LG TVs have tended to suffer with input lag over recent years. And unfortunately the 42LB700V continues this theme, producing a frankly huge input lag figure – even in its gaming mode – of more than 100ms. This is guaranteed to damage your performance when playing fast-reaction games.
Should I buy an LG 42LB700V?
The LG 42LB700V looks great and carries easily the most intuitive and usable smart TV interface seen to date – so much so that it could be a deal maker in itself.
However, in picture quality terms the 42LB700V lacks the contrast chops to compete with the best models out there – models like the sublime 50-inch Sony 50W829, good Sony 40W605 and strong (if expensive) Samsung UE46H7000.
An ultimately solid mid-range TV elevated by a cute design and superb smart service but let down by contrast and input lag shortcomings.
Next, read our best TVs round-up
Score in detail
3D Quality 8
Smart TV 9
2D Quality 7
Sound Quality 8