The Freesat tuner is far from the 42LF7700’s only claim to fame. It’s also got LG’s TruMotion 100Hz processing for making motion look more fluid and sharp, LG’s new, improved Intelligent Sensor which adjusts the picture in response to your room conditions, 24p Real Cinema processing for Blu-ray playback, and the latest version of LG’s XD Engine video processing. This, as with similar systems from other brands, works on a variety of picture elements, including colour, contrast and especially clarity and detailing.
The screen’s resolution is, thankfully, a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080, as befits the fact that it’s got a Freesat HD tuner. And another impressive specification is the screen’s claimed contrast ratio of 80,000:1 – one of the highest figures we’ve seen from a non-LED LCD TV.
When you’ve got as many channels to deal with as you get on the Freesat service, the electronic programme guide a TV provides is essential. But I have to say I wasn’t particularly blown away by the one employed by the 42LF7700. The layout isn’t particularly intuitive, and nor is the use of the remote’s coloured ‘shortcut’ buttons. What’s more, moving around the lists of programmes feels rather sluggish, making quickly trying to find a particular channel or programme a bit of a teeth-grinder.
At least the Genre feature can thankfully drastically reduce your searching time. So much so that I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to have the Genre list appear first when you press the Guide button, as happens with Sky’s EPG, rather than just being presented with a scarily unmanageable full list of channels. Just a thought.
First impressions of the 42LF7700’s picture performance are very pleasing. A combination of exceptional brightness – even by LCD’s traditionally full-on standards – and terrifically vivid, fully saturated colours grabs your attention in a vice-like grip, ensuring that the TV takes over your room despite its subtle design.
I was also very satisfied with the quality of the Freesat images generally. Particularly striking is how well the TV suppresses the MPEG artefacting and mosquito edge noise found in many standard def broadcasts. Even a broadcast of ”Ricki Lake” on ITV 2 actually looked decently polished and fuzz-free, and there can be few sterner tests of a TV’s picture standard def make up than that. Aside, perhaps, from a standard def ITV football broadcast…
With the Beeb’s high definition broadcasts, meanwhile, the image looks impressively sharp without, crucially, exaggerating the dotty noise that can afflict some BBC HD fare. In fact, when you combine the sharpness of HD Freesat sources with the TV’s colour richness and brightness, you can end up with a picture that can look stunningly three-dimensional and involving, especially when fed something like the sort of HD mountain view BBC HD loves to showcase during its off-schedule ‘Preview’ footage.
Both Freesat and Freeview images seem extremely stable too, with no stutter or drop-outs during my testing period with the TV.