Another smaller problem with the 42LF7700 is that while standard def pictures, especially from Freesat, tend to look impressively free of noise, this is only the case if you set the TV’s noise reduction routine to ‘Low’. Yet doing this results in the image looking a touch softer than I’d ideally like. Still, if I had to choose between a touch of softness and loads of MPEG scuzz, I’d choose softness every time.
Sonically the 42LF7700 employs LG’s favourite trick: an Invisible Speaker system that effectively uses the TV’s bezel to deliver a wider, less ‘point-sourced’ soundstage than the average TV. And indeed, the benefits of this approach are impressively evident when watching anything with a powerful, well-constructed audio mix, as the TV’s soundstage spreads way beyond the confines of the TV’s screen without losing cohesion.
Treble effects are pleasingly obvious in the mix, too, without sounding harsh or forced; the mid-range presents vocals clearly and is open enough to expand at least a little to meet the demands of an action scene; and there’s even a respectable amount of bass – though not enough to lift the sound performance higher than an 8 out of 10.
The 42LF7700 has integrated its Freesat tuner well for the most part, and can produce some quite phenomenal pictures with the right kind of bright, colourful source material. If money’s not too big an issue for you, I personally – movie lover that I am – would probably still be inclined to go for the Panasonic 42PZ81 over the new LG, on account of the Panasonic’s superior black level response. But that doesn’t alter the fact that the 42LF7700 is still a very nice Freesat TV debut from LG that offers something rather sought after in today’s financial climate: impressive value for money.