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LG 42LH5000 42in LCD TV Review


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £999.00

Typical. You wait decades for a 200Hz TV, and then along come two. A few months after we digested Sony’s groundbreaking 200Hz Z4500 LCD range, we now find ourselves faced with LG’s 200Hz-sporting 42LH5000. And intriguingly, if not entirely surprisingly, this LG offering is considerably cheaper – by at least £250 – than its 40in Sony rival. Bargain ahoy, perhaps.

It certainly looks like it costs more than a grand. It enjoys just about the glossiest, shiniest finish you’ll ever see (in a good rather than tacky way!), and has curves and eye-catching trim in all the right places. This trim even includes an infusion of indigo blue down the TV’s sides that adds distinction without becoming distracting.

The 42LH5000 also sets a suitably cutting edge tone with its connectivity, thanks to its provision of four HDMIs; a USB 2.0 slot capable of playing JPEG, MP3 and even DivX HD video files; and a D-Sub port so you can easily use the screen as a computer monitor.

Other key specs of the 42LH5000 stack up well meanwhile, particularly the Full HD native resolution, and a good looking claimed contrast ratio of 80,000:1. Though of course, this latter figure needs, as ever, to be taken with a hefty dose of salt.

Clearly, though, the 42LH5000’s star trick is that 200Hz engine, which seeks to improve motion clarity and fluidity by calculating an extra three frames of image data for every ‘real’ frame coming in from a 50Hz source. What’s more, as with the Sony Z4500 TVs, the LG doesn’t just mindlessly repeat the same image three extra times, but rather calculates completely new frames of image data designed to fill in the image ‘gap’ left between the original 50Hz frames.

Great though this sounds, of course, a 200Hz system can only ever be as good as the processing engine driving it. So I’ll be keeping a keen eye out for processing glitches once I get round to assessing the 42LH5000’s picture performance. Especially as the TV also boasts LG’s Twin XD Engine processing, designed to improve a variety of different picture elements such as colour, contrast and detailing.

Film fans will appreciate, too, the set’s 24p Real Cinema mode for souped up Blu-ray playback, while technophobes will very likely adore the 42LH5000’s excellent operating system.

Thanks to a combination of pretty graphics, exceptionally clear text and mostly foolproof menu organisation, it’s really difficult to see how anyone could end up baffled by the 42LH5000. LG’s starting to get there with its remotes too, as the one provided with the 42LH5000 combines a clean, uncluttered layout with a nicely tactile ‘crazy paving’ finish.

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