Spinning the 42SL9000 around reveals a fine – and thankfully uncontroversial! – set of connections. These include four HDMIs, an RS232 control port, and a pleasingly flexible USB jack able to handle DivX standard and high definition movies as well as the more common JPEG and MP3 files.
As with most of LG’s higher-end TVs, there’s also a further connection you can’t see, for the set supports Bluetooth wireless streaming of music files from phones, or Bluetooth audio out to Bluetooth headphones.
Having made a passing comparison with Samsung’s 40B7020 earlier in this review, I should probably add here that the 42SL9000 lacks the Samsung’s second USB and Ethernet port. Not having the latter port is particularly important, since it means the 42SL9000 doesn’t join the Samsung in being able to stream files from DLNA PCs and can’t access any online services.
In my opinion the 42SL9000‘s Bluetooth functionality is a poor substitute for what could have been achieved with an Ethernet port, but presumably there are legions of mobile phone music freaks out there willing to disagree with me!
Turning to the 42SL9000’s inner features, as usual it’s probably worth me quickly reminding you that edge LED lighting doesn’t offer the same local dimming technology of direct LED LCD TVs (where the LED light array sits directly behind the LCD screen layers). This means that it will struggle to deliver as satisfying a combination of deep blacks and pure whites within the same frame.
Even so, though, LG claims a vast – doubtless extremely optimistic – contrast ratio for the 42SL9000 of 3,000,000:1. And then, of course, there are the claimed potential advantages of edge LED to consider, such as enhanced shadow detail, no ‘halo’ effect and reduced running power.
The screen also inevitably boasts a Full HD resolution, while video processing duties are primarily handled by a 100Hz TruMotion system in conjunction with LG’s proprietary, many-angled XD Engine. This latter engine isn’t one of the most powerful around, to be honest, but it does seem to be improving incrementally with every new generation of LG TV.
Of rather more interest to many of our readers, I suspect, will be the impressive amount of image flexibility the TV offers via its superbly designed and organised onscreen menus. I won’t go into every option available, but suffice it to say that with such niceties as Gamma adjustment, dynamic colour and contrast processors, and adjustable noise level/100Hz/progressive scan levels, it’s no surprise to learn that the TV is equipped for professional calibration by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) should you want to get an expert in rather than tackle calibration yourself.
If you ”do” feel confident enough to explore the settings on your own, though, a good starting point is the Picture Wizard system LG has thoughtfully built into the TV. This helps you with a few, admittedly quite shallow adjustments by generating and talking you through a little selection of video test signals.