LG tends to stand a step or two behind the front runners when it comes to performance on its range of televisions, but you have to give it points for effort with a new range of LCDs offering full 1080p HD quality.

The 42-inch screen on test is the largest in the LF range, and certainly looks pretty stylish with a sleek black finish and slim build.

It also offers a few interesting features, including a Simplink AV control that allows you to access (albeit limited) functionality of other components connected to your system, such as a DVD player and surround sound, and 3D surround max sound technology to offer pseudo-surround.

The controls and functionality of the display, both in terms of the remote and on-screen menus are fairly basic, but this does make the television pretty easy to set up and configure. This is a good thing when you consider that the instruction manual, which weighs almost as much as the TV itself, is all but useless.

An effective EPG for the digital tuner makes it easy to view and schedule reminders or recordings for programmes up to 7 days in advance. The three HDMI ports are a welcome addition to conventional connectivity, and a side panel offers easy access to S-video and composite inputs.

You'll also find a range of environment presets for audio and visual control that makes it easy to adjust settings quickly, but you won't find the same degree of close control and fine-tuning here that you might expect.

Unfortunately, despite a range of visual processing technology that has been synonymous with LG's range, we weren't overly impressed by the visual performance.

While capable, it's not quite up to the standard of impressive efforts from Sharp in the LCD market or the dynamic contrast and colour levels established in bargain-priced plasma offerings from Samsung, among others.

Blacks weren't especially deep, there was noticeable pixilation from standard definition signals and although this improves dramatically when you feed it HD content it's still a little off pace.

On a brighter note we were very impressed by the audio performance, with well-rounded sound from the standard environment setting and an interesting pseudo-surround effect generated by the 3D Surround Max technology. Overall this is a capable panel that doesn't do quite enough, either in performance, price or additional features, to usurp some of the more impressive models in this market.


Despite some impressive audio performance, LG’s new screen let us down a little on the video front and doesn’t really work hard enough in terms of additional features to justify a recommendation over a number of capable rivals at a similar price point.