What Hooked Us:
Good colour balance.
First-rate video processing.
Lots of picture settings.
Why We Grumbled:
Tuner picture lacks sharpness.
Awkward operation in TV mode.
The Final Verdict:
Plenty of value for money: The LG impresses with a bright picture, excellent video processing, a large number of picture controls, and decent built-in speakers. But the low contrast ratio limits home-cinema suitability, the TV picture is too soft, and the tuner’s operation is disappointing.
The LG 42 LH 4000 can play back digital photos and MP3 music files via USB, but the colours are a bit too striking during photo playback. As is common for this price class, this is where the multimedia stops.
This price class doesn’t usually offer quite this many picture controls. The user can, for example, adjust the colour temperature for 10 brightness levels. In combination with a measuring device this allows accurate fine-tuning of the colour balance.
There are separate vertical and horizontal sharpness settings, along with settings for the gamma and non-primary colours. Handy integrated test patterns and electronic colour filters help you home in on the correct picture settings.
Korean manufacturer LG has unfortunately had to cut corners somewhere: We searched in vain for an S-Video or line-out connection, for example. The tuner can only receive digital cable (DVB-C) signals if you set the TV’s location to Finland, and there’s no CI+ slot, so the LG can’t decrypt subscription broadcasts.
The clearly laid out menu gives information such as the resolution and frame rate of the current video signal. But a lack of sensible channel pre-sorting makes TV operation awkward. Similarly, the number pad on the remote control only allows you to call up digital channels, even when you’re receiving both digital and analogue signals.
The LG always shines at full lamp power when in Teletext mode and can therefore be unpleasantly bright, especially in a dark room. But that’s enough grumbling; there is one more thing we want to applaud: Pressing the Q.VIEW button displays a list of the most recently viewed channels. Very handy!
Our colour measurements showed that the LH 4000 produces an almost ideal average colour temperature of 6,400 Kelvin and a highly consistent gamut. In a viewing test with various Blu-rays we noticed a slight yellow-green tint in skin tones, but you can eliminate this problem by selecting the “Wide” gamut in the “Expert Control” menu.
Unfortunately, like almost all cheap LCDs, the LG suffers from a low in-picture contrast ratio of less than 1,000:1. Night-time scenes, for example, barely develop depth — the bluish residual illumination is really irritating. You can make the picture look subjectively more contrast-rich by leaving some ambient light in the room and switching on the “Dynamic Contrast” setting. The problem here, however, is that the technology manipulates the picture artificially: Contrasts look harder; bright and dark areas look overemphasised and show less fine differentiation.
Picture Quality of Standard-Definition Signals
Of the numerous presets, we chose “Expert”, since this offers the greatest number of picture controls. The “Intelligent Sensor” mode, on the other hand, offers no controls whatsoever — the LH 4000 independently analyses the current video signal and the ambient illumination and adjusts the picture settings accordingly. We actually found this to work astonishingly well but, as professionals, we naturally wanted to tweak the picture for ourselves. In the “Expert” mode, neither analogue nor digital signals suffer from false edges, and both look fairly natural. But all TV signals look a bit softer here than on competing displays. Fine details also show some flicker.
If you input 576i material via HDMI, the 42-incher delivers an optimum picture — the de-interlacer produces flicker-free progressive video even in tricky film scenes. With the brightness turned down, fast motion suffers from no blur.
If you activate the 100-hertz technology (“TruMotion 100Hz”), film judder and double edges disappear from TV material. But this also produces the usual artefacts (noise artefacts around edges), since the technology cannot reconstruct all motion phases accurately.
Picture Quality of High-Definition Signals
There’s nothing to gripe about with the HD video processing: The LG delivers an attractive picture with accurate scaling for signals of various frame rates and resolutions. 24p signals from Blu-ray players show authentic film judder, which you can also optionally remove using the TruMotion setting. But the motion enhancement shows some weaknesses in HDTV documentaries at 60 hertz, where it exhibits slight judder.
Surprisingly, the built-in speakers don’t sound like a bargain-basement TV, even though their output is slightly discoloured and they don’t point directly towards the viewers. Crucially, their strong fundamentals make playback enjoyable even at high volume levels.
Picture Mode: Expert 1
H Sharpness: 50
V Sharpness: 51
Dynamic Contrast: Off
Noise Reduction: Off
Black Level: Low
Real Cinema: On
Colour Gamut: Wide
Edge Enhancer: Low
Aspect Ratio: Just Scan
These settings apply to realistic playback of HDTV/Blu-ray material through the HDMI interface in a darkened environment. Manufacturing and HDMI playback device deviations might necessitate slight adjustment.
- Product Type 42″ LCD TV
- Image Contrast Ratio 80000:1
- Resolution 1920×1080
- Brightness 500 cd/m2
- Image Aspect Ratio 16:9
- Diagonal Size 42″ – widescreen
- Power Consumption Stand by / Sleep under 1 Watt
- Power Consumption Operational 210 Watt
- Weight 17.1 kg
- Height 65.54 cm
- Depth 8.98 cm
- Width 103.6 cm
Dimensions & Weight Details
- Dimensions & Weight Details Panel with stand – 103.6 cm x 29.62 cm x 72.13 cm x 18.9 kg