LG 42LM670T review
|Review: November 2012|
In a nutshell: This 42 inch TV combines stunning looks with outstanding picture quality, connectivity and Smart TV functionality.
Design & looks
Choosing a TV from the huge range available is such a confusing business that it's no surprise most consumers end up picking the one that looks nicest and fits their budget.
In the case of the LG 42LM670T, however, this would be the right choice. With its ultraslim looks and narrow bezel, the LM760T series melts into the background, leaving just the moving pictures suspended in mid air (if you use your imagination a bit). It's a magical effect. LG call it their Cinema Screen design. The stylish metallic stand completes the stunning contemporary look.
You won't find a better-looking TV in this middle price range. In fact, perhaps not at any price.
A bonus feature is the "magic" remote control that you can use to point at the screen. You get a normal remote control too, if pretending to be Harry Potter isn't your thing.
Switch the TV on and things look even better. For a start, 42 inches is a better size than the 40-inchers that are becoming commonplace. 40 inches is just a touch too small for the average family-sized room. Those extra 2 inches give you 10% more viewing area. It's the sweet spot for most rooms.
Of course, unless the picture's good, then making it larger will only magnify the defects. We're pleased to report though, that there are hardly any defects here. In fact, this is one of the very best 40/42 inch TVs available when it comes to picture quality.
LG's "LED Plus" local-dimming technology solves most of the problems that are common in edgelit LED TVs. Contrast ratios are high, and there's little evidence of clouding even in dark scenes. The Motion Clarity Index of 400 Hz is quick enough to keep things moving smoothly even in fast action sequences. There's hardly any sign of motion blurring. LG's Triple XD Engine does a great job of ironing out noise and upscaling to full HD.
It's worth mentioning that LG are one of the few manufacturers to use IPS panels in their TVs. IPS displays have excellent contrast ratios, fast response times, and most significantly, outstandingly good viewing angles. This is certainly apparent with the LM670T. Moving even six feet to the left or the right of centre doesn't significantly affect the picture quality, in stark contrast to most Samsung TVs, for example.
Finally, if eco-performance is high on your list, you won't do better than LG. This is one of the few A+ energy-rated televisions available, with an astonishingly low average power use of just 52W.
LG TVs use passive 3D display technology, in contrast to the active 3D used by Samsung and Sony. There's an ongoing debate about whether passive 3D glasses fully resolve 1080p HD images. LG says yes; Samsung says no; we say maybe.
Having said that, most consumers seem to prefer passive 3D to active. Passive 3D glasses are cheap to buy - in fact 4 pairs of glasses are provided free with the television. They're also lightweight and comfortable to wear, and there's no problem with flicker or ghosting that are sometimes a problem with active 3D glasses. There are occasional artifacts due to the "striping" effect of passive 3D, but only up very close.
An added feature of LG's 3D implementation is full screen gaming. Using the 3D display mode, this turns a split-screen game into a full screen game, with each player seeing the game from their own perspective.
Audio quality isn't up to the same standard as picture quality, but it's no worse than rival ultrathin televisions. The TV has twin stereo speakers with a total power output of 20W. The Infinite Surround effect attempts to reproduce full 3D surround sound, with arguably mixed results. Clear Voice 2 does a pretty good job of boosting vocals for added clarity.
In fact, there's no problem following dialogue on this TV - the problem is the lack of bass, which can make certain scenes sound flat, especially if you enjoy the occasional action film. In this case, there's nothing for it but to buy a dedicated soundbar or 5.1 home cinema system. To be fair, we offer this same advice for all flatscreen TVs.
LG's Smart TV offering gives you a lot of useful features, all very easily accessible from the Home Dashboard. You get access to BBC iPlayer plus movie downloads from LoveFilm and Netflix. The Social Center app lets you log onto facebook and twitter.
With access to your home network via the built-in Wi-Fi or ethernet cable, and support for DLNA, you can easily stream music, videos and photos stored on your PC, laptop or smartphone.
No problems here. In addition to wireless and wired internet, this TV has a very generous total of 4 HDMI connections and 3 USB ports. All other options are covered too - SCART, component, composite AV, a variety of audio inputs and outputs and a headphone jack.
A Freeview HD tuner is included, although not Freesat.
Conclusion - best in class
This is an outstanding TV, performing well in every respect, and with one of the most beautiful looks of any TV. It'll blow you away!
When it comes to picture quality, you'll have to search very hard for anything to beat it, and you won't find anything better at this price point. Even the significantly more expensive LG 42LM760T doesn't noticeably improve upon the 2D or 3D picture quality. 3D performance is fabulous, and we like the fact that 4 pairs of glasses are included.
LG's Smart TV system is comprehensive and easy to use, especially with the "magic" remote control. We can't find fault with the range of connectivity options available either. In fact, this is one of the most generously equipped TVs you'll find in this regard.
For the money, this is an absolutely brilliant TV. There's really no need to spend more.
LG 42LM670T features include:
- 40 inch LED-backlit screen
- 1920 x 1080 resolution
- Triple XD Engine
- Smart Colour Gradation
- Contrast Optimizer
- Local Dimming
- Motion Clarity Index 400 Hz
- 3D Ready (Cinema 3D)
- Game Mode
- Freeview HD
- Smart TV
- Audio: Dolby Digital, Infinite Surround, Clear Voice 2, 10W x 2 sound output (RMS)
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Ethernet (LAN) x 1, DLNA, HDMI x 4, USB x 3, headphone x 1, component in (Y/Pb/Pr) x 1, composite x 1, digital audio out (optical) x 1, Audio In x 2, PC in x 1, Scart x 1, RF In (Terrestrial / Cable input) x 2, CI slot
- Magic Remote (AN-MR300) included
- Energy efficiency class: A+
- Typical power consumption: 52W
- Size without stand (WxHxD): 953 x 566 x 33.4 mm
- Size with stand (WxHxD): 953 x 636 x 263 mm
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