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LG 42LF65 HDTV Test Conclusion

by Vincent Teoh
30 June 2007

SUMMARY
LG 42LF65 reinforces LG's reputation as a second-tier brand... for its price you can get a much better HDTV elsewhere.

PROS
> Very good Faroudja DCDi video and film deinterlacing
> Accurate colour decoding without colour push
> D65 greyscale calibration can be achieved via user menu

CONS
> Below average black level & compressed contrast ratio
> No backlight control
> Judder on 1080p/24 signal

Pros

  • Very good film and video deinterlacing powered by Faroudja DCDi
  • Accurate colour decoding without colour push
  • D65 greyscale calibration possible through user menu
  • 1:1 pixel mapping possible over HDMI
  • 2 independent memory settings per input source
  • Above average viewing angle (≈ 120°) thanks to S-IPS panel
  • Good sound system with impressive stereo imaging and solid bass
  • Responsive on-screen menu and channel navigation
  • Attractive infrared remote with sensitive tactile feedback
  • Stand already fixed and requires no assembly out of the box

Cons

  • Below average black level resulting in compressed contrast ratio
  • No backlight control
  • Judder present when fed with 1080p/24 PS3 signal
  • Slightly more motion ghosting compared to recent LCDs
  • Ineffective baseline and incremental digital noise reduction
  • Backlight bleeding and vertical banding (may be specific to my review unit)
  • High-pitched whine especially on standby (may be specific to my review unit)
  • No-frills EPG with blurry text
  • Table top stand does not swivel

Conclusion

I find it difficult to recommend the LG 42LF65. Sure it has its merits, among which its outstanding Faroudja-driven deinterlacing, accurate colour decoding, and a host of user menu options that makes D65 greyscale calibration easy. But it is utterly and hopelessly crippled by its poor black-level performance reminiscent of LCDs of yesteryears, leading to excessive black luminance, limited contrast ratio, and generalised colour washout.

Greyish blacks, colour dullness and (to a certain extent) motion ghosting are immediately apparent to the average viewer who – on the other hand – may not understand, much less appreciate the benefits of correct greyscale, deinterlacing and colour decoding. I am of the opinion that any HDTV wishing to win over the public must get its basics right... take, for example, the Panasonic TH42PX70 whose inky blacks, smooth motion and wide contrast ratio more than compensated for its deficiency in scaling and deinterlacing.

The LG 42LF65 failed miserably in this regard. While it is acceptable when used as a large PC monitor or for gaming, you should look elsewhere if television and movie viewing are of any concern. For around the same price, there are simply superior LCD TVs on the market.


Back To: 42LF65 Review

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