LG 42LGX Review
Model: LG 42LGX
Description: 42" HD LCD
Reviewer: Jack Burden with Robert Wiley
Copyright © 2008 LCDTVBuyingGuide.com. All Rights Reserved.
The LG 42LGX is a current fall 2008 TV model. The LCD has some of the "scarlet" design accents – red trim visible on sides, top and around the stand of the TV. The top upgrades in this LCD is the depth of only 1.8" and its 120Hz processing capability. It has 1080p resolution and all of the new LG technologies including processing enhancements. It contains 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and 4 HDMI inputs (3 in back, 1 on side).
PICTURE QUALITY RATING: 91/100
Test and Optimum Viewing Distance: 12 feet
Processing hardware contained in the LGX did a magnificent
job up converting from 480i to native resolution.
Up conversion from 480i and 480p: Processing hardware contained in the LGX did a magnificent job up converting from 480i to native resolution. Images from Braveheart, Risky Business, and Tomorrow Never Dies were crisp and background noise is eliminated. I'm going out on a limb here and stating that the viewer will scarcely will benefit from a Blu Ray player – the processor is that good at up converting standard def signals! There was, however motion lag present throughout the test material, more notably with the True Motion 120Hz turned off, however we felt it a necessary trade off to keep this feature off and preserve the realism of the films.
The Departed showed off excellent processing with no
background noise in the horizontal blinds.
720p/1080i/1080p Picture Quality: Viewing the "blind" scene with Martin Sheen, Mark Walberg, and Leonardo Di Caprio in the Blue Ray version of The Departed showed off excellent processing with no background noise in the horizontal blinds. This was also true with our HQV HD Noise Test which showed very slight background noise. More impressive was our Diagonal Filter Testing which showed no "jaggies" in horizontal moving bars even near the axis – a near perfect and best of class result (with True Motion feature On). Iron Man scenes were detailed if not slightly hazy during dark scenes showing the building of the suit in the studio.
HQV Testing: The 42LGX passed all tests with most results excellent. The processor got a little confused at intervals during the Film Res Loss Test, but corrected itself quickly.
Black Level: Black levels were sufficient despite being highly constrained by the anti glare screen. At times, the top and bottom bars looked a little washed out and I would not describe the blacks as deep.
Iron Man scenes were detailed if not slightly hazy during dark scenes
Dark Shadow Detail: During scenes from Iron Man and The Departed, lack of detail in suits of dark clothing when in a bright scene. Dark material sometimes becomes lumped together and produces losses in depth perception.
Color Rendition/Color Accuracy: Colors information appears slightly muted due to the anti glare screen. Post calibration flesh tones during Braveheart and Risky Businesswere not rich appearing a little too green.
Viewing Angle/Off Axis Viewing: Off angle viewing was adversely affected by the anti glare screen on the LCD. Contrast and black levels start to degrade at just 35 degrees off center. There is also a significant amount of light bleed present at angles in dark material.
Motion Lag: There was certainly motion lag occurring with this LCD, much the same as other high end (or low end) LCDs. While it is evident with all programming, turning On the True Motion 120Hz processing reduces motion lag considerably. Images moving horizontally across the screen, were especially vulnerable.
False Contouring/ Mapping: There was no false contouring or mapping noted. The LCD processing in this area was excellent.
Exceptions: The anti glare screen plays a significant role with this LCD in reducing contrast and black level as well as decreasing dark matter detailing. The anti glare function itself works flawlessly as we did not note any background light disturbance. This TV will be excellent for high ambient light rooms.
FEATURES RATING: 88/100
Video Aspect Ratio Sizing: Again, processing was spot on – sizing looks natural and undistorted on any viewed source.
Inputs: 4 HDMI Inputs, USB port (side entry), 2 Component, RGB 15 pin computer input.
Aesthetic Considerations: Well, there is a lot to say here! The 42LGX has a gloss black cabinet with a large bottom portion at 6.75" from the bottom of the TV to the bottom of the picture element. A large pendant sized LG light centers this base which presumably houses the video boards and chip set engines of the TV. The LCD is only 1.8" in depth which is awesome! with red accents around the top, sides, and around the chrome colored base. The piece is distinctively art deco and will look great in a modern environment. One strange contradiction is the use of a gloss black cabinet with a stringent anti glare screen – not sure I get that one.
The matte black non backlit remote control is easy to use
Remote Control/Menu Functionality: The matte black non backlit remote control is easy to use and has an easy to find Input control button on the face. The semi transparent menu is wonderfully easy to use with its handy icons. There is no button on the remote for aspect ratio sizing control. To turn True Motion processing Off and On go to Picture setting in the Menu and scroll down to Expert Control. Once there, scroll down to True Motion option half way down and press right arrow key to change On and Off.
The semi transparent menu is wonderfully easy to use with its handy icons
Audio Output: With film content you will certainly want to use the SRX True Surround XT feature as it adds depth and needed warmth to the audio output on this LCD. The sound can be slightly thin and tinny at times. Increasing bass and/or decreasing treble also helps.
Features: The touch sensor on/off button (in LG light) is cool. Anti glare screen is great for bright back lighting. True Motion processing best used only during sports and fast motion programming.
VALUE RATING: 84/100
Price Considerations: At $2100 this is a pricey 42" LCD competing with the new Sony KDL 40XBR6 and the highest end LCDs from Samsung and Sharp. It has some nice features – the 1.8" depth and lots of effort put into the design elements.
Quality Comparison: As we can see, so much depends on what features we are using. Our recommendation is to become very familiar with how to turn Off and On the True Motion 120Hz processing feature. In fact LG and others may consider placing a control for it right there on the remote control. Turn it Off for film content and On for sports playback. Processing quality is certainly excellent in this "art deco" LCD television. Black levels, contrast, and viewing angles are all negatively impacted by the anti glare screen technology. But if your viewing room has lots of background light, this could be the TV for you.
OVERALL RATING: 88.5/100
Rating scale from 70 (denoting poorest quality) to 100 (signifying the very best quality). A rating in the 60s for any particular category of a product review indicates a serious defect which causes the product not to operate properly. Picture quality is double-weighted in the Overall Rating Score calculation.
Review Equipment Used: Sony Blu Ray BDP-S1 High Definition DVD player, Sony DVP-S50 DVD player, JVC HM-DH40000U HD Video Cassete player, Sencore Color Pro 5000, Sencore Auto Cal Pro, Sencore signal generator.
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