LG 42LA6200 Review

42 Inch 1080p LED edge Lit LCD HDTV 120Hz Refresh Rate

by , Reviewer

LG 42LA6200 LED TVThe 42LA6200 differs with the higher priced 42GA6400 in that it does not contain the Google TV option nor the included Magic Remote with QWERT keyboard. The 42LA6200 is one of our top recommended TVs in that size range for a couple of reasons. One, it displays a beautiful picture. Two, it has a great features set for it's price. Three, it eschews some features that add to the price and may not be worth it in a 42 inch TV.

Strengths

  • Semi-glossy finish for the screen is able to produce bright and accurate colors
  • Strong dark area detail thanks to a high contrast rating
  • LED backlighting means fantastic light flow-through
  • Passive 3D performance and playback for 3D content
  • Built-in speakers push a lot of volume and produce good sound quality
  • Appearance and design are attractive even without the Cinema Screen design
  • After calibration the color balance nears that of top tier TVs

    Weaknesses

  • Wifi/Ethernet connections presented problems when trying to stream video. The processor may not be able to handle lots of information at one time
  • The Smart TV platform doesn't offer up a lot of value with free content
  • Side angle viewing shows a loss of color and contrast at 25 degrees
  • The Gaming picture setting has low input lag, but a lot of judder and motion blur

    Picture Quality Rating: 8.5/10


    LG 42LA6200 LED TV
    The 42LA6200 shows strong color performance in this shot from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Blu-ray. Shadow area detail shows a decent performance as well

    Off Center Viewing Quality

    This can be a very negative area of picture performance for LCD TVs. On the 42LA6200 viewing images from side angles is very impressive. The clear screen does allow for some glossy reflection but does a nice job from side angles even though there is still no comparison with plasma TVs. One of the primary problems with viewing angle issues is that the contrast and black levels degrade. This happens at about 25 degrees on the 42LA6200 but is not severe as it is with many LED TVs. Verticle angles suffer as well. Keep this in mind if the LA6200 is going to be mounted above a fire place.

    3D Picture Quality - Best in Market

    We tested the LA6200's passive 3D vs. some other active 3Ds and we are now converts to passive. We think it's better and the glasses are certainly light, cheap and comfortable. If you're a 3D nut, LG's passive 3Ds cant be beaten. Unfortuntely, we could not test the 3D content located through the TVs Smart menu very well due to lack of processor power in the TV. But with BluRay 3D content the TV displayed a great amount of depth, rich colors, and good contrast. The TruMotion setting in Smooth or Standard is good.

    2D to 3D Conversion Testing and Quality

    First, make sure the TruMotion feature is on (Standard picture with Smooth TruMotion setting is fine). With a push of the 3D button on the Magic remote control you can convert any 2D programming you are watching to 3D. Obviously LG is keen on everyone trying this – thus the dedicated key on the remote. We tried out the 2D to 3D conversion much more extensively with a couple of Blu-Ray discs. The 3D effects are fairly subtle with the conversion – pretty good, but we still preferred a BluRay without the 2D to 3D conversion. Side angle viewing quality is affected severely with 2D to 3D conversion with contrast and colors fading. Normal DVDs may be brought to life, especially older ones by the conversion to 3D. Give it a try.

    Trumotion 120Hz Feature

    Setting Options: Clear Plus, User, Off, Smooth, and Clear

    It would be nice if there were a control directly to this setting on the remote control. This is possibly going to be the control you will most want to access and play around with to find out what is most desirable for you. Purists will likely need to turn this feature Off for film and normal content, but it may assist in watching live sports and 3D. All of the TruMotion options diminish natural background blur and add a kitchy soap opera effect to programming. Although the De-Blur portion of the settings only has a minimal impact we recommend setting as follows. Then use the Smooth setting for sports or 3D.

    User Setting

    • De-Judder - 0
    • De-Blur -10

    Gaming Picture Setting

    The LG 42LA6200 has a dedicated picture preset for gaming. I really like it because it isn't buried in the menus. Sometimes these settings are hard to find. In this picture mode, the input lag is significantly cut down. Our testing results show around 30ms. This is a perfectly acceptable result for action games and first person shooters. The motion blur and judder really increase in the Gaming picture setting. This is where the LA6200 loses marks for gaming.

    Features Rating: 8/10

    Magic Remote — Optional Accessory


    LG 42LA6200 Magic Remote
    This is the updated look for the Magic Remote accessory. It's got all of the necessary buttons as well as a mic button on the bottom of the 5-way controller for engaging the voice controls

    First off, remember that the Magic Remote is optional for a price. It costs around $100, but if you will be utilizing the Smart TV features and web browsing a lot on this unit then it's worth it. This has been one of our favorite features of LG TVs for the past two years. The Magic Remote is one of those value-add features that actually works and creates value although this one has a voice-command option that we feel may not live up to expectations. That aside, the point and click operation of the Magic Remote definitely speeds browsing and makes surfing the Internet much more enjoyable. We have come across 5-way controllers recently that just are not even worth trying to browse with. To see our full review of the Magic Remote refer to the LG 55LA7400 review.

    Smart TV Features Abound

    The 42LA6200 is loaded with Smart TV features not found in previously in LG TVs. The experience of the user has been granted the most attention when designing the Smart TV platform. The familiar Smart TV suite is in place with some enhancements over past iterations. The first new thing you'll notice is the “My Interest Cards” placed on the home dashboard. These allow you to customize the easily accessed apps and display things like real time weather or news from your favorite sites.

    LG 42LA6200 Smart TV Main Menu
    This is the clearly organized LG Smart TV Menu. It is a breeze to navigate around with the Magic Remote, but a little clunky with a standard remote

    Sound Mode Options Choices – Excellent Sound Quality!

    Sound quality from the LA6200 is excellent and a high point worth touting. Clear Voice II and Virtual Surround Plus options here add interesting choices, but our choice is the Cinema setting with Clear Voice II setting enabled with the level set at 3. The Standard setting is our second favorite with Clear voice II enabled. It is better than the other manufacturers we've tested as well by a long shot. The speaker in the bottom back of the TV adds most of the overall depth to the TV but we believe it is well worth it to have good sound from the TV. These minimalist TV designs are often used in spaces without home theater systems.

    Appearance and Design

    The LA6200 has nice clean lines and a half inch black frame. The stand is, um, updated? Kind of bottom of infinity shaped.

    Value - Bang for the Buck Rating: 8.9/10

    There are not too many quality 42 inch TVs in the market this year. The 42LA6200 offers a very good option in quality and value for $799. Competition is from the Panasonc TC-L42E60. Get the Magic Remote and you've got an awesome and fun TV.

    Overall Rating: 8.4/10

    Quick Specs

  • 1080p Full HD Resolution
  • Passive 3D playback
  • 4 pairs of glasses included
  • 3 HDMI inputs
  • 3 USB ports
  • x2 12 watt speakers

    Jack Burden Jack Burden has been reviewing and writing reviews in the consumer electronics category for 7 years with CEAG. He considers grayscale gradation, film patterned retarders, and focus field drives to be fun topics. Read more about Jack
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