LG 42LN5700 Review
1080p, 42 Inch Smart TV, HDTV, LED Direct-lit LCD, 120Hz
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
The LG 42LN5700 is a value play that abstains from LG's passive 3D technology for 2013/2014 but has almost all the other goodies including Smart TV options in full, LED direct lit backlighting, 120Hz refresh rate, 1080p resolution and some nice upgrades to the CPU (to help Smart TV function) and the GPU- good for gamers. The graphics processor should be 300% faster this year than the LM5700 from last year.
Picture Quality Rating: 8.3/10
Overall picture quality from the LG LN5700 can be compared to the mid-tier Vizio TVs (M Series). Colors rendition is true to life and an accurate calibration can be achieved this TV. The front panel of the TV is not as clear coat as the LN6200 series above and thus has more glare from in room light due to a more matte-screen finish. This also causes less picture depth and a poorer performance from off angle viewing. These are specs you pay for in higher end TVs with more picture technology.
LG omits passive 3D in the LN5700 line to help contain the cost, but I feel you still get some relatively good picture performance out of this TV, especially in a controlled light environment.
Off Center Viewing Angles
This LED direct-lit LCD television has good off angle viewing performance for an value LED TV. Compared to many LED direct lit models the 42LN5700 still looks good at angles around 30 degrees off center where the other will start to have the contrast degrade at 20 to 25 degrees. This is not a strength of the TV as plasma TVs are still much better in this area but it has gotten much better.
Picture Setting Preset Mode Options
Vivid – Total blow out of colors with lots of artificial image edges, everything fake overblown.
Standard – 100% backlight with 100 contrast setting.
Eco - has backlight set at 70% with contrast at 100. Not a favorite.
Cinema (User) – Backlight at 100% , contrast at 80 much better picture more natural, brings out the expert controls options
Game Mode – specifically for gaming supposed to help reduce motion lag but it was still noticeable. This setting turns off the TruMotion feature and is best for gaming from our tests (even though there are still many drawbacks).
TruMotion Feature Settings (De-judder and De-Blur)
Setting Options: Clear Plus, User, Off, Smooth, and Clear
Otherwise called the De-judder setting. The most important part about this feature is testing it out to find the best setting for you. It all comes down to preference with this one. Purists will likely opt to turn this feature Off in order to get rid of the the “soap opera effect” or what we call over-clarification of images. Turning it off, will experience a bit of judder (super fast skipping). But your eyes will natrually adjust to most of it. All of the TruMotion options cut out natural background blur and add a kitchy effect to programming. The TruMotion setting does not hurt live sports programming so it's fine for that. It also can bring very old DVDs to life. Although the De-Blur portion of the settings only has a minimal impact we recommend for normal:
De-Judder – 0
De-Blur – 10
Features Rating: 7.9/10
Web Browser and Wifi
To go along with the Smart TV function you get built in Wifi and a built-in Web Browser. And although the LN5700 does not have the top end looks, it's nevertheless attractive and some may prefer it to the somewhat showy Cinema Screen TVs from LG with the Magic Stand and .4mm frame. It also has a dual core processor.
Smart TV from LG
The Home Dashboard feature is back again in 2013. It enables the TV to remember and list all the various Apps you have downloaded and viewed on one convenient page. There is also a dedicated button on the remote to access it quickly. LG has made changes to the dashboard for this year to make it easier to place your favorite programming on the first page.
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
When click on the Home option on the remote, displays a very thorough menu of options for Internet use, quick selections for some of the premium Apps as well as a selection for just the Internet itself. This year LG has increased the CPU speed by 120% to enable faster toggling and loading of programs which is good because we found it slow last year.
The gaming crowd will enjoy knowing that the graphics processor (GPU) on this TV is 300% faster than last years model, and it has a Dual Core processor so totally suitable for gaming. We did note input lag when testing games on the LN5700 even with these upgrades.
Magic Remote - Optional
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
In the 42LN5700 the remote standard, thin, rectangle. The Magic Remote is optional and comes with voice command function this year and should cost you around $120 as an accessory. I especially like this remote control because it speeds browsing and Smart TV function a lot with it's simple hand gesture point and click technique. Consider the option if it's not too expensive and if you plan to do a lot of browsing on the TV. Amazon has the Magic Remote for sale here at a good price.
Sound Mode Options Choices – Excellent Sound Quality!
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. Overall we rate the sound quality of this TV as excellent and a high point and it will be especially useful on a TV of this size, for which you likely will not have a home theater system. 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 half inch bezel frame in black gloss is nice looking. The stand is a little cheap looking and not the heaviest plastic material. The depth of 3.17” is not super thin by any means but it does not prevent you from wall-mounting either and accommodates the better speakers.
Bang for the Buck Rating: 9/10
The 42 inch 42LN5700 is a great value piece if you want that great LED direct lit backlighting from LG and tons of features sans 3D at around $650. And since plasma TVs are not produced in the 42 inch size range anymore this is a standout in terms of quality and value for 2013/2014. Samsung and LG sort of dominate this size LED category and the Samsung UN40F6300 equivalent is exactly the same price. The Vizio M401i-A2 comparable option.
Overall Rating: 8.4/10
|Having reviewed and written about Television Technology for over 10 years, Wiley never tires of researching the newest qualitative trends related to the technology. Most people do not get excited about possibilities behind the latest video engine...Wiley does. Read more about Robert|