LG 42LB5800 Review
42 inch 1080p 60Hz LED Backlit TV
by Jack Burden, Reviewer
The LG 42LB5800 keeps things simple with its 1080p LED backlit display, 60Hz refresh rate, and scaled back Smart TV platform. As a step down from the LB6100 the refresh rate has been down graded, a few picture settings and sound settings have been left out, and the available sizes in the series are different. The speaker set up and number of inputs are the same. This one is designed for those looking for a value TV to cover lite Smart TV usage without all picture quality upgrades that drive the price up. The 42LB5800 sells for just around $500.
- Picture is highly customizable making calibration easy to achieve
- Light-flow through and dark shadow detail are strong thanks to the backlighting
- Good TV for video games thanks to the Gaming picture setting
- Built-in speakers push a lot of volume and the quality is good
- Premium streaming content providers are found in the Smart TV platform
- 3 HDMI and 3 USB ports
- No built-in woofer sacrifices some of the low end of the sound range
- Lower refresh rates may not be the best for sports and fast action
- Motion blur is very noticeable when in the gaming picture setting
- Most of the smart TV free apps and games aren't worth much attention
- Smart TV lack of Processing Power lead to buffering slowdowns when watching streaming content
- Contrast ratio isn't as strong as the higher tiered LG LED TVs
Picture Quality Rating: 83/100
The 42LB5800 goes pretty light on the picture quality features, but that is a trade-off for keeping the cost down. The LB5800 is really aimed at shoppers looking to score a deal for a decent sized LED backlit TV. Since it is a backlit TV we see good levels of brightness and contrast. Light flow through is another strong point in the picture and helps to add depth to the image. Color and contrast are the best when viewing from front and center, more on that below. Colors accuracy is bright and natural after calibration. You are going to see a very similar picture to last year's similar LN5700. This is a native 60Hz panel, so you may see judder and motion blur as a problem on this 42-inch screen. The smaller sizes can be fine with the lower rates, but some will notice the issues on this TV.
This shot shows the great amounts of detail seen in both the bright and dark areas of the screen
Side Angle Viewing
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 42LB5800 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. The top tier LG TVs this year feature an IPS panel that we have seen to really improves side angle viewing. If you normally have to deal with wider viewing angles, looking there would be a good option
Features Rating: 81/100
Smart TV Focused on VOD
If Simple is the name of the game on the WebOS smart TVs, the LB5800 is just plain easy to use. Instead of the flashy WebOS menu system, LG has provided a very streamlined Smart TV experience with a focus on things users actually want to use. Streaming video. You get access to the premium video on demand services like Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and many more. Since LG has cut so much from the Smart TV platform, performance is going to be better than what we have seen in the past. Buffering issues surely aren't completely gone, but a lot depends on the speed of the internet getting to the TV. If you are thinking a robust Smart TV platform will just gather virtual dust, this might be the right way to go. Plus it will save you a bit of cash.
Sound Mode Options Choices
Our favorite choice is the Cinema setting with Clear Voice II setting enabled with the level set at 3. The Standard setting Clear voice II enabled was a close second. 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. It is better than the other manufacturers we've tested as well by a long shot. The position of the speakers at the bottom back of the TV adds most of the overall depth 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, so decent sound quality is important.
Appearance and Design
The LG 42LB5800 has a nearly frame-less design with brushed silver bezels measuring in at around half an inch. The bezels are not as thin as some of the higher tier models, but they still look great. It also have the 'v' shaped two legged stands we are seeing in many designs this year. They look nice and don't demand much attention, but the width can be a concern. Some TV stands don't have the width, making a wall mount necessary. Keep that in mind. The depth of the panel is about 2.2 inches at the deepest part to accommodate the speakers in the cabinet. The overall design is attractive yet low key with the nearly frameless picture being the highlight.
Value Rating: 91/100
The 42LB5800 sells for around $500. What you get is an overall attractive looking TV, a decent picture, and better than most sound quality. Not too shabby. Downsides like side angle viewing, lack of the IPS panel, and minimal Smart TV features don't hurt the value here. Just make sure you have other options for content streaming if this is going to be part of the home theater. Competition comes from the Samsung UN40H5500.
Overall Rating: 85/100
- Diagonal Measurement: 41.9"
- 120 Motion Clarity Index
- Triple XD Picture Processing Engine
- 8 Picture Modes
- 20 Watt 2 Channel Speakers
- 3 HDMI and 3 USB Ports
- Dimensions without stand: (WxHxD) 37.83" x 22.32" x 2.19"
- Dimensions with stand: 37.83" x 24.02" x 8.58"
- Weight without stand: 20.3 lbs.
- Weight with stand: 20.9 lbs.
|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|