Reviewer: Thomas Bartlett
LG has, over the years, tended to shoot above its price category in innovation and styling. I suspect that the LG 42LG60FD ‘Scarlet’ LCD TV has got to be its boldest move yet in regard to the latter, and not a bad effort for the former.
There are a host of features in this TV, but let us start by looking at the most obvious one: styling. Even though the TV has a decent sized 107 cm (42 inch) screen – with a full high definition resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels – it is designed to be placed with considerable abandon. That’s because there is no need to hide the pack of the panel. Indeed, most of the back of the unit is a smoothly curved, slightly iridescent, red-coloured panel. It may not fit in with your particular furnishings, but you will never be ashamed to let its behind be seen in your home. This is useful since the TV swivels on the supplied desktop stand.
This TV also benefits from remarkable slimness, being a mere 81 mm thick. Other styling details include a lit ring in the centre below the display panel (this can be switched off if you prefer) and the lack of a speaker grille. That’s because LG uses what it calls its ‘Invisible Speaker’ technology, which seems to vibrate the panel below the display as the speakers.
The TV has a built-in high definition TV tuner in addition to the analog one. It has a stack of HDMI inputs – four! – and also a USB socket. From this you can display digital photos (in high definition, of course), or play MP3 music.
The black levels offered by this TV were respectable, and most importantly were even, without mottled patches of light and dark over the screen. The dynamic backlight generally delivered a useful stretch in black detail during dark scenes (you might have to enable this with the ‘Fresh Contrast’ setting under the Advanced or Expert menu options – in the review unit it was off by default).
LG has added a host of picture control options. First, there is an excellent ‘Just Scan’ option for high definition input. This maps all the incoming pixels directly to matching display pixels, eliminating scaling completely. What you see on the screen is precisely what was on the Blu-ray disc. Or, for that matter, in the HDTV broadcast.