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LG Electronics 42LB5D

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder 42LB5

    TechHive Rating

    Promising specs--including 1080p, a fast pixel response time, and HDMI 1.3--don't add up to a superb picture.

Despite its extremely fast (5ms) pixel response time, the LG42LB5D LCD television came in eighth in our image quality tests among the twelve HDTVs in our November issue's roundup. Still, it outperformed our other 5ms contestant, the Philips 42PFL7432D/37.

On the other hand, by the time you've finished with LG's on-screen menus, you may be too tired to care about the image quality. The small, centered, transparent menus are reasonably legible, but no one seems to have thought out the organization. The Set Up menu, for instance, covers setting up channels--and nothing else. If you want to set up, say, input labels, you have to go hunting through the other menus for the appropriate command (hint: it's under Options).

Speaking of input options, switching from your DVR to your DVD player entails scrolling through every input in between those two, including those that are empty. The set knows which ones are connected to something--they're highlighted--but it makes you scroll through them all anyway.

At least the input ports face outward (most of them on the back and a few on the side), so it's easy to plug items into them.

The 42LB5D comes with an unusually brief (32 pages) manual. But that doesn't mean everything is simple. You also get a CD-ROM containing a second manual in PDF form, this one running 110 pages. The electronic manual is so exhaustive it even mentions a picture-in-picture feature that the TV doesn't actually have.

A USB port on the front of the 42LB5D allows you to attach an external media device so you can view photos or listen to music stored on it. The television supports HDMI's CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) feature--though LG calls it SimpLink--which allows one remote to control all CEC-compatible home theater devices, and allows the devices to control each other through the HDMI cable. For instance, the act of placing a DVD in a CEC-compatible player might cause your TV to switch on and set itself to the correct input.

The LG's programmable remote feels a bit heavy, but it's reasonably well laid-out and the important buttons are easy to get to.

Lincoln Spector

This story, "LG Electronics 42LB5D" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    Promising specs--including 1080p, a fast pixel response time, and HDMI 1.3--don't add up to a superb picture.

    Pros

    • Very fast pixel response time
    • Easy to access inputs

    Cons

    • Difficult menus
    • Lackluster picture
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