capsule review

Vizio Gallevia GV42LF

At a Glance
  • Vizio Gallevia GV42LF

    TechHive Rating

In our November issue's HDTV roundup, this set finished third (out of twelve sets) in our image-quality judging, just behind two plasma models. Our judges reported that it was particularly good at handling DVDs and blue-laser/high-def discs, though it did a fine job with everything else too. I was particularly impressed with the vivid colors it produced when handling a standard-definition TV signal.

And to stud the icing with candy corn, it sells for about $1400. Not only does this LCD offer the best picture in the group, but it's also the cheapest nonplasma in our roundup.

So what do you sacrifice for that kind of a bargain? Well, it has picture-in-picture, but there's no PiP button on the remote, so you have to access this feature through the on-screen menus--and you can't watch two channels simultaneously off the TV's single tuner. There's no headphone jack at all.

The Gallevia GV42LF isn't an easy TV to set up or use. All of the inputs are located on the back, and they all face down. They're placed unusually low, too, which makes them especially difficult to access if the TV isn't wall-mounted. There are no side inputs for easy access. The on-screen menus display small, blue text against a blue background. Vizio provides a setup wizard to help you get started, but once you run it, you can never run it again. (You can reach all of the settings covered by the setup wizard through the menus, but some of them aren't easy to find.)

On the positive side, Vizio ships this model with a very nice program guide for browsing through the channels and seeing what's on, though it didn't have information on every channel we received.

The backlighting on Vizio's Gallevia GV42LF remote makes finding buttons in the dark a breeze. But it's not programmable, and the absence of a PiP button may be a serious shortcoming (depending on your viewing habits).

Lincoln Spector

This story, "Vizio Gallevia GV42LF" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    The least-expensive LCD TV in our review earned the best image-quality score of any LCD set.

    Pros

    • Great picture
    • Low price

    Cons

    • Difficult to set up and use
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