Westinghouse TX-42F430S 42-inch LCD HDTV
At a Glance
The TX-42F430S is a great basic 42-inch HDTV, but it lacks the good looks and extra ports that higher-end models offer.
Westinghouse has established a niche for itself by producing inexpensive HDTVs that produce good-quality images but omit the advanced features and sophisticated style common to high-end models. The company's TX-42F430S ($1200 as of November 4, 2008) is no exception.
In our PC World Test Center lab tests, the set displayed very nice images, earning a score of Good. In fact, this Westinghouse garnered the same performance score as the LG 42LG60. We did notice, however, that the TX-42F430S tends to skew toward red in flesh tones.
Also noteworthy were the set's speakers, which produced good sound even when the volume was maxed out. In contrast, the competing Vizio VO42LF delivered good but slightly muddy sound at moderate levels and increasingly muddy sound as the setting approached 11.
The remote control made navigating the menu and finding useful settings (such as image and sound adjustment) a breeze. The remote feels a cheaply made, as many remotes on low-price HDTVs do, and it sports a number of buttons that serve no discernible purpose. I did appreciate its dedicated buttons for quickly changing inputs, however.
The Westinghouse TX-42F430S performs well as an entry-level HDTV. If you aren't a stickler for style, personality, and extra features such as a functional USB port, you'll find that this low-cost 42-incher delivers the basics quite well.