LG Electronics 42LG60 (Scarlet) 42-inch LCD HDTV
At a Glance
LG Electronics 42LG60
This 42-inch HDTV's advanced features, impressive style, and very good image quality come at a cost.
Lots of thought has gone into LG Electronics' chic 42-inch "Scarlet" 42LG60 HDTV, as evidenced by everything from the faux-leather remote control to the useful and brilliantly navigable on-screen display menu. But the niceties come at a price: At $1800 (as of November 4, 2008), the 42LG60 costs $700 more than one of its two younger 42-inch siblings, the 42PG25, but $200 less than the other, the 42LGX.
The entire back of the LCD panel is red, which produces red accents when you look at the TV from an angle; the color serves little purpose, though, because people rarely spend much time gazing at the back of their big-screen TVs. The bezel is thin on the top and sides, but about three times thicker at the bottom, where LG hides the unit's superior-sounding, down-firing speakers. As nice as it is not to see speaker grilles, the extra-large bottom bezel was distracting and unattractive, especially since everything else about the display looks stunning.
A number of advanced features come standard. Individual six-color controls are easy to find in the Expert Control level of the picture menu. And with a single click of the remote, you can locate and adjust many accurately calibrated presets, from Sports mode to Movie mode.
Most sensors just measure the brightness of ambient light in the room. But LG's Intelligent Sensor setting uses a complex set of algorithms to measure not just brightness but also contrast, color, sharpness, and white balance. The feature worked well most of the time, though on one occasion it briefly garbled some images while ceaselessly trying to adjust the settings to match its changed surroundings.
The set earned a performance score of Good in our PC World Test Center lab tests--the same rating that the Westinghouse TX-42F430S, which costs about $600 less, received. Still, meeting the Scarlet's higher price nets you good image quality, great menu options, and extra ports such as USB (which you can use to play music or view photos from any USB drive.)
Should you be lucky enough to add an LG Scarlet to your living room, you won't be disappointed.