LG SL8000 (42SL8000) review: LG SL8000 (42SL8000)

CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars Outstanding
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Sumptuous design; excellent pictures; features and connections galore; great value for money.

The Bad Limited viewing angle; getting the best picture can be a rather labour-intensive process.

The Bottom Line LG has long been doing very well indeed in the UK TV market, thanks to some ultra-aggressive pricing. With the 42SL8000, the company has finally proven definitively that it's not only a budget brand, but one that's capable of producing LCD pictures to rival the best of the competition

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With one of LG's intriguing, LED-backlit, flagship SL9000 TVs only a few days from arriving in our labs, we thought we'd pass the time with a model in the next range down, the 42SL8000. We were hardly prepared for just how enjoyable a time we'd have with this £1,000, 42-inch, 1080p LCD TV.

Strikingly skinny
Although the 42SL8000 might not be quite as thin as the upcoming SL9000 models, at just 50mm deep, it's still strikingly slim compared to most LCD sets. The thin profile is complemented by a glorious high-gloss finish on the bezel, with a saucy but subtle injection of blue in the extreme bottom edge. Hubba.

Fearsome feature set
The 42SL8000's divine looks aren't the only source of joy, though. This TV also has an awesome array of features. In terms of connectivity, for example, it boasts an innovative wireless Bluetooth system for use with headphones or for playing MP3s and JPEGs from mobile phones. Among numerous other connections, there are also four HDMI ports and a USB socket that, impressively, is capable of playing high-definition DivX video, WMV, MP3 and JPEG files.

The TV also claims to have 200Hz processing. As with many other 200Hz systems, the 42SL8000 doesn't actually refresh the picture 200 times a second. Rather, it combines a 100Hz refresh rate with a scanning backlight. This slightly compromised approach has its foibles, as we'll see presently.

The 42SL8000 offers a beautiful design and, most of the time, picture quality to match

LG seems to have done some interesting things with the 42SL8000's contrast too, since the 1080p screen boasts a startlingly high claimed contrast ratio of 150,000:1. Such contrast-ratio figures have to be taken with a huge pinch of salt, though.

Picture-processing chops beyond the 200Hz system come courtesy of LG's solid, multi-purpose XD Engine system, and a Real Cinema processor developed to get the most from 1080p/24p Blu-ray playback.

It's worth pointing out that most of the features we've discussed are adjustable from the 42SL8000's excellent on-screen menus, which cope with the TV's huge feature count superbly, thanks to their combination of big, bold graphics and a logical structure.

These pretty menus contain one final feature worth mentioning before getting stuck into the 42SL8000's picture performance: the ISF presets. These are there so that you can pay an engineer from the Imaging Science Foundation to professionally calibrate your screen to suit your specific viewing-room conditions.

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Where to Buy

LG SL8000 (42SL8000)

Part Number: CNETLG SL8000 (42SL8000)

Typical Price: £1,000.00

See manufacturer website for availability.