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LG 42LF66 review: LG 42LF66

The Good Nice to look at; aggressively priced; colours are remarkably vivid; reasonably well connected.

The Bad Doesn't like standard definition sources; black parts of the picture tend to look grey.

The Bottom Line By offering a 'Full HD' resolution in a 42-inch screen size for around just £750, the LG 42LF66 clearly offers plenty of bang for your buck. And it's by no means a bad performer, either. We would have to say, though, that there are better performers out there if you're able to spend just a little more

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6.5 Overall

Another day, another Korean brand out to set the LCD TV world alight with a potent combination of good looks, great features and extreme value.

But is it really realistic to also expect any performance quality from LG's 'Full HD' 42-inch 42LF66 given its extremely low £750 price tag?

In case you haven't got the message yet, let's say it again: the 42LF66 seems to be a bargain of earth-shattering proportions. We're certainly struggling to think of any other brand offering -- at the time of writing, at least -- a 42-inch LCD TV with a Full HD pixel count for so little money.

And it's not as if the Full HD thing is the 42LF66's only claim to fame, either. For instance, it's also able to take in 1080p feeds via its two HDMIs.

Plus it's got LG's XD Engine processing for boosting colours, black levels, contrast and motion handling, MPEG noise reduction for tidying up standard digital broadcasts and a dynamic backlight arrangement that helps it claim an impressive contrast ratio of 5,000:1.

In action, the 42LF66 has one quite remarkable ace up its sleeve: its colours. For they're quite possibly the richest, most vibrant colours we've ever seen on a flat TV, blaring off the screen at you in a way that's guaranteed to grab your attention in a store, or keep you hypnotised to the screen at home.

Of course, all the colour vibrancy in the world wouldn't stand for much if the tones of those colours weren't natural. But with the 42LF66, LG has achieved a level of colour authenticity during HD viewing beyond anything it's accomplished before.

The 42LF66's other great strength is the precision of its HD rendering, as it serves up pixel-perfect, crisp and largely noiseless versions of detail-packed HD scenes like those in the jungles of Skull Island on the King Kong HD DVD.

As Kong lumbers about in these jungles, we were also pleased to note that his motion doesn't blur as seriously as we've seen with many LCD screens.

Turning to audio, we were pleasantly surprised to find that even though the 42LF66 uses unusually compact speakers, its sound is actually quite punchy and clear.

There are only two problems with the 42LF66's pictures -- but sadly they're both quite serious. For starters, the set is nowhere near as comfortable with standard definition as it is with high definition. Standard def sources -- even pretty pristine ones -- tend to look fuzzy and smeary and can even succumb to some curious colour tone lapses.

The second problem affects standard and high definition alike and involves a slightly underwhelming black level response that finds dark scenes looking rather greyed over and flat.

Given its exceptionally aggressive price and Full HD credentials, we really wanted to like the 42LF66. But while it certainly doesn't actually do anything wrong for its price level, we can't help but reflect that better rival Full HD LCDs can be had for only a little more than the £750 that LG are asking for this model -- as can superior HD Ready 42-inch plasmas, come to that.

Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire

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