CNET First Look
LG 42LH50While the picture quality of the LG LH50 series won't appeal to videophiles, its Netflix streaming and oodles of other interactive features will win over plenty of folks fed up with external boxes.
>> David: Hello, I'm CNET's Senior Editor David Katzmaier and this is the LG 47LH50 along with the 42 LH50; this is one of the two LCD TV's on the market that's capable right now of streaming Netflix. Yes this TV can connect to Netflix's Watch Instantly service which allows you to immediately to watch, as long as you're a Netflix subscriber, any of the thousands of movies and TV shows available through the service without having to connect an external box. That in itself is a pretty cool interactive feature. Of course you need an Internet connection, it's a wired Internet connection the TV does not have a wireless capability built in. But this TV also has Yahoo Widgets which are a whole bunch of different Internet applications that allow you to check weather, stocks, sports and that sort of stuff, and it also has a built-in YouTube client. First of all we checked out the Netflix and it really does work as advertised. You can browse your queue horizontally; you can choose whatever you want to from your queue. Unfortunately, there's no list view so you can't, you know, go immediately look at a whole bunch of titles at once you got to scroll for a while if you have a long queue otherwise it worked really well. Of course video quality does vary according to your Internet connection and the source and it's generally not as good as a DVD let alone a Blu-Ray but it's still instant and free to Netflix subscribers. The Yahoo Widgets on this TV performed a lot better than in the past. It does have less Widgets than Samsung although more than Sony, at least so far. But the Widgets were really responsive and we really enjoyed the service a lot more on this TV than in the past. The YouTube Client was also better than a lot of the ones that are available so, again, if you like browsing and watching those YouTube videos right on your TV without having to connect to any kind of computer or external box this really is a nice solution. Of course the video quality on YouTube is pretty terrible and they don't really allow you access the HD YouTube videos but all things considered Client was pretty darn good. Aside from all of that this is a regular television so it does HDTV capabilities just like any other TV on the market. It's 120 Hertz TV which does have the dejutter capabilities; we'll get to that in a second. But first off the styling of this TV it's really understated it's a lot of glossy black. There is kind of a nice flair to the edges here because there is a transparent strip down there. There's also a swivel stand and in general the TV does look pretty classy, a bit understated. Features wise aside from the inner activity there is plenty to be had on this set you can adjust the picture 6 ways from Sunday. There are adjustments for color, temperature and a 10 point IRE scheme that's pretty much better than any other one on the market. There's also an excellent color management system and a whole bunch of other picture tweaks as well as 9 different picture modes so you can really go to town if you like messing around with the picture on this set. There's also plenty of connectivity. Around back you'll find 3 HDMI inputs, 2 component video inputs and, of course, that all important land port for connecting an Ethernet cable. The side panel offers a 4th HDMI input as well as a USB port. This TV can display music and photos from USB ports as well as streaming them from a network of computers in your home, although it doesn't handle video. When we took the TV in the lab, speaking of video, we were generally not as impressed by its video quality as we have been on other really good LCD TV's. It's pretty good but at the same time the black levels were a little too bright and off angle viewing not as good as we'd like to see. On the flip side color accuracy was excellent on this TV. Thanks again to all of those adjustments but all things considered you're gonna be buying this TV for the interactivity and not ridiculously good picture quality. That's a quick look at the LG LH50 Series and I'm David Katzmaier. ^M00:03:29 [ Music ]