Does everyone in South Korea own a really handsome TV, or what? For not only have we got the aesthetic delights of Samsung's A656 series, but we're also getting bowled over by Korean rival LG's 42LG6000.

The set is part of the company's Scarlet range, which means its rear end is a vivid, bold-as-brass, really rather striking red.

Samsung's Scarlet TVs

It also follows the trend of slimness that's currently all the rage. At just 81mm deep it not the thinnest TV, but then, it is better than most. Meanwhile, the front of the screen is no design slouch, either, with its sheer, high gloss black finish and neat hole cut through the middle.

Did we say hole? Indeed we did. For a transparent circle about an inch wide lets you see right through the set, and is illuminated all around in subtle grey while you're watching the telly, or a striking red if the TV's in standby. Fancy.

Plentiful features

Having been seduced by the 42LG6000's remarkable looks, our fond feelings only grow as we find v1.3 HDMIs among its connections, plus a USB port for the playback of JPEG and MP3 files.

Then there's its TruMotion 100Hz processing, which not only sharpens motion by doubling the refresh rate, but also makes the extra frames it inserts 'averages' of the real frames to either side instead of mere copies, thus making motion look much more fluid and accurate.

You also get LG's XD Engine video processing, a huge claimed contrast ratio of 50,000:1, and an Eye Care mode that reins in the picture's highest brightness levels to save your eyes from damage.

Detailed images

This feature provides a good indication of one of the 42LG6000's biggest picture strengths: the brightness and richness of its colours. Pictures positively blaze off the screen.

Elsewhere, the TruMotion 100Hz system certainly makes moving objects look more sharp and detailed than they look with the system off - and more sharp and detailed than they look on any TV without 100Hz, come to that.

Black levels are pretty nice too, providing a pleasingly deep counterpoint to those scarily vibrant colours, and as a final 42LG6000 strength, its standard-definition pictures are impressive.

Rich audio

These strengths are undermined by a cluster of weaknesses, though.

First and worst, the 100Hz engine can glitch, causing twitches and flickers during fast camera pans and movements, and a curious ghosting artefact around small, fast-moving objects such as cricket balls.

Also, while black levels are good they're not the deepest we've seen and dark scenes can look a touch hollow. Finally, HD images don't look as sharp as we'd like.

The 42LG6000's audio warrants a quick mention too. Produced via 'invisible' speakers tucked under the screen's bezel, so as not to spoil the design, they prove quite rich and powerful in the treble zone, but prone to some distortions in the mid and lower registers