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LG 42LG6100 review

Can this 42-incher compete on picture as well as it does the price?

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Our Verdict

For surprisingly little outlay, the 42LG6100 delivers divine looks and more than enjoyable pictures, but is let down by motion problems

For

  • Gorgeous, ultra slim design
  • Very affordable

Against

  • Motion issues
  • Average shadow detail

If some manufacturers had hoped that ultra-slim designs could inject a bit of margin back into their TV sales, these have been dashed by LG's 42LG6100.

For despite being genuinely 'ultra-thin' it costs no more than the majority of its fatter rivals today.

It also sports a bright 'Scarlet' rear end. Very cute. Even though anyone wall-hanging the set won't gain any benefit from it whatsoever.

Well connected

The four HDMIs among the TV's connections are welcome, along with a dedicated D-Sub PC port, and a USB 2.0 jack, through which you can play JPEGs and MP3 files.

Intriguingly, the 42LG6100 sports LG's TruMotion 100Hz image processing, which both doubles the usual PAL refresh rate to reduce motion blur, and interpolates wholly new frames of image data to make motion appear smoother.

This comes on top of LG's usual XD Engine processing system, with its focus on improving colours, black levels, sharpness and so on. Plus, you get so many other picture adjustments – including a colour management system – that you can have the TV professionally calibrated by an Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) engineer. Very unusual for such an affordable TV.

Intense colours

After a few minutes spent tinkering with the 42LG6100's options, we wound up with a picture that really explodes off the screen, thanks to a combination of exceptionally bright, pure peak whites, some decently deep black levels, and colours that look unusually intense and bright, even by LCD standards.

Crucially, though, unlike LG TVs of old, this extreme colour vibrancy doesn't come at the expense of very natural tones, especially – but not exclusively – when watching high-definition sources.

The 42LG6100's SD efforts are in most ways much improved over previous LG sets, too, looking much less noisy and quite a bit sharper.

Motion problems

When it comes to the thorny issue of motion, meanwhile, the 42LG6100 does okay, with a couple of caveats. The first of these concerns the TruMotion 100Hz engine which, while making motion more fluid, also introduces distracting twitches, glitches and even 'jump cuts'. We generally left it off, although this means images suffer with judder from time to time.

Other more minor 42LG6100 issues include less sharpness to HD playback than we'd ideally like, an occasional lack of shadow detail in dark picture areas, and an uninspiring audio performance, tainted by slightly harsh trebles and a tendency to sound thin during action scenes.

However, despite these flaws, it's definitely the good points that come out on top, especially once you've given that price due weight.