Usability

The EPG governing Freeview HD on the LG 42LS570T is excellent, with schedules over two hours for eight channels displayed at once. However, inspecting it completely blocks and silences the live TV channel you're watching.

Instead it's best to use the remote's helpfully centrally placed Info button, which provides more information on individual TV programmes and enables you to change channel while never leaving live television.

The chance to rename each source on the Inputs app is nice, though custom text entry would be better than the generic labels used (such as Blu-ray, Games, Smart Box - though the latter uses an icon that looks uncannily like an Apple TV).

LG 42LS570T review

The remote is nicely laid out, with blue and slightly luminous channel and volume rockers, and easy access to the crucial Home, My Apps and Exit buttons.

It's weighted nicely and has a concave ridge in the back to stop it slipping out of hands.

The virtual brushed metallic skeuomorphism styling of the Home dashboard that recalls Mac OS X won't be to everyone's tastes, but for film fans there's few better GUIs than LG's.

LG 42LS570T review

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Stuffed with on-demand movie apps, there's a handy search function in My Apps - an easily accessible tab at the bottom of the main screen - that finds any film.

In our test we found The Dark Knight Rises on Acetrax before we'd even finished typing the first word.

Speaking of which, the LG 42LS570T has an open web browser, too, though it's hardly a highlight. Slow and ponderous, we managed to get a Yahoo! video embedded on a news website to play, but only after a wait of over two minutes.

LG 42LS570T review

As well as being almost addictively easy to use, the file support in SmartShare is comprehensive. Not utterly, but we managed to play MKV, MP4, MOV, AVI, MPEG, WMV and WMV HD files.

Photos are just JPEG, while music is supported in MP3, M4A and WMA formats. Stream from a PC and the support extends to AVC HD, too.

Sound

Audio isn't one of the LG 42LS570T's strong suits. We settled on the Cinema sound setting for the most rounded audio and the occasional depth effect.

Using this, the sound of distant gunfire in The Avengers appeared to come from below, and behind the TV. However, across all modes the bass is lacking.

Value

When it was initially launched, this 42-inch television was at least £100 more expensive, so we hope the price cut for smart TVs is a permanent one.

It certainly helps the LG 42LS570T reach above most of its close competitors when it comes to media-savvy new functions, though that's in no small part down to the inclusion of SmartShare.

One of our favorite features of any modern TV, its ability to seamlessly stream from disparate sources in such a neutral, easy manner is extremely rare, and one that the likes of Panasonic, Sony and Samsung don't get anywhere near.

Granted, the picture quality on the LG 42LS570T isn't of the very highest quality, but with SmartShare, a similarly easy to use Freeview HD tuner (and associated software) amid plentiful connectivity, this £499.99 (around AU$775/US$815)-priced TV is hard to beat on value - though it does lack Wi-Fi.