LG 42LW550T review

Excellent, affordable passive 42-inch 3D TV set with useful multimedia options

TODO alt text

LG 42lw550t

An edge LED backlight enables a slender, lightweight chassis that is ideal for wall mounting. The bezel around the screen is quite wide by today's standards, though, making the TV appear larger than some 42-inch sets.

It's certainly not unattractive, thanks to a glossy black finish and the addition of an extra centimetre or so of transparent trim protruding from its left and right extremities.

The 42LW550T's plentiful connections are accessed from the side and include four v1.4 HDMI inputs for HD and 3D video duties, two USBs for playing back video, photo and music files as well as optional Wi-Fi connectivity and a LAN port for PC streaming and access to LG's Smart TV platform.

The interesting thing about the 42LW550T's multimedia streaming abilities is that they can be delivered through PLEX. This provides a really slick and attractive interface to help you navigate and access all your PC's files, potentially taking much of the tedium out of the usual DLNA-style multimedia streaming.

The system works with both PC and Macs (although the 42LW550T failed to communicate with a nearby iMac during the course of this review) and seems a little buggy at the moment, but there's every chance that glitches will be ironed out by software updates.

Even in its current, imperfect state, PLEX is a worthy attempt to simplify access to multimedia on your TV.

The 42LW550T also has plenty of multimedia content you can access on PLEX, courtesy of the Smart TV system and interface. Pressing the Menu button on the remote control brings up a new 'server' screen packed with icons providing you with instant access to all your sources, plus LG's 'apps'. These apps include video sources such as the BBC iPlayer plus all manner of weird and occasionally wonderful infotainment and gaming services.

The presentation of this main jumping-off screen is very good, with the separation of the most important online features from the more trivial apps being particularly appreciated. The only problem is that a few too many of the second-tier apps are so eccentric it's hard to imagine anyone using them.

As with the majority of LG TVs these days, the 42LW550T carries loads of picture tweaks and adjustments. These include colour management, gamma controls, 10-point and two-point white balance adjustment, lots of flexibility around the MPEG and standard noise reduction systems, and different processing power levels for the set's TruMotion and Local Dimming features. In fact, so plentiful are the 42LW550T's adjustments that it comes fully endorsed by independent calibration experts the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF).

Anyone intimidated by all the subtle picture refinements on offer can take solace in the fact that getting involved with the finer aspects of picture calibration is entirely optional, but is aided by a Picture Wizard tool that guides you through a basic set-up process via a series of simple test signals. Plus, of course, if you're feeling flush you could always just pay an ISF engineer to pop round and calibrate it for you.

The final features worth mentioning are the 42LW550T's 3D tricks. The most significant of these is that the TV ships with no fewer than seven pairs of 3D glasses. The simple polarised lens design means they cost barely a couple of quid a pair, rather than the £100 or so a pair commanded by active shutter 3D glasses.

Obviously, the 42LW550T supports all the main 3D formats, including Blu-ray's alternate frame and Sky's side-by-side systems.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyLW5
3D Type3D
Brand NameLG
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
EthernetYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)15.50 kg
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption96.77 W
Dynamic Contrast Ratio8,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
DLNA CertifiedYes
VGAYes
HeadphoneYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand683 mm
Width with Stand1012 mm
Depth with Stand256 mm
Number of Common Interface1
CI+Yes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
PC StreamingYes
Internet AccessYes
Media PlayerYes
Motion Interpolation TechnologyTruMotion 120Hz
Enhanced Refresh Rate100 Hz
Height617 mm
Width1012 mm
Depth39.2 mm
ColourPurple
Brightness400 cd/m²
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby Digital
Product SeriesLW5
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesChannel Labeling
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product Model42LW550T
Product Name42LW550T LED-LCD TV
Manufacturer Part Number42LW550T
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

Welcome to the Next Generation 3D TV from LG. The LW5 Cinema 3D Smart TV series provides the ultimate in-home entertainment to share with your family and friends by bringing the cinema 3D experience home. The LW5 series is available in a variety of screen sizes all with Smart TV - so you can watch the best of the internet on the big screen and access all your favourite media from multiple devices from the comfort of your living room sofa.

SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)13.20 kg