LG 42PW450T review

A bargain 42-inch HD-ready plasma TV that scores well with Blu-ray but not 3D

TODO alt text

LG 42pw450t

Wind back the clock a few years to the days before full HD and the LG 42PW450T would be held up as an example of just how good a 2D picture you can get from an HD-ready TV.

That's not to say it's a universal triumph. With some sources there are obvious weaknesses and, unlike most TVs, you really need to switch viewing modes and play around with the settings to get the most out of it.

For example, while the most logical mode for watching cricket is Sport, the default setting for colour saturation makes the grass intensely garish. It actually looks better in Movie mode but you can stick with Sport and manually tweak the saturation to your own preference.

When watching Sky HD, the information banner isn't as pin-sharp as a good full HD screen but most HD content is highly watchable. Freeview HD images are perfectly clear but there's a slightly milky cast to standard definition Freeview pictures that's tricky to eradicate.

A standard definition broadcast by Sky of Hitchcock's To Catch A Thief, on the other hand, is nicely rendered on the LG 42PW450T, with good contrast and no break-up or fizzing in dark scenes that often trip up more expensive screens. The HD version of the same movie is excellent as the screen shows how suited it is to movies.

The icing on the movie viewing cake is No Country For Old Men on Blu-ray. Very good levels of detail are complemented by solid noise-free skies, realistic colours and, most impressive of all, lovely smooth movement. The 600Hz processing works wonderfully without any noticeable artefacts.

Concerns about the suitability of an HD-ready screen for 3D were sadly proved right on the LG 42PW450T. Despite a convincing sense of perspective to the football matches on Sky 3D, the side-by-side system results in a rather gloomy image with all the clarity of a Logie Baird prototype.

Things improve when watching 3D movies on Blu-ray, but the drop in resolution with live action scenes on a Panasonic test disc is clearly evident. The most suitable material 3D-wise is clearly CGI movies on Blu-ray.

Monsters vs Aliens scrubs up nicely with minimal crosstalk, well contained colours and a noticeable sense of depth, but it certainly lacks the punch that a really good 1920 x 1080 panel can deliver.

As for 2D to 3D conversion, the less said about that the better. Even after messing around with the viewpoint, it simply doesn't make for a realistic 3D image, let alone one that you'd want to watch.

As a plasma of course there are no concerns about the viewing angle, except with 3D, where the effectiveness is limited to around 120 degrees.

Sound

For years, audio performance on flat screen TVs has stood still, but the LG 42PW450T has clearly overcome the constraints of its diminutive size. There are a number of DSP modes such as Cinema, Sport and Gaming that are surprisingly effective, but even in Standard mode the clarity and effortless volume achieved is remarkable.

Clear Voice II is also on board, and really does lift vocals above background noise. You can watch The Wire on DVD and actually hear Avon Barksdale's mutterings to Stringer.

The speakers are even acceptable for listening to music when using the media player.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Number of HDMI Ports3
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product FamilyPW4
3D Type3D
Brand NameLG
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)21.50 kg
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Operating Power Consumption129 W
Standby Power Consumption250 mW
Dynamic Contrast Ratio3,000,000:1
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
HDMI VersionHDMI 1.4a
VGAYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand662.70 mm
Width with Stand984 mm
Depth with Stand230.50 mm
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
3D TechnologyShutter
3D ConversionYes
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height608.9 mm
Width984 mm
Depth52.5 mm
ColourBlack, Titan Silver
Comb Filter3D Y/C
Sound SystemDolby Digital, Surround Sound
Product SeriesPW4
Maximum Resolution1024 x 768
FeaturesMedia Player, Channel Labeling
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product Model42PW450T
Product Name42PW450T Plasma TV
Manufacturer Part Number42PW450T
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

The PW4 3D Ready TV series provides stunning stunning picture quality with a stunning razor frame design. Bring the magic of 3D Home and convert your living room to a sports stadium or cinema thanks to its crystal clear picture quality. The PW4 series is HD Ready with built-in freeview HD and 600Hz technology to provide a superb viewing experience.

Package Contents
  • 42PW450T Plasma TV
  • 1 x Pair of Active Shutter Glasses
SpeakersYes
Weight (Approximate)20 kg