LG 42pw450t

A 42-inch plasma screen with 3D for under £600 is a real steal in anybody's book, regardless of the corners that LG has had to cut in order to get the price down on the 42PW450T.

You'd have to pay double that for Panasonic's most affordable 3D plasma, the TX-P42ST30B – an ugly beast, albeit one with a full HD panel and decent multi-media features.

Looking at it another way, £600 is also the price of LG's 32LV550T, a 2D-only LED-lit 32-inch model. The dilemma is size with 3D verses style and Smart TV features.

Ease of use

The supplied owner's guide is more of an overview than a full instruction manual, which comes in PDF form on a CD-ROM inside the box. Both documents are a bit confusing as they cover more models than the LG 42PW450T and it's not always obvious which bits are relevant.

Luckily, the TV has an intuitive menu system that looks contemporary with attractive graphic icons, and is uncomplicated to follow.

Manually adding channels to the Freeview EPG is a simple process, which is just as well because the screen failed to pick up the four HD channels on its installation and we had to tell it to scan UHF channel 31 separately.

The fine-looking remote control for the LG 42PW450T is one of the best TV handsets you'll meet. It's nicely balanced, aided by a ridge on the underside that curves around your index finger. The buttons are a good size, sensibly laid out and highly responsive. All it lacks is a bit of backlighting for use in low light.

There's not a great deal you can do on the multimedia front. Establishing a network connection with a Windows 7 netbook was easy, but it didn't actually get us any closer to accessing any of the computer's content.

At least the LG 42PW450T's USB reader is quite impressive. Files are nicely set out, with icons that are easy to see and select. The usual lottery applies of never knowing what files will play, but we had fairly good success with a range of standard and HD movie clips including DivX, M4V, MOV, JPEG and MP3. No dice though with MPEG-2 Blu-ray rips or AVCHD files.