LG 42LF66 review

LG's latest LCD certainly looks the business, but can it deliver on pictures?

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Our Verdict

A very eye-catching performer, which is unfortunately not an especially good one


  • Rich colours
  • Plenty of features
  • Sharp HD


  • Black levels could be better
  • Noisy SD pictures

The comely form of LG's 42LF66 is another LCD representative in this epic battle, and it wastes no time in reminding us of one of the technology'skey strengths: resolution. On board is a full HD pixel count of 1,920 x 1,080, something 42in plasma TVs find seriously hard to accomplish.

It also boasts a promising - by LCD standards - contrast ratio of 5,000:1. Mind you, having just highlighted LCD's resolution advantage over plasma, it's only fair to point out that the 42LF66's black levels don't, on paper, seem in the same ball-park as those of some of its plasma competitors.

The 42LF66's connections are par for the £1,000 course, which is to say they include two HDMIs, a component video input, a PC port, and all the usual analogue basics.

The HDMIs can take 1080p feeds too, though the 1080p support only extends to 50 and 60Hz variations, not the 24fps version favoured by most hi-def disc players.

One other key feature is LG's XD Engine image processing, complete with new noise reduction routines, colour tone management, motion control, contrast improvement, and the ability to add resolution.


In action, the 42LF66 boasts possibly the most intense colour saturations we've seen on a 42in TV. Furthermore, this aggression doesn't come at the expense of a generally natural colour tone.

At least partly responsible for the emphatic colour intensity is the exceptional brightness, which really drives images off the screen.

Another instant hit is the sharpness with hi-def sources. That full HD resolution reproduces every last pixel of a 1080-line source, and provided you use the pixel-for-pixel aspect ratio mode, it does so with no trace of video noise.

Sadly the 42LF66's handling of standard definition is considerably less impressive. The dynamic nature of the pictures backfires quite badly when watching the digital tuner, since it emphasises both the noise inherent to most digital broadcasts and the extra scaling grot it adds itself.

There also seems an unfortunate price to pay for the picture's extreme brightness, in the shape of some pretty average black levels.

Things manage to get back on track with the audio, which is surprisingly solid given how small the speakers look.

In the face of the fine opposition elsewhere, the 42LF66 doesn't do enough to win us to its cause.