LG 42LE4900 review

LG's great value 42-inch edge-LED set has some tasty features, but can its pictures cut the mustard at this price?

LG 42LE4900
LG's great value 42-inch edge-LED set has some tasty features

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Like the rest of LG's current TVs, the 42LE4900 boasts a wonderful menu system. When you first dive in, you see a beautifully presented grid of options that uses detailed, full colour graphics. It covers all of the main functions, including direct access to the Picture and Sound menus so you can zip straight to them without having to go via the full setup menu.

From here you can also visit the networking feature (under My Media), check out NetCast (although this also has its own button on the remote) and fiddle about with eight cute little games, which is a nice surprise.

The setup menu itself is laid out with the same gorgeous graphics and fonts, plus it operates with a fluidity that precious few TVs can match. The basics are all up front, making them easy to find, but anyone who wants the more complex settings doesn't have to look too hard. This is still one of the most user-friendly menu systems around.

The Freeview HD displays are also superb. From the eight-day EPG to the onscreen info banners, they boast a clarity and legibility that pays dividends when used on a regular basis. And we encountered no problems finding our content on our networking feature or a USB stick thanks to the straightforward, folder-based menus.

In the case of USB playback, the TV shows a thumbnail for each file – now that's impressive. Despite its limited content, NetCast is beautifully presented, using three large icons in the foreground with a street-based backdrop, giving it a fun, family-orientated flavour.

The remote makes up for its slight plasticky feel with considerate button placement. The central panel of menu controls places the direction keys in the middle and dots the most-used buttons around the edge, making everyday operation an absolute breeze, plus the volume, programme change and number keys are all exactly where you'd expect to find them.

Also useful is that some of the buttons glow in the dark so you can navigate with the lights off.