LG 42LV450U review

A budget 42-inch TV that suffers for its lack of 3D, Freeview HD and smart TV

LG 42LV450U
The low cost of the 42-inch LG 42LV450U shows in its lack of 3D, Freeview HD or smart TV features

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LG 42lv450u review

Casual buyers strolling into their local electronics store might very well find themselves wandering out clutching an LG 42LV450U under their arm. Its combination of a low price, pretty design and rich, bright colours give it serious shelf appeal.

Get the TV home, though, and you might wonder if you've done the right thing. You'll likely be upset not to find a Freeview HD tuner, for a start. You might also wonder why such a futuristic-looking TV doesn't have any online Smart TV features or enable you to stream in multimedia stuff stored on your PC.

Even the brash pictures that may have looked so attractive in a brightly lit shop lose some of their lustre in a home environment, as you clock the TV's rather average black level response and uninspiring standard definition upscaling.

The LG 42LV450U does have its moments, for sure. But with less than £50 more getting you a Freeview HD tuner, better pictures and full Smart TV functionality from LG's own 42LV550T, the LG 42LV450U looks like a compromise product that the brand's range doesn't really need.

We liked

The edge LED lighting in the LG 42LV450U helps it deliver an attractively slender and glossy design. The TV is extremely easy to use, too, and its price seems reasonably aggressive if considered in isolation from the rest of LG's range. It also produces some pleasingly sharp and colour-rich HD pictures.

We disliked

The LG 42LV450U's lack of a Freeview HD tuner is a huge disappointment, despite the TV's aggressive pricing. It's also a bit of a shame that there are no Smart TV features.

In performance terms, the HD TV struggles to produce a good black level response, and is only an average standard-definition performer.

Ultimately, with these negatives taken into account, even the LG 42LV450U's price no longer looks particularly attractive, given what LG has on offer for only a few quid more.

Final verdict

The LG 42LV450U is unfortunately a great example of an increasingly common problem with current TV ranges as prices keep being squeezed.

If you consider it on just its own merits, it's a respectable if hardly awe-inspiring effort – provided you can live without a Freeview HD tuner, at any rate.

Put it in the context of LG's wider TV range, though, and it struggles to justify its existence. That's when you consider that spending not much more cash at all could get you the LG 42LV550T, from a series that gives you both much better specifications and a superior performance.

John Archer
AV Technology Contributor

John has been writing about home entertainment technology for more than two decades - an especially impressive feat considering he still claims to only be 35 years old (yeah, right). In that time he’s reviewed hundreds if not thousands of TVs, projectors and speakers, and spent frankly far too long sitting by himself in a dark room.