A versatile, attractive and well-priced 42-inch smart TV without 3D, but images suffer a little in the dark
Bright, colourful pictures
Reasonably aggressive price
Good operating system and multimedia system
Black levels are flawed
Apps store is cluttered
Audio lacks bass
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Although LG's passive 3D system has comprehensively proven its worth, at least where relatively compact screen sizes are concerned, it still comes as a slight relief to find that the brand's 42LV550T doesn't have 3D built in. It means there's no need to have to get into the whole passive vs active 3D philosophical debate again, allowing this review to focus solely on the product itself rather than larger issues beyond it.
What's more, despite its lack of 3D, the 42-inch smart TV has a decent quantity of tricks to get stuck into. The LV550T series does, after all, represent the top end of LG's non-3D TVs, and the brand traditionally isn't shy of delivering plenty of bang for your buck with its relatively high-end sets.
Among the LG 42LV550T's headline features is something called MCI 500Hz. The MCI bit stands for Motion Clarity Index, confirming that this is a feature designed to boost the appearance of motion.
There will be a little more detail on this later, but for now it seems safe to say that this new 'measurement' appears to be a direct response to Samsung's use of similarly high CMR (Clear Motion Rate) figures on the spec lists of its TVs.
The LG 42LV550T also enjoys edge LED lighting, LG's full 2011 Smart TV service, a Freeview HD tuner and extensive multimedia playback via both a USB port and LG's PLEX multimedia conduit for files stored on a PC or Mac.
Other models in the same range are the 47-inch 47LV550T, 37-inch 37LV550T and 32-inch 32LV550T.
If the LV550T range's features all sound good to you but you want 3D as well, the equivalent 3D model is the 42LW550T.
The LG 42LV550T's price feels about right to us – maybe a touch better than right – for what's on offer. Especially if you're attracted by its now rather excellent PLEX multimedia support.
However, if you want something a little cheaper, the next range down is the LV450U. This series only has a standard definition tuner, lacks smart TV functionality and uses MCI 400 rather than MCI 500.
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.