LG 42lv550t

With no passive – or, for that matter, active – 3D to its name, LG's 42LV550T needs to rely on other charms to attract you to its cause.

These charms include an attractively slender and 'angular' design, a full version of LG's latest Smart TV online service complete with a web browser, good compatibility with Macs and PCs and something dubbed MCI 500Hz – a fancy name for a pseudo 500Hz effect thanks to a combination of motion processing, a scanning backlight and 100Hz processing.

Inevitably, it uses edge LED lighting, while its extremely well-presented on-screen menus provide a wealth of picture set-up features and options, including a colour management system and all manner of tools for tweaking the set's black level response.

It's a pity that none of these tools enable the TV to produce a totally satisfying black level response, at least if you're watching in a dark room. But in most other ways – provided you're careful with some of its processing options – the LG 42LV550T's pictures can be considered a success, with excellent sharpness and colour response and decent motion handling.

We liked

LG 42lv550t

During bright footage the LG 42LV550T's pictures can look excellent, thanks to some exceptionally vivid colours, high brightness levels and extreme sharpness – especially when you're watching HD sources.

The set's Smart TV online service has some excellent features, too, and the PLEX system for networking with your PC or Mac now works a treat. The set's on-screen menus and remote are also excellent.

We disliked

Really dark scenes can suffer numerous problems, depending on what settings you're using, and there doesn't seem to be any mix of settings that gets rid of every flaw. Also, too many of the apps in the app store are pointless.

Final verdict

If you're looking for a versatile, multimedia-savvy 42-inch TV that looks great and doesn't cost the earth, the LG 42LV550T has a lot going for it.

Its PLEX system works great with PCs and Macs alike, it plays back an unusually wide variety of multimedia file types and for most of the time it also produces extremely enjoyable pictures.

If you're a fan of watching films with the lights off, though, you might find yourself troubled by a few black level shortcomings.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview