LG 42LW550T review

Excellent, affordable passive 42-inch 3D TV set with useful multimedia options

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LG 42lw550t

The combination of the simplicity of passive 3D and a reasonable price (bearing in mind the multiple pairs of glasses) makes the 42WL550T well suited to a mainstream audience rather than picture quality-obsessed AV enthusiasts.

Its design is likeable and it's very well connected, with multimedia support galore, including includes LG's hugely expanded Smart TV online platform. The PLEX approach is interesting too, though it needs a little more work before it becomes slick enough to deliver on its full promise.

The best thing about the 42LW550T is that its performance makes a very compelling argument for passive 3D.

With a perfectly likeable 2D performance too, the 42LW550T confirms that while FPR TVs might not cut it with the picture-obsessed enthusiast market, they're a seriously persuasive proposition for the average family living room.

The only real shame is the screen's significant input lag, which severely compromises the TV's appeal to gamers.

We liked

The 42LW550T's picture quality with 3D is comfortable and engaging to watch. The fact that you get seven pairs of glasses bundled for free is brilliant, too, as is the fact that replacements cost barely a fiver.

The 42LW550T's relatively small screen hides/reduces many of the problems caused by FPR technology, too, and crucially the screen is also an accomplished 2D performer and there's much to commend about its multimedia services.

We disliked

The 42LW550T's input lag of over 100ms makes it a potential no-go zone for console gamers.

Its sound isn't as powerful as its impressive pictures deserve, and although the smaller screen size reduces their impact, there are still issues with the FPR technology in the form of reduced resolution versus active shutter technology, and tiny visible traces of the structure of the polarising film sheet applied to the screen. There are also viewing angle issues to consider.

Finally, the PLEX multimedia 'bridge' system seems a little flaky at the moment (though it shows great promise), and the set's sound isn't as good as the pictures deserve.

Final verdict

The 42LW550T provides a friendly, affordable and comfortable way into 3D that will chime with a mainstream audience's casual and social approach to the technology.

Unless you're a regular gamer likely to be affected by the TV's high input lag, the 42LW550T makes a persuasive case for itself as the perfect family 3D TV.

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