LG 37LD490 review

LG might have a habit of being inconsistent with its TVs, but in this 37 inch set it's produced a gem that punches well above its weight Tested at £400

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A fine all-rounder. We’d drop to this size to get the most from this LG range


  • +

    Solid spec complete

  • +

    simple to use

  • +

    good sound

  • +

    crisp, detailed, balanced pictures


  • -

    Could be a touch more controlled with fast motion

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After the enthusiastic review of this LG model in these pages recently, and a five-star verdict to finish, we thought it only right that we called it back in for review alongside the bigger 42D490, which creeps inside our price band.

A strong specification sheet

It’s an interesting comparison. There’s never any guarantee that two models from the same range will perform to the same level at different screen sizes.

They will, after all, have different panels. It will also be a matter of personal preference, based on the size of screen you can accommodate and whether you’re prepared to pay the extra £100.

The specification list is similar and that makes this set one of the strongest in terms of features and functions.

You’ll find a Freeview HD tuner inside, giving you access to the normal array of standard definition tuners alongside the high definition channels, BBC One HD, BBC HD, ITV 1 HD and 4 HD.

It’s a 1920 x 1080 Full HD screen, complete with three HDMI inputs and support for 1080p/24fps. You’ll find a USB input (HD video compatible) and a headphone output on the side, with one of the HDMI inputs.

The bulk of the connections are on the rear, including a Scart and component video, a PC input and a digital audio optical output.

There’s also a LAN connection for getting the set connected to your network and accessing LG’s Netcast service.

It’s a fairly limited service, with applications from YouTube, Picasa and Accuweather the main attractions and as yet no sign of any catch-up TV services.

Smaller sets have the advantage

Smaller sets have an advantage over larger screens when it comes to certain aspects of TV reproduction – they offer the same number of pixels but over a smaller area.

This ought to make for a crisper, smoother image in the majority of comparisons – and so it proves here.

With the Blu-ray disc of Avatar, edges are drawn sharply, there’s definition and texture to faces and the overall level of insight is excellent.

In terms of colour reproduction, it successfully straddles the divide between delivering a natural image and one that’s vibrant and colourful.

Standard definition images are similarly handled, with only the fastest motion causing a touch of judder.

Good with off-air content

Off-air content does the job, too, with instances of instability kept to a minimum, edges drawn accurately and colours reproduced faithfully – and a

real step up with the HD channels. The speakers have clearly been given some thought, ensuring an authoritative

and balanced sound that’s more than acceptable should you not have or

want external speakers.

Bigger isn’t always better; we’d pocket the extra 100 quid and take this 37in over its larger sibling. There’s little here to find fault with for the money.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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