LG 42LW550T review

Comes with seven pairs of 3D glasses as standard Tested at £650

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Our Verdict

A solid buy, especially if 3D figures high on your agenda

For

  • 3D picture quality is very good
  • cheap glasses
  • smart functionality

Against

  • Issues with motion and upscaling
  • can sound aggressive

If 3D is to become the mass-market force its proponents would like it to be, it’ll be thanks to televisions such as this. This LG supports passive 3D technology.

Its polarised 3D glasses don’t need power and, crucially, cost next to nothing; the LW550T comes with no fewer than seven pairs in the package.

Of course, that wouldn’t be such a benefit were the 3D performance not up to scratch; but it is. With live-action and animation, images are both easier to watch than most alternatives and, crucially, perfectly acceptable for clarity and detail.

Active-shutter 3D systems offer theoretically superior resolution, and if you cast a fastidious eye over the LW550T’s image with Thor, it isn’t perhaps as crisp as it might be. The counterpoint to that is the absence of crosstalk or flicker. It’s a trade-off we’d happily accept.

Crisp Freeview HD tuner
For all that, the LG’s case isn’t entirely watertight. Its Freeview HD tuner is respectably crisp, its contrast and brightness perfectly acceptable, and the local-dimming LED backlighting provides a lively and, for the most part, satisfyingly dynamic image.

However, there’s a lack of outright depth to blacks, as shown by a comparison with the Panasonic TX-L37DT30. More than that, the DT30’s effective motion processing and seamless upscaling highlight the LG’s comparative lack of certainty in both regards. The LW550T is far from crude, but it’s also palpably less assured with long, sweeping pans.

It sounds more shrill than we’d like, too. A lack of weight might be expected in a slim TV, but the hard, forward balance is less forgiveable.

Holds its own in the smart stakes
On the other hand, LG’s Smart TV hub is good enough to ensure the 42LW550T can hold its own in the smart stakes. Wireless internet access requires an optional dongle, but fed via ethernet, the LG’s DLNA and streaming services work slickly – and with both Acetrax and Blinkbox included, there’s ample choice for film enthusiasts.

Other highlights include the BBC iPlayer, Facebook and Twitter. The set also supports LG’s Magic Motion remote control, as an extra. Only you can decide whether Wii-style gesture-based access to your TV’s smart services is worth £50 more.

The LG’s suite of strengths are more than sufficient to outweigh its occasional weaknesses. This is a fine set in most regards – and in 3D terms, a compelling one.

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Specifications

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General Information

Product SeriesLW5
Product NameLG 42LW550T
Product Model42LW550T
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Brand NameLG
Product TypeLED-LCD TV
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Manufacturer Part Number42LW550T

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
CI+Yes
VGAYes
USBYes
Total Number of HDMI Ports4

Physical Characteristics

Depth with Stand25.6 cm
Weight with Stand Approximate15.50 kg
Width with Stand101.2 cm
Weight Approximate13.20 kg
Height with Stand68.3 cm
Width101.2 cm
VESA Mount Standard400 x 400
Depth3.9 cm
Height61.7 cm
ColourPurple
Dimensions61.7 cm (H): 101.2 cm (W): 3.9 cm (D)

Technical Information

FeaturesChannel Labeling
Aspect Ratio16:9
3D Type3D
Backlight TechnologyEdge LED
Internet AccessYes
PC StreamingYes
Screen Size106.7 cm (42")

Network and Communication

EthernetYes

Audio

RMS Output Power20 W
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby Digital

Video

Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4)
Motion Interpolation TechnologyTruMotion 120Hz
Video Signal StandardHDTV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz

Miscellaneous

DLNA CertifiedYes
Environmentally FriendlyYes
Environmental CertificationRoHS

Energy and Performance

Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
Operating Power Consumption96.77 W