Flat Screen Review
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Tuesday, June 13, 2006


On paper, the LG 42PX5D looks like a winner. It’s reasonably cheap, it’s got that all-important HD-Ready logo splashed all over it, and it has an impressive selection of connections, features and specifications, including a digital (Freeview) tuner, a memory card slot, an HDMI input and a claimed contrast ratio of 5,000:1. It’s not a bad looking set either, with a simple black frame around the screen itself and slate grey speakers either side. The speakers aren’t detachable, however, and their side-mounted positioning does tend to give the set a slightly bulky appearance.

A multitude of sockets and ports invite you to connect all your AV devices to the 42PX5D. As well as HDMI input, the set features three input/output Scarts and VGA, composite, S-video and audio inputs. The CompactFlash, SD, MMC, xD and Memory stick card slots add an extra dimension to the display. You can’t record video to memory cards like you can with the Panasonic Viera, but you can browse through photo collections on-screen or listen to MP3 tracks stored on removable media.

The unit is supplied with a tabletop stand, but if you’re planning on wall-mounting the set, we recommend plugging in all your external devices first. The majority of the 42PX5D’s inputs are located on the rear of the unit, access to which is nigh on impossible once the set is hanging on a wall.

Positioning of the inputs, however, is a small quibble compared to the issues we have with the 42PX5D’s image quality. Contrast levels are high, as promised, especially with the set’s XD mode switched on. But even after extensive calibration we could not achieve a particularly satisfactory level of picture quality on Freeview . Tweaking the settings only seemed to swing the image from being washed out to being excessively noisy with little in the way of middle ground. More unsettling was the fact that our test DVD looked markedly better via plain old RGB Scart than it did through an HDMI connection at either native or upscaled resolutions. We couldn’t find any explanation for why this should be, but it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the 42PX5D’s high-definition performance.

[via: activehome]

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