on December 4, 2011
I am value shopper who wants the most bang for my buck. I took a risk on this TV (after reading very educated reviews like the one J. Finkel wrote. He did all the work for me.)
Here are (5) quick ways to turn this 3-star sub five hundred dollar TV into a 5-star one thousand dollar set.
1. Don't believe all the negative reviews. The picture on this set is amazing, but not right out of the box. It needs some adjusting. Refer to J. Finkel's review for the exact settings. The picture is beautiful after 10 minutes of tweaking.
2. The sound has no bass. Buy a cheap PC subwoofer (under $20) and plug it into the analog line out. Then switch the line out volume to variable. Voila. I now have a great sound system. My wife said,"that is 100% better!" right after I plugged it in.
3. Sports on this TV is great. I watch a lot of NFL/NCAA football and the picture looks great. Just use the sports setting and if you have a good quality signal like HD cable or HD digital broadcast you will rarely notice any blurring. I was considering a plasma to avoid blurring for sports, but this TV is more than adequate for all the benefits it has over plasma (LED lamps will last forever, bright high-contrast no-glare screen, and this set only weights 20 pounds)
4. Gaming on this tv is the best experience you could hope for. Just plugged in my XBOX360 and set it's output to 1080p to the TV. Never seen anything prettier than Skyrim, Madden 12, Halo Reach, Deadspace 2, and Dance Central. These games are gorgeous in 1080P and play with zero lag on the Game setting. PS. 120HZ TRUmotion is not used for GAME setting and it is for the better...just like all other TVs with this setting, it prevents lag from processing the signal so your movements on the controller are quick and responsive. No loss in quality of the picture without the 120HZ TRUmotion. That's only needed for viewing sports.
5. Smart TV? No. Amazing TV? YES
Before you buy this TV you have to know what you are getting. It is a 42" LED edge-lit LCD 1080P TV. It is not a smart TV and it is not full of bells and whistles. It will give you a bright, beautiful display with accurate colors, plenty of inputs, a 20 degree swivel base, a great viewing angle and sound that needs upgrading for movies/gaming. It will not give you the ability to tweak black levels, but there are plenty of ways to work around that. Just read the other educated reviews. Just like a good marriage, it takes work but rewards far exceed cost. If I want a smart TV I can just plug in my internet connected XBOX 360 (or PS3), laptop, or just buy a Roku player for under a hundred bucks. No sense paying an extra $300 dollars for the "SMART" label.
6. A bonus tip...if all else fails and the screen just doesn't look right to you...turn OFF the ENERGY SAVING MODE! So many reviewers leave that on and never get to see what the set can do in full backlighting.
Great Value, Great Picture. This is an excellent no-frills LED HDTV for the price. You won't be disappointed if you understand what you are getting with this TV...for better or worse. Have any questions? Feel free to ask.
The LG LED LCD TV is a fairly basic set with very good picture quality, but some unfortunate quality control problems.
The LG is very simple looking in its design. It has a piano black bezel and a swiveling base that is also done in piano black. There is a small piece of opaque gray plastic trim that runs along the bottom and a very discreet LG logo on the TV. On the bottom of the set are the stereo speakers. The set is very thin and is about 1.75" at its thickest part, not including the base. The set is very light in weight and easy to move for one person. Construction quality and materials are good, but the swivel base allows the TV to move a few degrees in either direction easily. I find this quite annoying as the swivel base on my two Panasonic flat screen TVs have no play at all.
The only assembly required is to attach the swivel stand, if desired, and that was a very simple procedure that I was able to do myself and took no more than 5 minutes.
On the left hand side of the set from the front, hidden behind the bezel, are the Power, Menu, Input, Channel and Volume buttons along with 1 USB port and 2 HDMI ports. One the back left hand side of the set are 1 RGB PC, 1 Composite or Component (it's either used for one or the other, not both), 1 digital and 1 analog audio out, 1 RF cable and 1 HDMI port.
Using the set is very simple. The on-screen menu system and the remote are both easy to use. Feature wise the set offers and few different picture presets (with individual setting saved for each input), a sleep and schedule timer, closed captioning and the ability to view photos on a USB jump drive. One feature I really like is the ability to turn off the screen but still hear the audio, which is nice if you like to fall asleep to the sound of the TV, but the screen's light bothers you. The set does not have 3-D capability, nor does it have access to any streaming web services such as Pandora, Netflix, or Amazon Video On Demand. Also, there is only a basic printed owner's manual included with the TV. If you want the detailed manual you have to view the PDF on the included CD.
Picture quality is the highlight of this reasonably priced LED set and indeed the high definition picture is sharp and clear with nice color, smooth motion, and detailed bright scenes (I get my HD picture by hooking the TV directly to my cable using the RF jack). The SD picture looks good as well, but it is a lot softer than the HD picture, as expected. Where picture quality falters, however, is in the shadows and during dark scenes. Compared to my 50" 3-D Panasonic plasma the darker sections of the LG's picture lack contrast and detail. Watching high definition TV I was able to compare the picture on the two sets directly. In one scene where the actor was standing in front of a black wall with a floral pattern in a slightly lighter shade of black I was able to easily make out the pattern on the Panasonic Plasma, but on the LG LCD the wall was a solid black. For an LCD TV the picture is great, but for true videophiles a high-end plasma set is a better bet. For reference I have the picture settings on the LG set as follows; Backlight: 90, Contrast: 85, Brightness: 48, Sharpness: 35, Color: 40, Tint: R4, Color Temperature: Medium, Gamma: Medium, and all the other adjustments set to off.
Another area where the LG disappoints is in its viewing angle. If you sit directly in front of the TV it has great contrast and saturation, but when you start to move a couple of feet off center the contrast and saturation drop dramatically and the picture starts to wash out. The effect is more dramatic the closer you are to the TV, since your viewing angles are more acute. Compared to my plasma, and even to an older Panasonic 32" LCD, the LG has a very narrow viewing angle. I will admit that the LG is much better than a 26" Sharp LCD I used to have in this regard. Still, if your viewing area is arranged in such a manner that people will be at an extreme angle from the front of the set, you might want to look into a plasma, or an LCD with a wider viewing angle.
Sound quality is good, with plenty of volume to fill a room, but to get the true big screen experience you'll want to hook the set up to a surround sound system.
The last, and most important thing I want to mention about the LG is that there are two small specks of plastic stuck behind the screen. They are both black plastic triangular shaped slivers. One is about the size of a pixel and barely noticeable, and the other is about three pixels long, and depending how close you are to the TV, can be picked out without too much trouble. They are a manufacturing defect and cannot be removed without ruining the screen. The specks aren't enough to ruin the viewing experience, but they do speak a bit to a lack of quality control on LG's part. I will say, however, that the screen has no dead pixels. (You can see the photo I uploaded for more information) 11/27/2011 Update: The larger speck has fallen down the screen and is now on the very edge, so it's better but it's still there.
All in all... a no frills set with very good LCD picture quality, but a lack of quality control.
11/16/2011 Update: One thing I forgot to mention is that the screen is matte and not glossy. That makes this set an excellent choice for a room that has lots of windows because the screen does not have any glare issues.
12/14/2011 Update: If you plug the TV into an outlet or surge protector that cuts all power to the TV when it's not on the clock will reset itself, so make sure you set the clock again (either manually or using the automatic setting) if you're using the automatic-on schedule function. In my case, I make sure I turn the TV on for a few minutes before I go to bed so that the clock will set automatically and the TV will turn on in the morning.
P.S. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions and I will answer then as quickly as possible.
on December 13, 2011
Never have I seen such schizophrenic reviews as with this TV and on this website: "It's great," "It's the worst TV ever," "I love this TV," "I will never buy LG again!" I have had the 42 inch version for a little over a week now and thought I would weigh in.
Let's start with the most common complaint: the sound. The sound has adequate volume, but it doesn't have any richness or bass to it. When I was in the bedroom and my wife had the sound up so loud I couldn't concentrate on my work (I work out of my home), I had to ask her to turn the sound down. So, yes the sound is bad, but not as bad as people make out. The volume is adequate, and the sound is OK for watching talk shows, Dr. Oz, and the morning news shows. In reading various TV reviews, lousy sound is by far the most common complaint. Flat screen TV speakers just can't match larger speakers. Of course a sound system makes this a non-issue, but I realize that some folks spent all they could afford on the TV and don't want to go out and spend another 200 - 300 dollars on a sound system or bar. NO PROBLEM. The thing that is so nice about this TV is that it has an audio out 1/8 inch port. This means any computer speakers can be used. You can even turn off the TV speakers, set your computer speakers on "variable" and the volume control on the remote will control the sound coming from your computer speakers. I hooked up a CA 2.1 system (two speakers plus a subwoofer) and it increased the sound quality about a zillion times. And I only paid about $20 for these. Go to ebay and type in the search box "2.1 speakers" and you will have all kinds of choices. Try the Logitech or Altec Lansing for very nice speakers (25 - 50 dollars) or for especially good speakers get the Klipsch ones (60 -90 dollars). Or if you can't afford this, go to some garage sales when the weather turns warmer and you'll soon see a system. I plugged in some ancient speakers I bought this way for $3 and the sound went from bad to great. So there is no reason to diss this TV over the sound.
The picture is not great coming out of the box, but after tweaking the settings it becomes very, very nice. Probably Samsung has it beat by a bit, but this TV is nothing to sneer at. Watching HD streaming shows from Netflix is so pleasurable, compared to the non-HD TV we had before. Even old Andy Griffith shows on DVD look really nice when run through my upconverting DVD player. I watched the Dallas Cowboys get beat by the Giants on Sunday evening (a real heartbreaker) and the picture was beautiful. The TrueMotion was doing its thing and there was no blurring at all that I could notice. The passes, long and short, were very clear, along with everything else.
I suspect the reason some are criticizing the picture is that out of the box it is nothing to brag about. The reason is simple: they have the energy saving feature turned on and the backlight settings turned very low. Apparently LG is so eager to be environmentally-correct they give as default settings the lowest energy-using settings possible, which is pretty stupid, in my opinion, and leads to a lot of bad reviews by folks who don't bother to try to adjust the settings.
IF YOU WANT A NICE PICTURE THE FIRST THING TO DO IS TO TURN THE ENERGY SAVING FEATURE OFF AND TURN THE BACKLIGHT UP TO AT LEAST 80 OR BETTER. Here are settings I find useful, for you to try: energy saving - off, backlight - 85, contrast - 90, brightness - 55, sharpness - 65, color - 71, tint - 0, color temp - cool, fresh contrast - medium, fresh color - low, noise correction - medium, gamma - medium, black level - not an option with these settings, eye care - off, real cinema - on. You may find settings you like better, but I can pretty much guarantee you will like these settings more than those that LG has established.
And the nice thing is that each picture mode: standard, cinema, sports, and game are all user-adjustable. So you don't have to accept their settings (and their settings are really awful).
Speaking of the picture settings, some have complained about not being able to adjust the TrueMotion. This is technically true, but according to a review by Finkel (and it sounds right to me) they have set TrueMotion at full power in the Sports mode (so no blurring of baseballs, basketballs, etc.), partial power in the cinema mode, and completely off in the game mode (so it doesn't slow down the fast input). So by changing your mode you change the degree of TrueMotion.
Summary: this really is a nice TV, but you have to fool with it a little to get the picture right. There's not much you can do about the internal sound, but you have so many options for speakers, it's hardly a worry. Unless you get a "clinker" most folks should really enjoy this TV. After reading so many of the reviews, it reminds me of Rodney Dangerfield: "I don't get no respect."
on November 5, 2011
The LG 42LV4400-UA was incredibly easy to set up. The picture is above average, though with high definition 1080p, most would notice only small differences in picture quality between different TVs. There is a little blurring when watching sports, which is common in my experience. The screen has a matte surface, which reduces glare. By comparison, my Samsung with a "glossy" screen displays a better television image, but also reflects almost like a mirror. The sound quality is average, maybe a little below a Visio with speakers on the front, and a little above a Samsung. Anyone who seriously cares about great sound will probably be connecting this TV to an alternative audio source. It can be set to automatically detect the aspect ratio being broadcast, so fewer programs have the image stretched or squished. There is also a parental lock feature.
The 42LV4400-UA comes with an owners manual and CD, remote control with two AA batteries included, a cleaning cloth, power cable, stand with screws, and one safety screw. The included stand allows the TV to swivel up to 20 degrees. Depending on your room setup, this can be helpful to further limit glare during certain times of day.
On the left side (if looking at the TV display) are two HDMI ports and one USB port and the television controls. On the bottom of the TV is the cable/antenna input, one additional HDMI port, DVI and audio ports for connecting a computer, component video inputs for audio and video (which can also be used as composite inputs), and an optical digital output.
On the downside, there is no Ethernet connection. This means the TV does not now and will not ever be able to display content from a home network or the Internet. It also will not be able to be updated or improved with firmware updates. If you're connecting this TV to a set-top box like Roku, or a Blu-ray player, you'll probably have access to Internet content through those devices anyway.
The LG 42LV4400-UA is a solid basic television that will meet the needs of most people. After considering the price of competing products and the features you need, you won't be disappointed with this TV.
on November 7, 2011
I have owned five HDTVs in the last 7 years (either upgrading or adding additional HDTVs to my home ... or replacing one that my infant son destroyed with a metal soup ladle). Out of all the HDTV brands I've owned I can say that LG has consistently impressed me and this LG 42LV4400 is no exception.
The biggest selling point for this particular HDTV is the LED back light behind the LCD panel. The LED back lighting allows companies to make HDTVs that are MUCH thinner and lighter than what has been possible before. To put it in perspective, I can "barely" lift my old 42-inch HDTV by myself (and I risk injury in the process) but I can lift the LG 42LV4400 without any problems. Heck, I could probably lift two of these TVs (one in each arm) if the TVs had handles. This makes the HDTV easy to unpack, easy to install, and easy to move again later. If you decide to mount the 42LV4400 on a wall mount (sold separately) then the thin LED design makes the TV sit closer to the wall so it won't stick out like a sore thumb.
In terms of visual performance, this HDTV really shines. The contrast ratio is great (black looks BLACK and not charcoal gray) and colors appear pleasant right out of the box (though I'm sure the color is "a little" more saturated than it would be in real life). The 120Hz refresh rate helps when viewing fast action without "ghosting" on the screen, and the faster refresh rate may (in theory) help prevent eye strain for some people watching this TV. Bottom line, picture quality is GREAT.
My only complaint about this HDTV is that the speakers sound pretty flat (little bass and no real "depth" to the sound). I had to turn up the volume pretty high to get decent sound levels but then you get sound distortion from the speakers pushing harder than they should. Most people probably won't notice the audio issues I described, but I am an audiophile and I enjoy watching classical concerts so I immediately noticed the weak performance of the built-in speakers. In short, if you want a rich audio experience then you need to buy a HDMI receiver and some good home theater speakers.
Overall, I think this is a great HDTV and it seems to give good value for the asking price. Most HDTVs don't have "amazing" built-in speakers so the weak audio performance shouldn't be a deal breaker unless you REALLY care about audio and can't afford to add home theater speakers to this TV.
on January 26, 2012
Wow, where to start? I knew this 42LV4400 was too good to be true! You guessed it, after less than 30 days of use I can't get it to turn on.
This was a Christmas present for the wife that I purchased 29 November for $499 and free shipping. Thought it was a great price for a new model (Sept 2011) 1080p LED and 120hz and it arrived in two day with no worries, thanks UPS. After Christmas we set it up.
Picture on digital cable channels was not very clear, HD channels and DVD were great though. Even tried adjusting a few of the setting per some earlier reviews but nothing looked right. At the time there were very few reviews <50 and from early on they were across the board from 1-5. However it became more and more troubling how many average to poor reviews this set was getting and that I had purchased it. This review ratio hasn't changed much with over 400+ total reviews now. Amazon must of bought a ship load of these sets.
24 Jan it no longer turns on just a red light and a black screen, sent it back to Amazon for free and full refund.
How many of these will show up with the "Black screen of Death" after 30-45 days. Thank goodness for the extended returns for holiday purchases. Kudos Amazon!
I was worried about shipping and as its turned out, returning a TV.
Amazon CS has made it hassle free. Wish I could say the same for the LG customer service and product. Repair a 30 day old TV (if the part is available in 2-4 weeks) I think not!
Will try again with another brand from Amazon.
Recomendation: Save the box, you'll need it!
on December 1, 2011
I was looking for a 42-46 inch TV, but I wasn't too particular as to whether it was a plasma, LCD, or an LED. I even went to some stores (HH Gregg and Target) during the early hours of Black Friday. Due to the craziness of the stores, I decided to just do the easy thing and purchase from Amazon. I settled on this one, due to the price, the 1080p, the 120 Hz True motion claim, and the LG brand. The purchase process and delivery was a piece of cake. That was the easy part...
I purchased the LG 42 inch LED (42LV4400). This TV is NOT GOOD. Personally, I feel like the advertising for this TV is misleading. The fact that they advertise this as a "120 Hz True Motion" set is crazy. I seriously question that it is a true 120 Hz, similar to what a couple other reviewers said. I hooked it up to my AT&T UVerse receiver, which generally has an awesome HD picture. The picture on this set was below average. For anyone wanting to watch a lot of sports, STAY AWAY from this LG model. I watched some basketball games on ESPN the night that it arrived. The basketball was a blur as it moved around the court. The "ticker" on the bottom of the screen was very blurry as well. Even the color on this TV was very dull. I guess I expected much more from this set. Some shows on it looked ok....but, anything with any amount of motion will be blurry...guaranteed. Don't believe the True Motion advertisement...it's false! I tried adjusting different settings, but it still did not work.
I shipped this back to Amazon yesterday. The return shipping is a piece of cake. The whole thing is just frustrating, as I would have NEVER bought this had I known that the 120 Hz thing is false. Put it this way...the picture on my 32 inch Westinghouse LCD that I bought in 2006 blows this TV away.
I would recommend that even someone looking for a great deal STAY AWAY from this set. Options in the $500 range are numerous. Don't take the bait from LG on this one. If you do, you will be disappointed.
UPDATE 12-4-11: I went out and bought a replacement for this TV. I bought a 43 inch Samsung plasma (PN43D450) for $488.76. So, the size and price for what I paid for the LG is very much the same. However, the difference in quality is unbelievable. We are so happy with our new SAMSUNG. Do yourself a favor...if you are considering purchasing this LG tv (42LV4400), change your mind and buy the Samsung plasma that I bought. It is AMAZING. The picture is perfect. Watching sports is awesome. I just can't believe that it was even a few dollars cheaper than the junky LG! I am so glad that I returned the LG and bought the Samsung. Amazon was very easy to deal with on the return. I got my refund within hours of them signing for the UPS return shipment.
on January 4, 2012
I purchased this tv on November 21, but did not take it out of the box until December 1. It worked for 25 days and then nothing but a dead. black. screen. Service call to LG resulted in waiting 8 days for a part to arrive, but replacing that part did not fix the problem. I am now waiting at least another week for the "main digital module" to arrive (it's on backorder) I could not get through on the LG service phone line, so I contacted live chat. "Nelson" hung up on me!!!!!!!! He couldn't answer my questions as to why I could not simply get a new set and have them haul this one away, or why the part was on backorder. He insisted that LG does not have this type of problem with their sets. After reading all these other reviews I see that this is simply not true. LG service is HORRIBLE. If you want a painful experience you'd be better off jabbing yourself in the eye with a stick. Do not buy this tv.
UPDATE: I contaced Amazon regarding the issues I was having with LG, and even though it is outside of the 30 return policy window, and I do not have the original packaging, Amazon is letting me return the tv. I'll never buy an LG product again, but I'm now an Amazon customer for life. Thank you Amazon for fixing a problem that wasn't even yours in the first place. i love you
on December 4, 2011
As with some others, just out of the box, I found both the picture quality and the sound a little bit disappointing, but after adjustment it does really well and is a great deal for the money. I suspect that many of the poorer reviews were due to a lack of patience with the settings or expectations that the TV would do things at the higher end (such as 3D, etc, which it is NOT advertised for). It is a great basic TV. Also remember that the quality of movies, etc, is quite variable and not due to the problems with the set per se. Be patient and try the following settings...they worked very well for me. You may need to tweak these for your own preferences.
Tint : G11
Color temp : Medium
Fresh Contrast: high
Fresh Color: low
Noise reduction : Medium
Black level: low
Eye Care: off
Real Cinema: off
SOUND: (The factory settings for the speakers on the set are tinny as many say, but just tune down the treble and up the bass as shown below). Set it up with a good set of speakers if you want more...mine (Harman Kardon SoundSticks II Computer Speakers, which I got for about $100)work great.
Treble : 15
on December 6, 2011
I received the TV yesterday... I shipped it back today.
The picture was quite nice, especially if this is your first HD television. If you are expecting deep, rich and even blacks this is not the TV for you. As with most LED/ LCD TV's the bleed from the backlight gives grey tones and light splotchy areas instead of deep, smooth blacks.
Even with the black issue with LED/LCD's- The picture was more than sufficient for my master bedroom TV and I'm sure I would have been happy with it had the sound not been just terrible.
The reviews are on the money when it comes to the sound, it's just terrible, and before you think it is because the TV is so slim, the 43 inch plasma that is 2.2 inches deep that I decided to go with has an amazing sound in comparison.
I didn't expect much from the speakers, after all, it was going to be my bedroom TV and they didn't have to be astonishing, they just needed to be decent. Unfortunately the speakers weren't good enough to be considered decent by me or most others for that matter. Some have said just plug in a speaker to the 3.5mm jack , which I would expect to be extremely helpful, but this is was for my bedroom wall and I had zero intention of turning my bedroom into a media room *)
If you have plans of putting this in a main room and are intending on using a speaker setup with it, I am sure this would be an exceptional entry level HD TV for some. If you want just a nice TV to stand on its own, I would recommend you continue to look for other alternatives because it will disappoint if that is the case.
Entry Level HD television for use with stereo system
Stand alone TV
Hope this helps some that may be sitting on the fence.