REVIEW: LG 42LH5000 – 200Hz 42-inch LCD TV

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Over the last month or so, I’ve had the pleasure of having LG’s 42LH5000 television in my living room. There’s plenty to like about this, LG’s first 200Hz LCD, so read on for the full review.

First of all, let’s talk styling. The 42LH5000 will fit comfortably in pretty much any living room, unless it’s bright pink with “Hello Kitty” curtains. A transparent plastic ‘halo’ around the screen suits it nicely, with only a slight dip that indicates where the power button is to spoil the lines.

Although you can tilt it 20 degrees or so left and right, you can’t tilt it up or down. Happily, I didn’t have any issues with viewing angle, so that wasn’t an issue, but if you’re planning to mount it high or low, it might be worth some consideration.

A sensor on the front will adjust the brightness of the display to match ambient light, which works well. I only had one issue with the feature, on a stormy day when the television kept adjusting up and down, having difficulty working out the strange light of just before a thunderstorm.

The UI, luckily, allows you to turn this feature off if you want to. It’s a good UI too – clearly laid out and sensible. You can generally find what you’re looking for without having to resort to the manual.

The TV is also packed with environmentally friendly features. The fact that it consumes 210W typically while running isn’t that great, but a physical on-off switch, easily dimmable display, and even the ability to turn the display off entirely if you’re just listening to the radio, are all very welcome.

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The built-in freeview tuner looks exactly how you’d expect it to – fine for soaps or documentaries, but a little lackluster for news, sports, action movies or anything else with fast-paced action going on. Plug in an HD source, however, and all that changes.

In HD, the picture is bright, clear and vibrant, even before applying any scene-specific image processing. The contrast is perfectly acceptable for most applications, but more muted scenes suffered a little from a lack of definition. There wasn’t quite enough detail in the shadow for my liking.

Beware if you’re wanting to plug in a Wii or a similar 480p source. The upscaling that the TV has to do to get it to fit the screen means that there’s horrible lag between your input and the image. It’s most noticible in rhythm games like Guitar Hero (which thankfully lets you compensate in the game’s settings), but this TV is very poor – even in game mode – at rendering the Wii’s signal on the larger resolution display.

I also encountered a little bit of picture corruption from time to time when turning it on. Vertical lines would appear, on all input sources, maybe one in 10 times that we powered up. They disappeared within sixty seconds, but it was still a little unnerving.

One of the 42LH5000’s best features is its USB port. You can plug in a portable hard drive or flash memory stick and watch any music, video or photo content that resides upon it, with minimal worries about codec support. I only encountered one video that wouldn’t play, and a quick bit of conversion on my PC sorted that out.

The sound is acceptable. Punchy stereo speakers give more than enough volume, though there isn’t an audio-out, so you’ll need to use the headphone socket if you want to plug it into a stereo.

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On the whole, though, some minor picture quibbles aren’t enough to stop me from recommending the 42LH5000 to an average buyer. If you’re plugging in an HD source, expect it to look fantastic, particularly with the 200Hz refresh rate. Beware if you’re a heavy Wii gamer, because the lag proved irritating, but the majority of buyers would be very happy with LG’s latest effort.

You can pick up the LG 42LH5000 for £899 from Currys or about £100 pounds cheaper from somewhere slightly shadier.

TechDigest writer

42 comments

  • The poster states “though there isn’t an audio-out” but the picture just below this statement shows the Optical Audio Out connection…

    I also need to add that the lack of audio outs on any given display is of no concern whatsoever, simply avoid audio in alltogether and direct all audio sources to a single point of audio playback such as a surround sound receiver. The display does not ever need to be the source of audio anyways as the speakers on most every display currently produces are subpar performing due to space limitations created by manufacturers attempting to slim the displays as far as they can. To be honest, speakers in LCD/Plasma/LED TV’s should be eliminated as most users never bother with them in the first place unless you are connecting a Wii and can’t be bothered to out the audio to your surround sound system

  • The poster states “though there isn't an audio-out” but the picture just below this statement shows the Optical Audio Out connection…

    I also need to add that the lack of audio outs on any given display is of no concern whatsoever, simply avoid audio in alltogether and direct all audio sources to a single point of audio playback such as a surround sound receiver. The display does not ever need to be the source of audio anyways as the speakers on most every display currently produces are subpar performing due to space limitations created by manufacturers attempting to slim the displays as far as they can. To be honest, speakers in LCD/Plasma/LED TV's should be eliminated as most users never bother with them in the first place unless you are connecting a Wii and can't be bothered to out the audio to your surround sound system

  • Nice post. I study something on different blogs everyday. It should all the time be stimulating to read content material from different writers and apply a bit of something from their blog.

  • We’re a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with valuable info to paintings on. You have done a formidable process and our entire community shall be thankful to you.

  • I really love this tv. The size is perfect for a living room. This is why i like it so much. whistleblower protection act

  • I have a 37 in lg tv and have found the following

    1. You can activate the service only usb port and use a memory stick to play music , photographs , and video files

    2. The headphone socket can be used to plug in a PC speaker system , one woofer and 2 treble speakers

    3. There is an spdif output on the rear , but if you want to use this to power an amp you will need to connect a dac box , this will convert the digital output to analogue , maplins do one for £40 , you will also need an optical cable to plug into the dac box

    Tesco do a cheap optical cable

    4. If you have a scart connector you can pick off the audio lh rh by buying a modified scart connector with audio output for less than a tenner online and then plug it direct into your amp .

  • I have bought a 42 inch lcd lg and it’s been about four years from when I bought this now I have lines everywhere and the picture goes out.
    I gave it a lil wacked on the top the picture came back on perfect now its doing it again i can only watch if about 6 hours before it starts it’s fit again and i have to leave it off 6 hours
    whats with the lines and is it just better to go buy a better t.v
    does anyone know the cost to get this fixed cuz i paid lots of dollar for this t.v and when it works its awsome t.v

  • I set the Lcd to 200hz mode but when i press the Ok button on the remote it says 720p 50hz. Why is that? Thank u

  • Curry’s took my money and never supplied the tv…i have to chase them for my money…never buy from them!!!!!!!!!!

  • Just bought one of these today and have to say…Very impressive.
    Even non-HD sources are handled way better than my old Hitachi plasma.
    However, i have noticed that the centre of the screen has a bright(er) band running horizontally across it.
    Became a bit annoying when watching the beach scenes on Pirates of the Caribbean.
    Is this normal for cathode-lit lcdtv’s? Or do i need to make a phone call to the supplier (Digiland)?
    By the way, our xbox 360 works brilliantly via HDMI. Staggeringly good graphics and clarity!
    Thanks
    Gary

  • Just bought one of these today and have to say…Very impressive.
    Even non-HD sources are handled way better than my old Hitachi plasma.
    However, i have noticed that the centre of the screen has a bright(er) band running horizontally across it.
    Became a bit annoying when watching the beach scenes on Pirates of the Caribbean.
    Is this normal for cathode-lit lcdtv’s? Or do i need to make a phone call to the supplier (Digiland)?
    By the way, our xbox 360 works brilliantly via HDMI. Staggeringly good graphics and clarity!
    Thanks
    Gary

  • Features of Lcd is attractive and good some mobiole shop also provides 42-inch LCD TV with mobile phones it also a attractive offers of selling a phones.

  • I bought a LG 42LH5000 in Dec 2009. It has a horizontal shadow (darker area) through the middle third of the screen. It is worse when the screen colour is light or opaque. ie when playing the Wii when menu screen comes up. It is not the input signal as I get it with the built-in freeview, when playing a DVD or playing the Wii. It seems to get worse the longer the TV is on for. I have reported it to Currys, and they are sending out the Techguys to pick it up and take it for repair, so I will be without a TV for 2 weeks. And I don’t hole out much hope that they will fix it.
    Has any one else seen this problem with LG tv’s?

    • Hi,i have just reported exactly the same issue to Currys and got pretty much the same response.I have a vertical black line right of centre screen with a darker shaded area – its there no matter what input i use.Be good to know if anybody else has had the same issue and was it fixable?I also have the same ghosting in darker images and cant seem to get the settings right to get rid of it….not too impressed at the moment..

    • Just got the TV back today after it was at Currys repair centre for 3 weeks. It is exactly the same with the dark shadow through the centre. It doesn’t seem like they did anything to fix it.
      To say I am annoyed is an understatement. Going to get straight on the phone to them to let them know.

  • only 50 hz are goin trow hdmi cable up to 75 on vga so thats your ansver.200 hz is only efekt it realy donot hawe 200hz.

  • I have purchased LG LH500 Television 37 inch. I have noticed that LG says 200HZ but TV displays only 50HZ (by pressing ok button) when watching freeview or sky. Is there any solution to increase this to 200HZ. I’ve also tried advanced setting and enabled True Motion High but nothing to change and 50HZ remains same.

    If any MFG defect then LG users should be complaint LG for this to replace TV.

  • I have the LG 42 inch and it says No Input. it worked fine for 2 days and now this…. we bought a 47 inch and returned it because of this No Input warning and now the 42 inch is doing the same thing. can anyone help? email me please TorahGirlJen@aol.com if you know the answer

  • This Tv is quality but i also have problems.
    Firstly with gaming, i get the lagging effect on the likes of Cod and Fifa, its rather frustrating, Any ideas how to solve this.
    Secondly i also enjoy the sports and have noticed the blurred effect, and also the blur around slow moving objects HELP please.

  • Well I just purchased a LG 42 inch LCD 720 Megs and there is suddenly a vertical line going through the side of it?
    can it be fixed?
    approximately how much??
    There is a vertical line on it so what can i do to get it fixed?

  • I have recently purchased this TV and the picture quality is excellent for normal viewing. I am very disapointed that for sport (especially football and rugby)the players look blurred in the distance, I have tried altering the settings in standard and sports mode switching Trumotion from low to off and to high but the blurring is stil there. I would welcome any advice on how to improve this. I have Sky but not Sky HD.

  • I cant get my xbox to connect via hdmi it just keeps saying connecting and then says no signal. Has anyone else had this problem? I sent the first TV back as i thought it was faulty but the replacement does the same. I tried 3 sets hdmi leads but still wont connect.

  • Just bought one of these last week, and I am thoroughly impressed. Simple setup, brilliant looks, and good sound. I don’t do console games, so I can’t comment to that aspect, but the visuals in this thing are absolutely top-notch.

    Two thumbs up ).

    T

  • I have owned this TV for 3 months now, the picture quality is amazing, better than the Samsung 100Hz (Good friend’s got one). The complaints regarding pixelation is ONLY on non HD content or sourced from a non 200Hz specific source. Meaning Blueray on Truemotion is amazing, totally clear, no pixelation, whereas normal NON HD TV has to scale up the picture but its simply remedeed. In your settings on, lets say blueray, set the HDMI lable to Blueray and set Truemotion -High , on your sky box/digital set it for OFF or LOW for that particular HDMI input, the TV remembers each setting for each HDMI input so no messing about, as for gaming XBOX360 on 1080p looks BEAUTIFUL !!, no lag, lovely colours. Only doown side is the TV’s local sound system is really poor at low volume, to the point where you cant actually understand dialogue until you turn it up to at leats 5. Using the surround sound via optical eliminates this.

  • you all need to reset your tv,s back to normal and leave it to standard setting if you have problem thin it. anything is going to be better than the old stuff that you`ve had. ok my mean thing is the sound it,s a bit tinny but i set my to standard and turn the bass up to 85 the treble to 50 and the (srs) on plug your dvd & sky-P OR HD players to an amp or surround sound 5.1 . nintendo wii pluged in through the (av3) again every thing is fine. ALL THIS SET TO 50 HZ wish is all standard setting (don`t forget that sky hd only give`s out 100 hz)

  • Re comment from Nick (November 11 2009),

    I’m afraid I can’t comment re gaming as I just use my set for watching tv/dvds, but the one we have (we have had one for about two months now) does suffer noticeable ghosting on slow moving images – anybody walking slowly will often have ghosting around them, and there is noticeable judder in panning shots (such as across the trees in a forest etc).

    Conversely, it handles fast moving images (F1 motor racing etc) extremely well, and HD pictures (from Sky HD) and Bluray dvds are all excellent.

    I have tried changing just about every setting going but nothing seems to improve the situation.

    With hindsight I wish I had paid a bit more and bought a Sony, as these do not seem to suffer the same problems with movement.

    Hope this helps.

  • Does this TV have any issues with ghosting? It looks phenomenal, I’m just curious as to how it handles gaming. Can anyone comment about the picture for game consoles or high def video (blu-ray etc)?

  • i have recently purchased lg37 lh5000 picture quality is superb. but watching sky and dvds everything seems speeded up.

  • Hello, someones comment me that if you want to play wii or ps3 you have to disable true motion, and then the image is perfect! can someone try it and put a comment please? I want to buy this lcd but I need it to play wii. thanks!!

  • Sorry one more thing, don’t quite understand the “no audio out” comment as there’s optical and analog output on the TV (according to that last rear panel photo anyway). I guess anyone with a Sky+HD box or a receiver will take audio from that anyway 🙂

  • The vertical lines on the TV issue sounds more like “one too many couriers dropped this review TV” syndrome rather than a genuine issue with LG, which I’ve always found to have very high standards in quality control.

    Granted, the lag for sources such as Wii is going to be a pain.

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