- Top build quality
- Great SD to HD upscaling
- Dual Freesat HD Tuner
- Feature rich 3D Smart TV
- Limited catch-up TV services
- Minor picture tearing
- Mediocre blacks in low light
Full Review – LG 42LF652V
Boasting an IPS panel with direct LED backlighting, the LG 42LF652V has superb colour range and vibrancy which makes for viewing pleasure. In low light conditions it is evident that the LF65 series cannot display the truest blacks, which can be frustrating in typically dark programs like Game of Thrones, but performs admirably compared to similar sets in the same price range.
The real strength of the display is through its SD to HD upscaling in which I have never seen a TV perform so well; this is great news for TV lovers with the majority of channels still in SD and even HD channels only displaying 720p content. In fast panning shots occasionally seen in games or films, there are some signs of screen tearing, but this doesn’t reduce the overall viewing experience. Gaming performance as a whole was strong, with both my PS4 and Xbox One benefiting from the high refresh rate and low input lag.
Despite its low price, make no mistake that this is a high-end unit and comes fully equipped with Passive 3D technology. It may not be to everyone’s liking, but 3D does gives truly immersive viewing experience when paired with the right film and something this TV does well. Whilst the latest and very expensive models use Active 3D technology, I find it typically gives a less enjoyable experience with more crosstalk and isn’t pleasant to view for extended durations; not to mention the need for batteries in your glasses! The LG 42LF652V on the other hand uses Passive 3D and comes with 2 pairs of glasses, so whether your a 3D buff or trying it for the first time, you’re ready to have a great experience straight away.
Equipped with 2 x 10W stereo speakers, the LG has enough power to fill even larger rooms with its built in sound solution. Whilst at this price range I would expect to need an external solution like a sound bar/base, it did surprise me by providing decent sound for general viewing. You have the choice of three options in the sound optimiser, with the ability to configure your TV set to work best when on its stand or when wall mounted. This provides a noticeable improvement when wall mounted which is great to see as it is often a point overlooked by other manufacturers. Despite this, for the audiophiles out there, I would always recommend an external solution, and this TV has optical audio out to suit these needs.
LG has always suffered with its software when compared to its rivals and it is no different for the LF65 series. For the most part the setup, menus and TV guide are spot on, giving exactly what you need in a responsive, timely manner, however there are a few pet peeves than can cause frustration. The most noticeable on this set for me was the small channel preview in the guide, which would only start playing after around 1 second, and so when loading the guide it would cut out all sound and audio for quite a jarring experience, but this is far better than on my own LG 49UF675V, which doesn’t have a preview at all, so still a step in the right direction! The dual core processor and 1.5Gb of memory enables a relatively smooth and enjoyable run through the TV’s smart features.
Put simply, this TV has it all. Passive 3D, external recording, Wi-Fi, plentiful HDMI/USB connectivity, sound optimiser, 2D to 3D conversion (it’s not great), attractive and easy to use webOS Smart TV platform and compatible with the LG Magic Remote, although sadly not included. For me personally as a gamer, the most interesting feature was Dual Play, which enabled you to play your PS4 or Xbox One in dual-player mode without having to play split screen. Using its 3D panel (and a pair of dual play glasses, sold separately) I was able to view my player full screen and so was my friend, but we couldn’t see each others; a very clever piece of tech which made for a fun night of gaming.