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LG 42LE5500 - A Plethora of Goodness
Smart TVs are going to be a common term in the future and things to be in motion already. Smart TVs are going to transform the image of TVs from being just idiot boxes.
LG 42LE5500 - a slim LED-backlit TV with a whole bunch of features
Expect to see features that allow users to access information from the web and allow better interaction with the device. LG, like some of the manufacturers has been releasing a few smart TVs. The new 42LE5500 from the LE5500 series of LED backlit TVs is one of them.
LG has managed to fill the LE5500 to the brim with features. We can easily leave aside the LED-backlighting and full HD resolution support details.
The 42LE5500 comes with four HDMI ports which should suffice if you have a HD DTH service, two gaming consoles and even a HTPC. This means no need to disconnect existing connections to attach others. Most of these ports are lined along the rear of the display and one connector on the side. You’re likely to run into problems connecting cables to the rear connections panel if you wallmount this TV. It’s a very sleek TV and there’s bound to be very little space once you mount it on the wall.
Pretty much every connectivity option you'll need
There’s even a 3.5 mm analog headphone port on the side as well as Bluetooth support if you want to pair it with a headset. Unlike some other TVs that can handle playback of media, this one comes with two ports, both present on the side.
One of the key features is Netcast that allows users to access web content in a simplified manner. The TV supports sites such as Facebook, Twitter and a couple of news sites as well. The media playback feature called My Media that allows users to connect flash drives and hard drives and play media off of them works well. Switching between each one of these features is simple. However, it’s not possible to switch from the My Media to Netcast though. There’s even a user manual on the TV. There are some basic games as well. There are some latency issues and the games are really simple. We don’t see many users playing these games very often.
Design and Build quality
Characteristics of previous LG TVs can be easily seen on this TV. The design is pretty looking and it has the same embedded red colour within the bezel of the screen. The panel at the back is made of metal which adds to its strength of the frame. The user interface is very colourful and it’s only a matter of minutes before you figure out all the controls. Controls on the remote are very well mapped to the interface.
Solid stand to keep the 42LE5500 display planted
The video quality of the 42LE5500 is very good for the most part. Firstly, colours are rendered beautifully and there is no sign of blurring or delayed backlighting on this TV. The controls on the remote for the backlight level, contrast and brightness are extremely reactive. It’s fairly easy to calibrate the TV to its ideal setting.
Backlighting on the 42LE5500 isn’t excellent. While, it’s not as dark as we’d like, the backlighting is evenly spread so you don’t see spots of bright lighting in some areas of the display. The darkness levels are only visible when you turn off the lights in the room. With some ambient light, it’s not very visible. It is visible when you turn off the lights in the room and view the display from extreme angles.
Second connector panel for easy access if you wallmount the TV
One of the few complaints we have about the 42LE5500 is its average sound quality. A thin display means that it’s plagued with the same problems faced by most LED-backlit displays. The speakers on the 42LE5500 are tiny and are pointed downwards. There is little or close to no bass from the speakers. While details are rendered well, the speakers lack a punch. The experience while watching action movies is severely hampered. We highly recommend buying a separate speaker to compliment the 42LE5500.
Video playback of content from attached storage drives is excellent. We threw videos spanning a wide variety of formats and codecs at it and it performed flawlessly. Normally, one expects the inbuilt media playback feature too only play standard definition AVI files encoded in Xvid. In this, case it handled everything from the AVI files to high-definition MKVs. Files with DTS audio streams that require a hardware decoder do not work. Quality of photographs was excellent.
The media playback feature is extremely stable. We noticed no slowdown or performance drops. The TV does heat up in a couple of areas. One of them is towards the top and the other hotspot is the connector panel.
The LG 42LE5500 sells at a MRP price of Rs. 87,990, but the market price is expected to be closer to Rs. 70,000. It is more expensive than most standard 42-inch LCD TVs. Considering the kind of features such as the media playback function as well as web services, it does pack in a whole load of features. Normally, you’d expect the price of such as a TV to be closer to the Rs. 1,00,000 mark. If you’re looking for a TV that has a complete media playback solution built into it, you will find few options this good. Apart from the speakers and the backlighting issues, we have few complaints.