Like most TV manufacturers LG is eagerly promoting the virtues of both 4K resolution and OLED technology, but the steady quality improvements the Korean company has made to its mainstream products in recent years are, if anything, even more noteworthy. The 3D-capable, LED-backlit and Smart-enabled 42LM660T seems to offer an extraordinary range of abilities for a comparatively modest price. In fact, it looks too good to be true – but is it?
Passive 3D included
LG’s a firm advocate of the virtues of passive 3D technology, and whatever the relative merits of the passive-v-active debate, there’s no disputing the value advantage that passive confers. The 42LM660T comes with five pairs of 3D glasses in the box, enough for the whole family, while optional Dual Play glasses (around £15 for a pack of two) allow two viewers to play split-screen games on the same TV, each seeing a single full-screen image.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that this LG was much more expensive (and in fairness, it was projected to cost closer to £1000 at launch). Its bezel is ultra-slim, its svelte stand only adding to the impression of class and desirability. You get LG’s unusual gesture-based Magic Remote in the box too, which offers Wii-style motion control over the set’s extensive menus and online services. A more conventional handset is also included just in case, while an Android/iOS control app is also available.
Plenty of network capability
Built-in Wi-Fi means the 42LM660T can be online in moments, and its streaming portal is well up to class standards. You get iPlayer, Acetrax, Blinkbox, LoveFilm and Netflix access, plus access to plenty of information, music and gaming apps. A web browser is included, and you can replay a wide range of file types over your network via DLNA or via USB. Finally, plug in an external HDD and 42LM660T functions as a basic Freeview PVR, complete with a programmable calendar-based schedule for your recordings.
Good all-round picture quality
The LG’s Freeview HD tuner is fine. It’s occasionally a little soft with standard-definition TV, but detail is excellent with high-def content. The set’s LED backlighting affords it decent contrast and brightness too, at least for its price: you’ll find some more expensive TVs have better insight into the darkest parts of the murkiest movies, but for what you’re paying, the 42LM660T is perfectly acceptable. The only downside is its lightweight sound quality, although that’s a common problem in modern TVs.
Brilliant in 3D
As we’ve already mentioned, some will argue that passive 3D isn’t the enthusiast’s choice (because in 1080p-resolution TVs it doesn’t deliver true 1080p 3D). Maybe so, but we still found the LG superbly watchable, whether gaming, watching 3D movies or catching the big match. Its glasses are very light and comfortable, and its 3D images appear both impressively clean and comfortable to watch for extended periods. So there.
The 42LM660T does everything most people could reasonably need or want their TV to do, and yet doesn’t cost a fortune. It looks great too, either on its stand or attached to the wall. And best of all, its picture performance is well up to par, both in 2D and 3D. Team it with a decent home cinema system and you’ll still have change from a grand, and that has to make it a nailed-on bargain.