LG 42LS5700 LED TV Review
LG's mid-range LS5700 offers the same great smart features for less.
When it comes to smart TV platforms, all of us at TelevisionInfo are huge fans of what LG created. Some consumers may be turned off by the high price that some of LG's higher-end models command, but fear not: The LS5700 series provides all of the same smart features for less. The 42-inch model that we tested has an MSRP of $1,099, but can be found for as little as $700. While it may not include everything that high-end models include, the LS5700 offers good color consistency and a decent contrast in addition to its internet content.
The LS5700 offers modern style for less.
LG made a name for itself with its modern TV designs—check out the LM9600 and the LM6700 for proof. The LS5700 continues this trend, although it offers something a bit different from those higher-end TVs. The actual screen, while slim in profile, has more of a bezel. The stand is the biggest departure: Where the LM9600 and LM6700 have metallic, ribbon-styled bases, the LS5700 has a plastic stand with the middle cut out. The result is still an attractive TV, though.
There are ample connections on the LG LS5700, located on the right-side if viewing the TV from the back. All of the basic HDTV connections are included: three HDMI inputs, three USB ports, an adapter for a component input, an audio input, a VGA input, an ethernet jack, an antenna input, and a digital audio output (S/PDIF). These ports were all easy to access, plus the LS5700 swivels.
Smart TV Features
As usual, LG's smart platform shines.
Out of all the smart TV platforms on the market, LG's has the best user interface. The home screen resembles a smartphone interface: there are plenty of apps, represented by square icons, to click on. Yes, you can click on them with the included Magic Remote, which is a lot like Nintendo's Wiimote. This motion-controlled remote allows you to point at any app or setting on the screen and click on it. It may seem like too much work, but it is implemented very well.
Some of the more recognizable apps on LG's smart platform include Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Vudu, Facebook, and Twitter. Unfortunately, not all apps are created equal. Netflix and Hulu Plus function quite well, but Vudu is pretty useless—there is nothing worthwhile to see on this app. The YouTube app included on most smart TVs is awful too, since it offers less content than the PC and mobile versions. As for Facebook and Twitter, I still haven't found any TV that merges social media with the art of watching television successfully. Stick to your smartphones.
Deep blacks and good color consistency make for a solid picture.
While having a great smart platform is a huge bonus for the LS5700, having a good picture is better—and I'm happy to report that this mid-range LG performs very well in the picture quality department.
Black levels were very deep, while the peak white levels were quite bright. This black/white differentiation, called contrast ratio, can help show a more detailed picture. Colors performed strongly, too. There was a smooth transition from one shade of a color to the next; whether red, green, or blue, the LS5700 handled these color transitions very well.
One area that this LG didn't do so well in was motion performance, though. With motion processing settings turned off, fast-moving images suffered some noticeable blur. With motion processing turned on, awful examples of the Soap Opera Effect occured: people in movies and TV shows appeared to move slightly quicker and smoother than normal.
Simply put, this is a great smart TV for less.
LG impressed us with the 42LS5700. For a TV that sells for as little as $700, it produces very good colors and a fantastic contrast ratio—_and_ it comes with LG's excellent smart platform.
Despite the sometimes iffy motion performance, this TV is a solid purchase for those interested in taking the plunge into the world of smart TVs. At the very least, it'll look good in your living room.
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