It’s been to days now spent with my new LCD LG 42LD550 and the overall impressions tend towards the top side of “mixed”. Don’t get me wrong, if we talk image quality, this LCD blows away many plasma TV’s. However, in terms of options, for a 2010 model the LD550 series leaves a lot to be desired.
On the pro side, the 42LD55o HD 1080p boasts with image quality. The black levels are great and the angles were surprisingly wide. I have a love-hate relationship with my LG 24 inch LED I used on my desktop computer exactly due to rather poor angles on the vertical (even though the horizontal is more than decent). But on the TV, the blacks start to gray out way off the center. The out-of-the box images are crisp, sharp, well defined and allow you to see the full scope of what HD is all about. Once there, there’s no going back to DVD I’m afraid.
The TV does plenty (save for coffee, much needed during movie marathons – when are we going to get that kind of functionality?) and in terms of audio/video it is everything. In terms of connectivity, however, there are severe mishaps.
- no LAN port, no way to connect to your local network – the stupidity of LG is incredible as the US version of the 42LD550 has a LAN port
- no WiFi dongle support through USB – the AN-WF100 dongle from LG works only on the US version, not the European one.
- you can get NetCast only through the WiFi media center from LG, which is big and expensive
- no DivX/MKV support through the USB – that’s right, you can only play music and photos from an USB drive, no video! This is strange, because not only this is available on the US version but also the device has the capability, but it is blocked in the service menu. Hacks are available but the stupidity of LG remains
- only 3 HDMI ports. Basically you get your TV box in, your game console, your BluRay player … and that’s it. If your console is a PS3, however, you can throw the BluRay player away as well as the LG WiFi mediacenter.
Fortunately for me, the Freebox provided by French media services provider Free.fr offers about the same DivX/MKV player abilities as the TV itself. The disadvantage, however, is that TrueMotion refresh rates are not available in this manner.
Overall, the device is beautiful and I find that the range between 42 and 52 inches is the perfect size for a normal livingroom. If you don’t mind relying on third-party devices for your Internet and DivX capabilities, then you simply must consider the 42LD550 from LG as for its price, the image quality blows competition away. However, the bitter taste of leaving out these two from the LD550 puts a big question mark on the LG brand.