LG 42SL9000 42in LED-backlit TV
Ultra thin and frameless too, apparently
When a USB device is connected, a screen pops up allowing the selection of photos, music and video – the first restricted to JPG and MP3 respectively – and then a file browser lets you choose what you want to open. Our test files worked fine, but it’s a great shame that there’s no Ethernet. DLNA or even SMB support would make this much more useful, and AVC HD is an annoying omission for camcorder owners.
Good visual performance, but needs companion gear to get the most out it
The other curious connectivity option is Bluetooth. The 42SL9000 can display photos that you send from your phone using Bluetooth, which is handy, and it can also connect to a Bluetooth headset, including A2DP, so you can use the same headphones you take on the tube to watch TV late at night without disturbing people. It can also receive music with A2DP, in theory allowing you to play music from your phone through the TV’s speakers. Alas, we were unable to make that work with the Nokia E72 we had to hand.
If you’re a home automation sort of person, you might also fancy tinkering with the serial port; LG’s manual provides a detailed description of the protocol and commands, though we can’t see many ordinary users venturing down that route; the device manual is only on CD, incidentally, though a basic guide is available on-screen.
All in all, this is a well performing set – as far as it goes. It would make a great pairing for a Sky HD box, or a FreeviewHD recorder when they arrive next year. But those who want a one box HD solution, or network access to their PC media, will be a little disappointed.
The 42SL9000 is a great looking TV set – aside from that bright power light – the produces very good pictures. If you have HD sources, it’s well worth a look. But it’s a shame there are no HD tuners built in and that the otherwise capable media playback is limited to USB, rather than having a network link. ®
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