What is the LG 42LB700?
It's been a surprisingly slow start to the year as far as TVs are concerned.
Design and Connections
As with other LG TVs this year, the LB700 uses a 1.5m power cable with an unusual three-pin connector. At the left rear are a combination of rearward and sideways facing connections. There are three HDMI inputs and three USB ports facing sideways and these are positioned 28cm from the edge, so you won't have to worry abut unsightly cables poking out from the side. Facing towards the rear you'll find aerial and satellite connectors, an Ethernet port, a headphone socket and various legacy connections.
LG continue to use their passive approach to 3D, which they have christened 'Cinema 3D' and thus include a couple of pairs of plastic passive glasses. The great thing about passive, aside from the lack of batteries and flicker, is that the glasses are very cheap and in fact, if you have any RealD glasses from the cinema, you can use those as well. You can also buy optional Dual Gaming glasses, which is another inventive implementation of the passive 3D technology.
As is always the case with LG TVs, the best picture mode to use from an image accuracy perspective is either of the ISF settings. These picture modes default to the best colour and white balance settings and turn the majority of the image processing, leaving a picture that will come closest to the industry standards. The are some some recommended settings posted here.
The white balance controls proved highly effective and because of the initial accuracy we just went straight to the 20-point control to fine tune the greyscale. We quickly had a reference performance in terms of greyscale, with equal amounts of red, green and blue, no discolouration and errors that are all below one. The LB700 also includes a CMS that allows for control of the hue, saturation and luminance of the primary and secondary colour, so we were able to improve the accuracy still further.
However, as with previous LG models we found that actually using the CMS introduced artefacts into the image but once the greyscale had been calibrated the colour accuracy was excellent, aside from the previously mentioned error in blue. The tracking of the colours at lower saturation points was also good, aside from an under-stauration in red and blue at the 50-75% range. This didn't really impact on the accuracy of the colours with actual viewing material and in our clipping tests the LB700 performed well.
The LB700 uses an IPS panel, which means it has a wider optimum viewing angle but the downside is that the native blacks aren't as good as a TV that uses a VA panel. Having said that, the blacks actually measured at 0.10cd/m2 which is pretty good for an IPS panel and the LB700 had no problems hitting 120cd/m2. The ANSI contrast ratio measured at 775:1 without using the local dimming, which is mediocre but the backlight uniformity was good, with an even appearance and no obvious clouding or bright corners and edges. There was some occasional banding visible on camera pans but for most viewing it wasn't apparent. The use of the local dimming didn't appear to affect the banding but in its Low setting it worked very well, resulting in images that had solid blacks but still managed to retain shadow detail.
As we would expect from an LG TV, the video processing was excellent on the LB700. The deinterlacing and scaling was impressive, as was the motion adaptive deinterlacing and the LB700 had no trouble with 2:3 or 2:2 cadence. It also handled mixed film and video material well and was just as effective with 1080i content, deinterlacing the material without any issues. When we moved on to 24p content, the results were just as good and overall this was an excellent performance from the LB700. The motion handling was also reasonable, measuring around 300 on the FPD Benchmark Test. However, if you feel that motion has too much blur or judder for you tastes, then TruMotion can be be a very effective option. Although as always, we would never recommend using TruMotion with film-based material.
In the ISF mode, with all the extra processing features turned off, we measured the input lag at a hefty 109ms. However switching to the Game mode immediately got this down to a more respectable 47ms, which is fine for most people, although still rather high for the dedicated gamer. As with other LG TVs we've seen recently, renaming the input PC brought the lag down to a respectable 35ms, which is much better. We found gaming on our PS4 to be a hugely enjoyable experience with the LB700, the high-def graphics and higher frame rate were nicely rendered and motion was well handled without any apparent lag.
- Standby: 0W
- Out-of-the-Box – Normal Mode: 63W
- Calibrated – Professional Mode: 49W
- Calibrated - 3D Mode: 61W
LG 42LB700 Video Review
LG 42LB700 Picture Quality
The combination of a full LED array backlight and local dimming was also quite effective, with the LB700 performing well during the day and at night. The blacks in dark scenes looked suitably deep without crushing detail and there was minimal haloing, as long as you stuck to the Low setting. The backlight was nicely uniform, with no apparent clouding or bright corners or edges, even in dark scenes when watching at night. In fact our only real criticism is the occasional banding that was visible with camera pans, usually when watching the football where the camera is constantly panning across the pitch. This seems to be a common issue with full array backlights, where the LED are directly behind the screen, but we'd probably prefer it to the clouding and bright corners of edge-lit displays.
The LB700 uses passive 3D, so you get all the usual advantages of that approach including cheap glasses, no batteries or recharging, no flicker and an absence of crosstalk. We really like the passive approach because it makes sense for smaller TVs, where the loss of resolution caused by the polarised filter isn't apparent at any sensible viewing distance. Just how immersive a 3D picture on a 42-inch will be is debatable but at least the 3D images were suitably detailed, with plenty of depth and real pop. Old favourites like Life of Pi looked suitably natural, motion was well handled and the lack of flicker or crosstalk meant that you were never distracted from enjoying the whole 3D experience. Now that the popularity of 3D is waning, the use of passive technology makes even greater sense due to its limited cost.
- Accurate colours and greyscale
- Good backlight uniformity
- Effective local dimming
- Impressive video processing
- Great 3D
- webOS is superb
- Attractive design
- Excellent build quality
- Wide viewing angles
- Decent input lag
- Native blacks are mediocre
- Occasional banding
- CMS still buggy
LG 42LB700V (LB700) TV Review
Of course, this all means nothing if the picture quality isn't up to scratch but thankfully the LB700 delivers a great performance right out-of-the-box. After a quick setup the image accuracy was immediately apparent with natural colours and great video processing. The use of a full array backlight means good uniformity, with only some occasional banding to spoil the party. The IPS panel provides a wide viewing angle and the local dimming deepens the blacks without crushing shadow detail or adding haloing. Motion handling was also good for an LCD panel and there's the option of TruMotion for fast moving sport.
As a result of getting all the basics right, the LB700 delivered a great picture with both standard and high definition content and Blu-rays, in particular, looked spectacular with accurate colours and plenty of detail. The use of passive 3D makes perfect sense given the formats waning popularity and the LB700 produced flicker-free images with plenty of depth. Overall the LB700 gets most things right and even throws in some state-of-the-art smart features for good measure. If you're looking for a new TV, the LG 42LB700V is worthy of inclusion on your short list.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
3D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
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