Because of its middle-of-the road status, the LG 42LM660T is easy to miss when you're short-listing TVs. Even within LG's own ranks it's sandwiched between a bewildering roster of similarly specified models. But as it transpires, this forward-thinking £850 flatscreen is well worth auditioning. See also: group test: what's the best 3D TV?

The model reviewed here is a 42-incher, but if you need more glass there are 47in and 55in versions also available (the £1050 47LM660T and £1430 55LM650T respectively).

As with other 2012 LGs, cosmetics are crowd-pleasing. The LG 42LM660T comes with a black plastic variation on the sculptured metal pedestal seen further up the food chain, while the minimal bezel makes the panel easy to accommodate. The set is just a sniff over 33mm thin.

Magic RemoteTwo remotes are supplied with the LG 42LM660T, a generic LG infrared job and the latest version of the brand's Bluetooth Magic Remote, which now sports a scrollwheel to better navigate online content.

Connectivity is excellent for the price. The LG 42LM660T has four side-mounted HDMIs (one ARC compliant), a PC D-Sub input, component and composite AV, SCART (via adaptor) plus a digital optical audio output and mini-jack audio input.

In addition to ethernet, Wi-Fi comes embedded, along with WiDi/Wi-Fi Direct for non-network local connection. There are also three USB ports onboard (useful) and a CI slot (not so much).

LG 42LM660T: user interface

LG's TV user interface remains one of the slickest around, the brand's heaving online portal cleverly melded into the dashboard itself.

LG 42LM6600T

Apps are arranged into navigational blocks. BBC iPlayer, Blinkbox, LoveFilm, KnowHow Movies (the Currys/PC World online rental service), Netflix, Acetrax and YouTube head the streaming pack, and there's plenty more where that lot came from. Your network shares, NAS drives and PCs are also within clicking distance. Codec support is solid both from local USB and across the LAN, with MKV, VOB, AVI, WMV and MOV files all playable.

Picture performance gets the thumbs up, provided you ignore both the set's Intelligent Sensor and Picture Wizard – both misnomers. The LED edge-lighting, with LED Plus controlled dimming, does a good job maintaining backlight uniformity.

Pictures are madly dynamic, with blacks rewardingly deep. The Dark Knight looks his best when Dynamic Contrast is set low, as this keeps sparkling pixel noise low. Colours ping, although reds veer a little toward orange.

If there is a caveat with the screen's performance, it's motion resolution. There's 400Hz TruMotion processing available, but it doesn't bequeath much of a crispy edge. With TruMotion off, the set can only manage around 650 lines of motion resolution. Even with TruMotion on Smooth or Clear there's not much evidence of improvement.

The best results are gleaned through the customisable User setting, with De-Judder ramped up – this delivers around 900 lines. But this improvement in clarity brings smudgy artefacts. For most content (movies, general TV) these aren't too obvious, but could lead to some bleary sports coverage.

The set's passive polarised 3D is perfectly entertaining. A party pack of four lightweight glasses are included in the box, plus a pair of clip-ons. While there's a loss of definition caused by the FPR filter, stereoscopic images are bright and have plenty of depth. The TV's 2 x 10w sound system is better than you might expect for such a thinscreen, making a decent mid-band noise.

LG 42LM660T: Specs

  • 42in LCD TV
  • 1920 x 1080 pixel
  • stereo speakers and 2 x 10W amp
  • Freeview HD tuner
  • 7-day EPG
  • 4 x HDMI, 1 x SCART, 1 x Component, 1 x composite, PC VGA mini D-Sub
  • digital audio coaxial S/PDIF, headphone jack, phono stereo outputs
  • 10/100 ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi integrated
  • 3 x USB 2.0, CI slot
  • 100W average power consumption
  • 1063 x 628 x 33.4mm (whd, without stand)
  • 15.2kg
  • 42in LCD TV
  • 1920 x 1080 pixel
  • stereo speakers and 2 x 10W amp
  • Freeview HD tuner
  • 7-day EPG
  • 4 x HDMI, 1 x SCART, 1 x Component, 1 x composite, PC VGA mini D-Sub
  • digital audio coaxial S/PDIF, headphone jack, phono stereo outputs
  • 10/100 ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi integrated
  • 3 x USB 2.0, CI slot
  • 100W average power consumption
  • 1063 x 628 x 33.4mm (whd, without stand)
  • 15.2kg

OUR VERDICT

For most buyers, the 42in LM660T ticks all the right boxes. It looks pretty, has an enviable specification with excellent IPTV and file streaming facilities and dazzles with brightly hued, contrasty images. Sure it's not great with fast motion, but then few LCD screens at this price point are. All things considered, well worth seeking out.

Find the best price