LG 42-inch LV3730 LCD TV - Smart Agent

Launch SRP: S$1499

Design & Features

Design

After assembling the display unit, we realized how much the LV3730 resembles LG's previous LD5300 series. Similar to the LD5300, the LV3730 also sports a glossy black bezel and a matte screen surface. Judging from its front panel design, you might even mistake the LV3730 for a CCFL model if not for its skinny 30mm girth notable on its sides. Instead of a red strip lined below the bezel, such as the one found on the LD5300, you'll find a neat blue strip in its place which we reckon to be LG's Patterned Crystal Bottom Deco. Like most LG HDTV offerings, this particular model swivels as well. And though we aren't enthusiastic about touch-sensitive controls on tellies, this is what the LV3730 has to offer on the lower edge of its frame in place of hardware buttons.

LG didn't pull any surprises with its LV3730 package. Out of the box, you'll find the panel itself plus a glossy stand and backplate. The TV is relatively stable after assembly without signs of excessive wobble. To add, swiveling is possible with this model.

As mentioned, you might think the LV3730 is a CCFL-lit LCD TV instead of an LED edge-lit model when viewed from the front. When in doubt, just take a look at its 30mm side profile to convince yourself once more of its edge LED heritage.

A thin blue border lines the lower bezel of the LV3730, otherwise known as Patterned Crystal Bottom Deco as christened by LG. While the blue accents are rather obvious in this picture, they are less perceptible in reality.

You might need to rely on these guys should you lose your remote. The LV3730 is equipped with touch-sensitive buttons on its black bezel. Expect the standard fare such as channel and volume controls, as well as an Enter (OK), Home and Input selections. Sadly, they don't self-illuminate though.

Moving past its general design, we check out the connectivity options. It's business as usual on the analog front, comprising of two composite ports and a single component input. At the digital end, there are three HDMI slots in total, with HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) implemented on the HDMI1 connector for upstream audio feeds to the receiver. Best of all, the USB port is compatible with both Flash drives and mechanical hard disks. 

 Situated behind the panel are a single component and two composite ports. That's also more than enough to handle legacy and analog equipment such as a Wii or a basic DVD player. Other offerings include an Ethernet port, digital audio out (optical), RF input, RGB In (VGA) and RS-232C ports.

The LV3730's side panel is slightly recessed, so it's best to wire the necessary AV equipment before wall-mounting the display. While we believe three HDMI ports are sufficient for average digital requirements, the TV's single USB inlet isn't enough if you opt for the Magic Motion remote as well.

Of course, the real star of the show has to be LG's stylish Magic Motion wand which you can opt to accompany the standard remote. To get the Magic wand to work, however, you'll need the RF-based Magic Motion Dongle which requires use of the TV's solitary USB slot. In other words, tough luck if you'd like to access your external USB drives concurrently. If only it was integrated within the cabinet of the TV, this issue could have been neatly avoided. We also noticed LG has removed the Menu button typically found on its standard remote. To access the TV's advanced settings, you'll have to use the "soft" Setup button found on the Smart TV's Home page.

Shown here are the standard remote (left) and optional Magic Motion wand. That little square box is the Magic wand's dongle or receiver which requires a USB connection to the TV. The Magic pointing stick also comes with basic options such as a circular D-pad (when used as a regular remote), a Home button and volume controls.

 

Features

Observably, changes have been made to the remote and TV's user interface to accommodate the Smart TV aspect. The current Menu button won't lead you to the TV's configuration menu . Rather, you'll land on the "Home Dashboard", which also acts as a holding area for the LV3730's Smart TV features. On the left is a mini screen showing the active channel or input, followed by Premium and Smart Share "cards" by its side. Fundamentally, useful applications such as Facebook, Twitter, CNBC News and Google Maps can be found on the Premium card. Video streaming, on the other hand, is limited to sites such as Viewster, YouTube and MLB TV. According to LG, additional apps can be downloaded from LG Apps store, but note that local access will only be available later this year, possibly in Q3. Here's another strange instruction found on the user manual. To register as a "paid member", you'll have to log in from your computer, and not via the TV. Anyway, if surfing the big bad web is your thing, you might want to know the LV3730's web browser managed to tackle most sites we've tried, although we did experience intermittent loading errors with Flash-based content. 

 Home Dashboard - As anticipated, LG did not disappoint given their track record for attractive user interfaces. While DLNA devices can be accessed from the Smart Share column, you'll need to install LG's Plex Media Server on any of the networked PCs in order to pull media properties such as plot synopsis and film ratings automatically from the web.

LG has a bevy of pre-installed apps available such as Facebook, YouTube and Picasa on its "Premium" page. There are also games catered for the young at heart such as Spot The Not. Unfortunately, we are unable to access LG Apps at this point in time to check out the rest of LG's software offerings.

Surfing the web on a 42-inch display is quite an experience. Sadly, LG still has some refinements to make to its web browser's support for Flash-based content. Soccernet's top banner managed to load, but the advertising banner in between Quick Links and Live Scores failed to do so. If we may add, it is so much easier, if not faster, to navigate web content with the Magic remote at hand.

Apart from LG's recent Smart TV implementations, little has changed in terms of their picture configuration. We found a collection of familiar picture presets, such as Intelligent Sensor, Vivid, Standard, Cinema, Game, and two Expert presets as endorsed by the Imaging Science Foundation. For those who lack proper calibration tools, there's also the handy Picture Wizard to get your display up to speed. Sound wise, we're glad LG has retained its vocal boosting Clear Voice II enhancement. More on this attribute when we check out our own test media. And given that the LV3730 has so-called Smart capabilities, it is appreciable LG's software updates can be enabled or disabled under the TV's Support tab. As for USB playback, we weren't surprised CODECs such as DivX and Xvid did not faze the TV as well. Video formats we've tried include 720p MKV and MPEG-4 files.

LG has one of the most streamlined and attractive user interfaces amongst the big brands. And it's a good sign they're continuing that tradition on their latest LV series. The Expert preset also gives you access to the TV's CMS (Color Management System) for advanced color gamut adjustments.

We aren't sure how often does LG push out their software updates, but the TV has remained at version 03.05.07 for the past few days. To enable or disable the update option, look for it under the Support tab.

8.0
Design
8
HD Performance
7
SD Performance
8
Features
9
Value
8
The Good
Decent motion processing
Pristine audio quality
Useful Smart TV features
The Bad
Inconsistent backlighting
Average contrast levels