LG 42LA690V Smart TV Review

LG 42LA690V

I recently decided to upgrade from my old LG TV which was starting to make some funny buzzing sounds and wasn’t a smart TV.  My previous TV was 37” LG TV, the replacement is the LG 42LA690V, a 42” smart TV.  I was worried about the size difference, but in fact because my old TV had a massive surround the new LG 42LA690V didn’t take up any more room but offered a lot more picture in the same space.

I looked around at a number of options, finally narrowing it down to a choice of either Samsung or LG.  What eventually swung it for me was the following:

  • Online reviews said the LG interface was better all round experience
  • LG ‘wand’ remote sounded better than the Samsung motion tracking remote
  • As a gamer the LG duel play option sounded handy

I’ve not been disappointed.  The picture quality of the LG 42LA690V is outstanding, a big step up from my old TV.  Sound quality is OK, but I’m always a little disappointed with TV speakers as I’ve had a good surround sound system for years.

There has been a curious problem when using the LG 42LA690V with my existing Onkyo receiver, there is often a really poor lip sync problem.  This wasn’t a problem with the old TV and I’ve not yet found a way to completely fix it, there are lip syncing options on the amp but they never seems to fix it permanently.  That’s really been the only negative of the TV I’ve found after several months of use.

The wand remote is absolutely brilliant, if you’ve used a Nintendo Wii you’ll know exactly how easy it is to use.  The wand controls a cursor on screen which you can move around to click the on screen buttons, very easy.  The interface is set up with big buttons, looking like a touch screen interface, which makes using the wand very easy.

The 3D aspect, while not used much, is really good.  You get 4 pairs of passive glasses and they work really well.  Being passive the glasses are nice and light, can easily fit over your existing specs, and look like they’ll be cheap to replace should anything unfortunate happen to a pair.

You also get 2 sets of Duel Play glasses.  These server 2 purposes, the first, intended, purpose is to allow you to play 2 player games full screen on a single screen.  This works really well, the TV expands your section of the screen in full and the glasses are designed to only see either the left hand picture or the right, but not both.  It’s hard to explain how well this works, check out the video for a demo.

The second purpose is rather unintentional, but well worth highlighting.  Lets say you want to watch a 3D film, but someone else doesn’t like it in 3D, what do you do?  You pop on the 3D specs, they pop on the Duel Play specs, this causes you see it in 3D, they see it in 2D, and everyone is happy!

The smart side of the LG 42LA690V is brilliant, it comes with all the basics to get you started such as Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer etc, and also works with NAS drives, allowing you to watch your own media.  So far it’s worked with all different file formats I’ve thrown at it.  If you don’t have a Sky+/TiVO/recording box then you’re in for a treat, you can plug a USB hard drive in and record TV, as a TiVO owner this isn’t a feature I’ve tried, but good to see it as an option.

LG really have packed a lot of technology into the LG 42LA690V.  You get a fantastic picture, a premium design, lots of smart functionality, and a remote so intuitive you wonder why no TV maker has tried it before.  Issues with lip syncing are an annoyance, but it’s not clear if this is due to the TV or the amp.  All in all this is a fantastic TV set, you’ll be really happy with it.


Self confessed gadget lover who has a day job at Verastar Ltd and a hobby of writing and filming reviews that are published on YouTube and Reviewify.co.uk.