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AOC L42H961
[Image: 299128_g10.jpg] [Image: 299128_g9.jpg]

[Image: 299128_g12.jpg] [Image: 299128_g11.jpg]

If you’re in search of an inexpensive, no-frills 42-inch 1080p LCD TV, you could do worse than the AOC L42H961 ($700 as of 12/11/09), but only if you aren’t into sports or any other programs that involve lots of fast motion.

In our juried PCWorld Labs tests, we gave the L42H961 generally high marks for its handling of contrast, brightness, color, and skin tones over a wide range of content. But its images lacked some sharpness and detail, and--perhaps because of its 60Hz refresh rate--it scored so poorly on our motion tests and benchmarks that its performance score placed it near the bottom of its test group. That group as a whole scored above average, though; and, again, for content that doesn’t involve fast motion, the AOC delivers perfectly acceptable image quality.

The set simulated surround sound reasonably well in my tests with the Blu-ray release of The Phantom of the Opera. Music sounded disappointingly soft and flat, however, so you may want to hook the set up to an external sound system via its optical- or stereo audio-out ports.

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