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Finlux 42FME242S-T review

Katharine Byrne
1 Dec 2014
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
330
inc VAT

The remote control isn’t great, but the FME242S-T’s great picture quality surpasses many of its more expensive rivals

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Specifications

Screen size: 42in, Native resolution: 1,920x1,080, Video inputs: 3x HDMI, VGA, SCART, Composite, Tuner: Freeview HD, Dimensions: 957x220x627mm

Finlux may not be as well-known as Samsung or LG when it comes to TVs, but its parent company Vestel is one of the biggest TV manufacturers in Europe. It's particularly well-known for producing great value TV sets, and the FME242S-T is one of those TVs. Not only is the FME242S-T one of the cheapest 42in TVs we’ve seen in recent months, it also has one of the best screens we’ve seen for less than £500. At just £330 the FME242S-T is significantly cheaper than the smaller screen sizes of our current Best Buy winners, the Samsung H6400 and LG LB730V series, and the FME242S-T’s slim chassis even looks that of a higher-end TV. The FME242S-T’s slightly stunted plastic stand doesn’t look as elegant as similar-looking stands on certain Samsung TVs, but its tiny black bezel is pleasingly thin and it looks far more elegant than other budget TVs.

FINLUX 42FME242S-T IMAGE QUALITY

The FME242S-T’s fantastic default picture quality is one of the TV’s strongest assets, and our colour calibrator showed it was displaying a remarkable 92.6 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut at default settings. This is impressive for such a cheap TV, and is better coverage than higher-end TVs we’ve reviewed recently, such as the Toshiba L7453DB and Samsung’s H6400 series. Brightness was also good, measuring 202.6cd/m2, but black levels were a little grey, measuring 0.24cd/m2. We increased the FME242S-T’s colour accuracy to a near-perfect 99.8 per cent once we’d calibrated the screen by adjusting the RGB gain, but this had a detrimental effect on the TV’s contrast.

For example, before calibration, we measured a contrast ratio of 1,118:1, but this fell to just 605:1 after calibration. As a result, there was visibly less detail on show than its default contrast ratio, and night scenes were particularly difficult to see clearly, so we’d recommend sticking to the TV’s default settings for the best overall picture.

The rest of the FME242S-T’s picture settings are relatively basic, but we wouldn’t expect much more from a TV at this price. Along with contrast, brightness, sharpness and colour options, there’s also a power saving mode, backlight adjustment and noise reduction settings. In the Advanced menu are dynamic contrast, colour temperature, picture zoom, film mode, skin tone, colour shift and RGB gain options. The noise reduction settings helped to smooth jagged edges and a bit of blocking on standard definition content, but otherwise the picture remained largely unchanged. Text in game shows was still blurry and soft, and we also noticed a very small amount of ghosting when we increased noise reduction to High. Thankfully, HD channels looked a lot better. Text and clothing details were much more defined and we didn’t feel the need to turn on noise reduction at all.

Our Blu-ray videos looked just as sharp as the HD channels. Unsurprisingly, there’s no frame interpolation feature on the FME242S-T, but we were pleased with the FME242S-T’s image processing all the same. Fast camera pans were smooth and largely judder-free, and even heated action sequences didn’t feel too jerky or uncomfortable to watch. We were also pleased to see that Star Trek’s grain effect was still intact even when the noise reduction settings were turned on. Sadly, the FME242S-T doesn’t support 3D content, so you’ll have to stick with 2D films. 

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