Top critical review
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Nice TV but expected a little more from LG
on 25 May 2012
Just bought this off Amazon a week ago.
After reading many reviews and seeing that some buyers had had issues with ghosting, clouding and banding on the images [...] I went for it anyway putting it down to bad luck or incorrect settings. A recent Firmware update seems to have fixed it all for some.
After opening the box I was initially impressed with the quality and packaged items such as the magic remote and 5 pairs of 3d glasses you get with it (1 pair is a clip on or glasses wearers which pleased my wife!).
Once I'd set up the stand and stood it up I noticed that it leant slightly to the left. I put a little weight on the right hand side of the TV which seemed to correct the problem!
The TV itself had a shiny black finish with a chrome strip along the bottom. There is a brushed Aluminium strip that runs around the outside. It all looks great. The screen goes right to the edge (although on power on there is still a 10mm section that displays no picture around the edge).
On power up you are asked to configure the Magic remote and tune in the TV as well as setting up the network or Wifi connection. I skipped tuning as I'm only using it with SKY HD. The Magic Remote is clever but I can't see myself using it over the traditional buttoned remote. I used the wifi setup to connect it to the Internet, which was seamless and worked out of the box.
I selected HDMI1, which is my Sky box. The first thing I noticed was the terrible picture quality. This was ITV1 SD (NonHD) channel. It had distortion around the edges of the people on screen, it was very bright indeed and there was some kind of software enhancement going on which actually made us feel ill!
After trying the HD channels and hooking up the LG BP620 3D Blue ray player I bought with the TV, the quality was much improved but still not as expected.
I located the Network updates section in the TV settings and went for it. A new firmware was available which was immediately installed. This made things slightly better but still not perfect in SD.
I then found some settings, posted on the AV Forums, which made the SD picture quality better but not perfect. HD and 3D were much improved.
I thought I'd then see what the Smart TV functions had to offer. 3D world is OK but really is just some fun demos. The big thing for me was the BBC iPlayer on the TV. I selected it and received a message saying "coming soon". What? no iPlayer either!!!! Why publicise the fact that the TV can use it then. Very annoying!
We persevered and decided to watch the Champions League Final in 3D as it was being broadcast in 3D by Sky that night. Initially I was impressed but after while I noticed black streaks running down the screen and shadowy blocks in the middle of the screen. This, I think, is the "banding" some of the AV Forum users have been referring to. Once I noticed it it was unbearable!! That was it, the TV was going back!! It was the same for the cricket on the channel next door too. Black shadows running across the screen as if the camera at the other end had a dirty lens or indeed the TV screen was dirty (it wasn't!).
Next day I asked for a 2nd opinion from my Brother and his wife, who said that it looked better than their 4 yr old Samsung and they were blown away by the 3D and HD. Once I pointed out the banding though they agreed that it was annoying. The TV was packaged up next day and returned.
I decided to go for a replacement TV rather than a refund. The next one arrived 2 days later and was setup again.
I updated the firmware and put the settings in as referred to from the AVforums.com site. I went to the SKY Movie channels and played back the SKY Movies intro screen (the one they show before all movies start). This looked incredibly good, clear and crisp until I got to the cow boys in front of the Grand Canyon. There was the mysterious shadows and banding again!!!!!
It definitely wasn't as bad as the previous screen and I can only put it down to some sort of film behind the glass screen that is thicker in places than others. No amount of software or settings can remove this.
In the end I decided to keep this one as I couldn't be bothered with the hassle of returning it all again. I'm glad I did as as the week has gone on things have got better.
My daughter and I watched the "Hugo" Blue ray in 3D. It is stunning. She even said so and 7 year olds don't normally bother about things like that! The 3D is the best I have ever seen, comparable with the Cinema! I just wish there was more 3D films to choose from as we already have most 3D releases on DVD and Blueray and I don't want to get them again!
I've contacted LG about the lack of the iPlayer and have been advised that they are sorting this out with the BBC and it should be working in a few weeks' time.
In Summary, the TV looks great, sounds good and the HD and 3D is stunning. Should you choose this TV, if the banding is excessive, try a replacement, it might be better. Adjust your settings so that the SD isn't as bad as it looks out of the box and enjoy.
Let's hope 3D Blueray does take off more as it is fantastic, and more films are released as a result.
Edited - 29th Aug 2012
This TV is actually very bad!! Do not buy it. Initially I was impressed but now I am sending it back after Amazon have offered me a full refund. It loses the sound sync, the display settings are wiped out every few weeks for each input and this one randomly restarts. A few days agao it went off and now wont even switch back on. I get a black screen and the LED flashes 4 times continuously. I can't wait to find a box big enough and get rid!