Customer Review

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 2D and 3D image, 1 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: LG 42LW550T 42-inch Widescreen Cinema Full HD 1080p 3D 100Hz LED Smart TV with Freeview HD (Electronics)
I bought this set as a replacement for my 4th gen Pioneer plasma screen. It's my second LG set in the house, which was a driver in me purchasing this one - I knew the software and panel quality were good already. Though I had some reservations about buying a LED set, I'm glad to say it looks great and I have no regrets in purchasing it.

The set comes with a very sturdy stand, which I have used to hold it up - my last set was wall mounted but I wanted to keep this one at "sofa level" so the 3D effect wasn't diminished. This of course makes it easier to swivel the set for proper viewing by all users as I have an irregular-shaped room. There is no "magic remote" which it was suggested it might come with (£75 to buy) but I don't feel that's a huge loss. There are however seven pairs of 3D glasses. Though the glasses are the same technology as the ones you get from the cinema don't throw the RealD glasses away - they still work and have larger lenses than the LG ones, which some people will find more comfortable. All of the LG glasses are "party" colours - orange, blue, white... I would have preferred black pairs but I guess it makes it easier not to lose them! The glasses also come in two boxes - one with two pairs, and one with five pairs so you can put the others away somewhere safe without having to find a special holder for them. It should also be noted that the set is ridiculously thin, but the base is quite large so plan space accordingly.

Onto the set itself, it's a 1080p Full HD panel with Freeview HD, network access, 2 USB and 4 HDMI ports. There is a single optical audio output. The image is very good by comparison to my old set and has a number of tweakable elements - like most TVs these will require a lot of messing about with to get the picture "just right", and personally I chose to turn off a lot of the 'enhancements' - your mileage may vary. Out of the box with default settings it doesn't look good (over-contrasted, vivid colours), so be prepared to spend an hour or so fiddling with the settings. The built in speakers are not great, but that should also not be a surprise - expect to need external speakers to get the best from your system; anything above normal range will cause rattling and buzzing with the TV's own.

Response times are fast and I noticed no lag in the picture, juddering or blur. I don't watch much in the way of sports though so I can't say this is a definitive feature. The set is DLNA compatible and will play most media but will *not* currently play video encoded with a DTS soundtrack natively, but it will play 3D movies from a network device when connected to a wired LAN (wireless requires a pricey dongle and is obviously limited in speed); occasionally though it has reported there are no DLNA devices on my network when there are, and I have had to close and re-open the input menu a few times before it picked up - once in there were no issues and I should say activity on the network was high at the time of testing.

Freeview HD works well, the on screen planner is fast and the set comes with a range of widgets for watching catch-up TV online, but the menu for these can be a little slow. 3D has been tested using side-by-side and frame packed material, both held up really well and the LG App Store has some nice reference material to watch. 2D to 3D conversion was tested on Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and produced excellent results in depth and motion. The 3D on this set really is cinema quality with minimal loss of brightness and colour when using the glasses - at 42" it won't have the wow factor of a larger set but is still very impressive - particularly with Xbox games. Viewing angles are excellent in most positions within the room, of course up close and from above there are losses but from the sofa, there are no issues. I did not test with Sky 3D since the "free subscription" to that channel requires you have ALL Sky channels and I object to paying that much to access a single channel of 3D content - LoveFilm rent 3D movies, and the PS3 can play them if you don't want to buy another Blu Ray player.

A few oddities/caveats to note if you're thinking of buying:
* Audio is passed through from HDMI devices through the set's optical audio port, but seems to lose encoding - Blu Rays with DTS and 5.1 HD soundtracks seemed to be output in Pro Logic. I haven't tested on a wide range but did also have this problem with my Xbox 360 (though I have the old, non-HDMI one)
* Consoles should be labelled (you can do this on the input menu) as PC to avoid lagging, and turn off Game Mode
* Harmony remote users will find the menus hard to navigate for inputs - make sure you program the remote for one input button per input - though the remote doesn't specifically list them they do exist, and they do work
* Although a matte screen this set does suffer from reflection issues - be aware when placing in direct sunlight
* Though you can set the custom picture settings for each input, they don't seem to keep first time - make a note of the ones you are happy with so you can enter them on each input later
* When watching some items (network media for example) the sound options seem to indicate you can only use the set's speakers, but I can confirm when the speaker is turned off in the menu, the optical port still works, it's just oddly worded

Overall I would thoroughly recommend this set to anyone interested in dabbling in 3D and not looking to pay a fortune for it - especially families with kids who will benefit from the cheaper, plentiful 3D glasses and up-converting functions. For gamers especially, it's an excellent set.

01/03/12 - Updated with a couple of points:
I don't know I said I have the non-HDMI Xbox as that's not the case - I have the HDMI version which has a proprietary connection, it's still HDMI to the TV. It seems the set does decode 5.1 properly but DTS or HD soundtracks will be output to Pro Logic, so be prepared if necessary to wire up separate sound for your other devices.

DLNA works fine but seems to work much better in a Strict NAS arrangement if both the DLNA device and the TV both have *fixed* IP addresses
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Jan 2012 12:50:12 GMT
Pugwash says:
Excellent review, I have spent many weeks researching 3D/HD TVs and have narrowied my short list down to this LG and a Panasonic, but this review has answered 99% of my remaining queries, thank you Mr Howe, great job well done, enjoy your new TV !!

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Mar 2012 20:25:38 GMT
Thanks for taking the time to write such a comprehensive review. :)
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Review Details

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Reviewer

A. Howe
(REAL NAME)   

Location: London, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 32,148