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LG55LM620T; Excellent Picture, Limited SmartTV
on 29 December 2012
I bought this TV because I wanted a larger screen format than my old one and needed a replacement for my digital recorder on which the hard disk had expired! Whilst I did not require 3D or Smart TV, I was prepared to buy a TV with this functionality.
The LED screen suits me better than Plasma / LCD as the picture is brighter. The picture is very good and I am pleased with it, it certainly met my primary requirements of a large screen with a good picture. Programs broadcast by the Television Companies come in all sizes and formats and a screen this large can show the limitations of some of the older programs shot in lower resolutions with fuzzy edges to faces etc. but this is rare and is not a limitation of this model.
The TV was fairly easy to set up for normal viewing which is a good job! The documentation that comes with the TV is minimal and of poor quality. As with many modern, technical gadgets these days we are expected to figure things out ourselves rather than being given any detailed guidance and help.
In terms of the Digital Recorder, the TV needs a USB hard Disk on which to save the recordings. I, have as yet, not found a disk that works. I have tried a FREECOM USB HDD [...]and a couple of USB memory sticks, all of which work fine in my PC. The TV recognises them and even told me it was preparing the HDD for use by the TV. However it has not been possible to record to the disks or view previously saved pictures.
Smart TV Functionality is let down by a "Clunky" menu system that is not very well thought through. Using the standard remote is, as many others have said, incredibly tedious and almost impossible when it comes to browsing the web. In order to input text, an on screen keyboard is presented to the viewer which you have to scroll round with the left/right & up/down arrows. Some screens display these keyboards laid out in a QWERTY fashion and some screens in an alphabetic fashion. On the menus, sometimes the "Back" button takes you back up a level and sometimes it exits the system completely. The buttons on the remote are next to each other (like the squares on a chess board) rather than having spces between them (like the squares on a bar of chocolate). It is therefore quite easy to press the wrong button on the remote. Navigation is supposed to be easier with the optional "Wand" that costs about £50. For those with an android phone, you can install the LG Remote Control app [...] which is a vast improvement on the standard remote.
Sharing movies / pictures / music via SmartShare was simple enough. I used Windows Media Player as the streamer for PC's and installed PixelDMS onto my Android smartphone [...]. The presentation of the music on the screen is not nice, folders and files are listed like in Windows Explorer rather than being listed as albums/tracks as in Windows Media Player.
In terms of On Demand viewing, I would advise you to beware here. I have signed up for the LoveFilm introductory offer but have found all films to be interrupted by the picture breaking up momentarily. I assume this is as the input stream is buffered although there is no message on the screen. Whilst my Internet connection is not the best, it is above the recommended minimum and I do not have any streaming issues with BBC iplayer. I have not used the LG WiFi dongle (another extra purchase) but, instead, connected to my router via cable.
SmartTV / Streaming content is limited by the Apps that the TV has (or can install from [...] There is no app for ITV Player and the TV's inbuilt web-browser (Safari) is running an out of date Flash player that cannot be upgraded so you cannot view the content via that route either.
The limited amount of 3D content is disappointing. LoveFilm does not seem to stream any 3D titles so you need to have a disk delivered through the post. In order to play a 3D movie, you need to have a 3D Blu-Ray player. Not all Blu-Ray players are capable of playing 3D and any 3D films on DVD format use the old "coloured glasses" technology - NOT the polarising glasses that come with this set.
LG's technical support were contacted by email on more than 1 occasion with queries which should have been answered in proper documentation anyway. I was pleased with the speed of the response but disappointed with the accuracy. One query was answered twice by separate people giving conflicting advice.
I get the feeling that SmartTV manufacturers are going to maximise their income streams by selling additional components or services. The SmartTV is NOT a computer; you are not free to add programs (and, to a lesser extent, hardware) unless they are approved by the manufacturer (in this case LG). The plethora of standards (or maybe the lack of them) for providing functionality is very confusing and the manufacturers do not make it easy to determine what their equipment does not do (e.g. this TV does not show ITVplayer but nowhere does it state that). If you have specific requirements for the smartTV functionality, please check what each TV does before you buy one!
1. Excellent picture quality
2. Lovely big screen
3. Poor usability of GUI interface on Smart TV (probably be true of any other manufacturer too)
4. Limitation of content via LG controlled Apps (probably be true of any other manufacturer too)
5. In order to maximise the functionality of this TV you will need to purchase other hardware
If this was just a 55" 2D television I would have been tempted to give it 5 stars - the picture is great. However, it's not; it's a 3D SmartTV so the score of 3 stars reflects the poor usability of the interface and the limitations to 3D content. Please note that I have no experience of other manufacturer's SmartTV systems so the LG may not be any worse than any other! Just don't expect a SmartTV to replace your computer.