With 240 Hz screen refresh and LED local dimming backlighting, the LG raises the bar in terms of picture quality and features for LCD-based flat panel HDTVs.
LG’s latest premium LED backlit flat panel HDTV series is pretty much loaded to the gills with the latest LED backlighting technologies, video signal processing systems, and of course, internet connectivity for instant streaming of movies, TV shows and music tracks. Compared to earlier generation local dimming LED backlit flat panels, this latest LG, while not the thinnest out there, is still substantially thinner than some others, with a depth of just under 1½”.
For this review, we check out the 47-inch model (the 47LE85000). It’s equipped with a wired LAN port for connection to your home network, and can be connected wirelessly via an optional USB adapter, and LG also offers an external controller that accepts all your sources, and broadcasts them wirelessly in up to 1080p to the set.
Consider this HDTV if: you want the latest in LED local dimming backlighting as well as internet connectivity for movies, TV shows, music, photos, and the like.
Look elsewhere if: you’re keen on 3D—LG’s step-up series (their 9500 range) is what you should be looking at.
Ratings (relative to comparably-priced LCD HDTVs):
Overall picture quality (SD): 8
Overall picture quality (HD): 10
User interface: 8
LED backlighting with local dimming was all the rage a year or two ago in upper-end LCD flat panel HDTV sets, but since then some companies have quietly quit the segment. Not so LG, who offer it in two ranges, the 8500 series reviewed here, and the step-up 9500 range, which are virtually the same but with 3D added as the main differentiator.
The suite of internet-accessed applications is fairly extensive, with Netflix movie and TV streaming being the top draw, followed by YouTube, Pandora Internet radio, various Yahoo widgets, and some other minor apps thrown in the mix. To eliminate cable clutter and reduce installation expense, especially with wall-mounting, LG offers an external switcher/controller that transmits wirelessly to the set at up to 1080p resolution.
Not content to have one seal of approval, LG once again partners with both THX and ISF for quality certification. There are two THX modes (Cinema and Bright Room) that differ, as their monikers would suggest, only in terms of overall picture brightness (kind of like the night and day settings some other sets offer). The ISF certification ensures a complete (and I do mean complete) set of picture adjustments and calibration controls that are as extensive as I’ve yet seen on any display, and LG has included their innovate Picture Wizard, which provides built-in test patterns and images that let’s the user tune the set up without the need for test discs (and it works quite well, to boot).
The trend these days is minimizing analog video connections in favor of more HDMI connections. Here LG bucks the trend by providing a full input complement, with two composite inputs, two HD-compatible component inputs, as well as four HDMI inputs. There are two USB ports, one of which could be used for a wireless adapter, and there’s an RGB PC input that accepts up to 1920 x 1080 resolution.
There’s also a special wireless adaptor connector for LG’s optional AN-WL100W link adaptor system, which provides full 1080p resolution and eliminates the need for multiple cable runs to the set, especially helpful when the set is wall-mounted. At a suggested retail of $399, the link adaptor system could easily save a user much more than that in terms of cable costs and installation labor.
On Screen Display
Good-looking, clear and concise, the best part of the display is the large colorful icons, and the extensive range of picture adjustments. The Picture Wizard works very well, and features test patterns just as you’d find on a calibration DVD or Blu-ray. The extensive range of ISF calibration adjustments is helpful, too.