There are two of them—a main remote that’s very well designed, and an “easy” remote that’s half the size. The main remote is backlit (points for that) and the backlighting is soft amber (triple points, as that’s the best backlighting color choice). The much-used buttons are easy to find, with clear button nomenclature. The only downside is a toggling input button, but that’s par for the course these days.
The other remote is intended for daily ease-of-use, but it will only be of interest to a very few, as there’s no way to program channel change functions for use with a cable or satellite box, as the channel up/down and flashback functions only work with the set’s built-in tuner.
This time around, we’ll give you two sets of settings choices:
Easy/Lazy—THX Bright Room. Of the out-of-the-box picture setting choices, this one provides the best all around set of picture adjustment defaults. However, and I have a huge problem with this, certain critical picture adjustments, including brightness, contrast, and color saturation are locked out, and the factory/THX values, especially with respect to the critical brightness level, aren’t what I would call reference level. That THX, in their own profession calibration training sessions, admonishes class attendees that the first two picture settings that must be adjusted first are brightness and contrast, is contradictive to the THX video certification as implemented in the LG.
For the mildly adventurous—Try THX Bright Room setting first, get used to it for a day or two, then call up LG’s Picture Wizard, which is perhaps the best in-TV picture adjustment system I’ve yet seen. The Picture Wizard comes complete with proper test patterns to adjust brightness, contrast, color, tint, and sharpness (among others), and once adjusted (it only takes a minute or two), the settings are saved as ISF Expert 1.
Do the same test again, but this time with a brighter backlight setting for daytime viewing in a brightly lit room, and the settings will be saved to ISF Expert 2.
Bingo—now you’ve got evening/cinema and daytime settings that come respectably close in the most important aspects to the results obtained with pro-grade HD monitors.
Note that there are many other adjustments in the Expert Control advanced settings menu, but those are best left to a professional calibration expert with the appropriate test and measurement equipment and expertise.
Blu-ray Evaluation: 2012
Wow—with the Just Scan setting (1:1 pixel-for-pixel), the opening menu titles are so sharp and crisp that they look like they’re etched on the screen.
With the default THX modes, and after adjustment with the Picture Wizard, the colors with this movie (and with the numerous movie clips in Sony’s Blu-ray promotional montage before the movie begins) are just a tad on the over-rich side. Crank the color control down a few notches, and everything snaps into place. Colors are suitably rich, but not overly so, and a measurement with a professional color analyzer confirms that the LG’s color gamut (with the BT709 setting) is spot-on with the primary red, green and blue points, and very close to the ideal for the secondaries (cyan, magenta, yellow)—an excellent score.
Here’s where LED backlighting and local dimming go hand in hand to provide the blackest blacks you’ll ever see from an LCD flat panel HDTV. LG falls into the same specsmanship trap as other HDTV makers, quoting a ridiculous 9,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Once again, with the Sony promo movie collage, there are numerous jet-black scene portions and scene cuts, where the LG displays the blackest blacks I’ve ever seen from an LCD set.