LG 47LW6500 Cinema 3D LED TV

LG LW6500 review: A high quality LG panel with great 2D video, but 3D is a mixed bag

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LG 47LW6500
  • LG 47LW6500
  • LG 47LW6500
  • LG 47LW6500
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Cinema 3D is smooth
  • Great 2D detail and excellent colour
  • LG's Smart TV is great

Cons

  • Poor 3D resolution and detail
  • Blacks look slightly grey

Bottom Line

The LG 47LW6500 has a high quality panel that's able to display good quality video in 2D mode with plenty of visible detail. LG's stand-out approach to 3D, in its passive Cinema 3D panels, is smoother and less troublesome than 'active' 3D, despite a lower effective resolution. LG's Smart TV is every bit as good as Samsung's implementation, too -- this is another TV that does far more than just display free-to-air TV and movies.

Would you buy this?

The LG's Cinema mode proved to be the most accurate in terms of colour, contrast and detail, although we did dim the backlight and slightly bump up sharpness when we were watching the TV in a dark room. Dual ISF modes for day and night mean the LG 47LW6500 can be professionally calibrated for optimum video quality. This feature is often missing from all but the top panels from LG's competitors, so if you're willing to spend a few hundred dollars on a professional calibration you can perfectly tailor the LG 47LW6500's picture to the environment you're watching it in, giving it a competitive edge.

3D video quality is a mixed bag. The LG LW6500's catch-card is its Cinema 3D passive 3D mode, which is closer to the picture you'll see in a movie theatre than a Samsung, Panasonic or Sony 'active 3D' TV. The glasses are lighter and significantly cheaper, with two pairs for $19 instead of the $100+ you'll pay for an active pair, and there are no fiddly batteries to change either. There's no flicker on the screen that occasionally occurs with active glasses, and no flicker from any fluorescent lights (an annoyance inherent to all active 3D glasses). We didn't notice a huge difference in the quality of 3D images, either — given the right content the LG 47LW6500 is able to display a reasonable simulated depth of field with objects jumping out of the background, but similarly with poor content images can look flat and lifeless (with the expected small drop in brightness).

The downside of LG's passive 3D mode is that it cuts on-screen detail and image sharpness effectively in half. Where an active 3D TV displays full-screen images in quick succession, a passive 3D TV like the LG 47LW6500 displays each video frame on half of the panel's 1080 horizontal lines of pixels, while showing the subsequent frame on the other half — you're seeing two frames at once with half the information. This does lower the overall picture quality slightly if you're specifically searching for evidence of it; if you're sitting more than a couple of metres away we don't think you'll notice the difference.

There are a huge range of apps available through LG's Smart TV service — we've been told the number of apps in Australia is currently around 130. We've already talked about the services available in our previous LG TV reviews, so we won't go on, but suffice to say that we think LG has a great range of Web apps that equals market leader Samsung. If you want your TV to do more than play movies and digital TV, you won't be disappointed with what the LG 47LW6500 has to offer.

LG LW6500: Conclusion

Apart from slightly grey blacks in some situations, the LG 47LW6500 is great at 2D video, more so than we expected for its mid-range price tag. 3D is both good and bad, but we see the advantages as slightly outweighing the negatives. This is another strong LED TV from LG.

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