- Attractive Design, Huge display screen, Low price.
- Noise on dark images, Severe rainbow effect, Average vertical viewing angle
If you are looking for something that is absolutely huge and will wow people but don't care too much about a few image problems, then the LG 52sZ85R is for you.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
There is something oh so cool about enormous television sets. For most people a 52 inch TV is a little too big for a normal living room. For those who need the most impressive and ridiculously huge viewing experience available, living on the edge of excess with the LG 52sZ85R might be just the ticket.
This 52" behemoth is about 37cm deep and as such, isn't suitable for fans of thin panel televisions. The length is a sacrifice that has to be made for a high quality image of this size at this low price point. The sophisticated design consists of a thin piano black bezel with small unassuming buttons and a powerful silver speaker across the bottom of the unit. It is rather attractive and would look great in any lounge room. The connection ports at the back of the unit include two component connections a 15 pin D-sub connection and two composite connections together with a HDMI port and tuner. The HDMI port has a design problem though, as it is too close to the bottom of the unit which makes it hard to actually insert a cable without a great deal of effort and force.
Contrary to popular belief, rear projection can actually be the best option with the best image quality. It is a common misconception that all rear projection TVs are average. This assumption came from the early days of rear projection TV. when they were all average quality CRTs, but this doesn't really apply these days. Now that DLP is becoming more widespread, the image quality of DLP televisions has jumped dramatically, although there are still some DLP rear projection TVs that are just as average as ever. The LG 52sZ85R fits comfortably in between both ends of the spectrum as it isn't the best quality image you will ever see, but it certainly isn't as bad as the Sagem Axium HD-D45
After we finished drooling over the size of the TV, it came time to perform our image tests. When viewing this set from a reasonable distance, it looks fairly good and our first impression had us thinking this would be a highly rated product. However, our tests revealed some problems, both minor and major and in the end, the sZ85R didn't fair as well as we'd hoped.
The first problem we noticed was that the set had a shocking vertical viewing angle which means that you need to sit level with the centre of the screen. Sitting any higher or lower than the middle of the screen creates an instant colour shift which only gets worse the wider the angle. The other problem, and one associated with all DLPs, is that this set has quite a harsh rainbow effect compared with other models we have reviewed. For those that are sensitive too rainbow, this television will have you walk away with a migraine.
Apart from those problems, the rest of our issues with the LG were discovered when we took a closer look at the unit via its various input modes. First we tested HDMI since it is the most "advanced" of the inputs. We tested the unit on a Denon DVD player running our Digital Video Essentials test DVD. The grayscale tests revealed noise on edges and the black on white block tests were hampered by magenta fringing along the horizontal axis and cyan fringing on the vertical. We were also disappointed that there was an enormous amount of noise on dark gray and blacks which presented itself when viewing other sources including the Xbox 360 game console. While, for the most part, the unit performed well when drawing moving gradients, the noise problem and some unfortunate stepping occurred in the darker portions of the gradients. The last test we performed was the 1.78 Anamorphic geometry test. This is an excellent test for examining how fierce the rainbow effect on a DLP unit is and running it only confirmed our earlier suspicion that the colour wheel on this TV is a little slow, resulting in a painfully severe rainbow effect.
We also tested the component connection via the same method as HDMI and found all the same problems. Granted, the HDMI looked slightly better and a little more crisp than the component connection but the noise on dark areas of the image was not only still there, but had increased quite a bit. From a distance, this noise isn't as noticeable as up close, but it is noticeable and does detract from the overall experience of using this set.
Composite and S-Video connections, as we expected, were not that great but as we have said many times before, this is not a fault of the TV. The only televisions that display this type of signal well are Cathode Ray Tube sets. However, that being said, we noticed that there weren't as many digital artifacts in this mode as we have seen on other TVs, leading us to believe that the 52sZ85R handles this mode quite well.
The same cannot be said for the connection to a PC via 15pin D-sub. We connected a laptop to the LG and ran DisplayMate Video Edition. The geometry and distortion tests were quite favourable but they did show off the rainbow problems. In the Sharpness and Resolution tests we found noise on images where fine detail pixel draw is required. The Focus Matrix test was full of noise and fringed in green down the right hand side of the screen. On both gray and colour gradient tests we found an odd quirk that could potentially ruin a users viewing experience. A strange diamond lattice flashes for half a second at irregular intervals but regular enough to make you cringe. The colour block tests has very few problems with only the slightest colour fluctuations in low green, low yellow and low cyan. However, once again, when we got to the darker colours, the noise crept back in, just like the other inputs. Not surprisingly, in the Grey bar test scale we found severe noise in the last four bars. This extends to all colours as well.
The speakers on the sZ85R are quite good, producing deep base and reasonable treble without losing much definition in the mid-tones. While they are no substitute for a good home theatre set up, they are more than adequate for most home use and sound quite impressive.
Overall, the LG isn't too bad a television set. It has a wide array of connections and considering its enormous size, it is extremely cheap. It could have been much better and the pixel noise in dark areas, the harsh rainbow effect and the average vertical viewing angle are really its only big problems. If you are looking for something that is absolutely huge and will wow people but don't care too much about these few problems, then the LG 52sZ85R is for you.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Sony shows off its new OLED and LCD TVs, video projector, and Bluetooth speakers
- Sony’s Bravia XBR-A1E OLED could be the first flat-screen TV with sound that doesn’t suck
- Say goodbye to Apple's third-generation Apple TV
- Japan gears up for 8K TV broadcasting
- NHK's latest 8K display is large, thin and beautiful
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCProcurement OfficerQLD
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!WA
- FTSenior .Net Developer (Silverlight)VIC
- TPProject Support Officer - Data and Information ManagementVIC
- CCInside Sales ConsultantNSW
- CCTest Manager OfficeACT
- CCBusiness Analyst- Digital & agileNSW
- TPGIS Officer | Map InfoQLD
- FTLevel 3 Application Support AnalystVIC
- CCSenior ABAP DeveloperQLD
- FTProject Manager - Finance BackgroundQLD
- FTSolutions Architects - 10 roles availableACT
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)WA
- TPProject ManagerQLD
- TPDeployment EngineerVIC
- CCUX DesignerVIC
- CCAutomation Test AnalystQLD
- CCNetwork and Cloud SMENSW
- CCSecurity Incident Analyst - Splunk - TelcoVIC
- CCMigration EngineerACT
- FTSnr Security Architect - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCJava/ Guidewire DeveloperQLD
- CCCloud Infrastructure SpecialistNSW
- CCRisk Specialist - TelcoVIC