Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
LG LM7600 Cinema 3D LED TV
LG’s mid-range TV has a great design and good picture quality for its price
- Modern, simple, understated design
- Generally good picture quality including 3D
- Excellent Smart TV features
- Reflective screen coating
- Too bright and colourful by default
- Black level not as good as plasma or Samsung LED TVs
The LG LM7600 is a good value mid-range TV - it’s got a solid range of connection options, its picture quality is generally detailed after some tweaking, and a wide variety of Smart TV apps pre-installed and available to download.
Price$ 3,299.00 (AUD)
The LG LM7600 is part of LG’s 2012 Cinema 3D range — it’s a passive 3D LED TV, with the same simple and attractive styling that features on other models like the LM9600. It misses out on most of the LM9600’s premium features like voice control and Wi-Fi Direct, but as a basic screen with Smart TV features, the LM7600 is good value and generally good quality.
LG LM7600: Design and setup
We really like the basic design that LG has based its 2012 range of televisions on. The LM7600 in particular is simple, but has some design accents that make it look more expensive than it is — the thin aluminium strip that runs around the edge of the TV’s bezel, for example, adds a little shine without looking gaudy.
The top and side bezels surrounding the screen are only around a centimetre in width, and the inch-thick lower bezel is finished in an attractive black satin plastic. LG’s small, central logo doesn’t light up when the television is turned on.
The stand of the LM7600 is the same design as the more expensive LM9600’s, with a wide foot that lets the screen swivel over a small range of motion. It’s more complicated to set up than the stand of an equivalent Panasonic or Samsung, and it’s definitely wider and deeper.
LG has hidden away buttons on the front of the LM7600 — they’re on the TV’s back, just around the right-hand side. You’ll need to learn which button does what, especially if you’ve got the LM7600 wall-mounted — the buttons all feel the same, so there’s no way to distinguish power from volume, input and channel control.
The LM7600’s digital and analog connections are arranged along the rear of the TV, with the four HDMI and three USB ports facing the left-hand side, and digital audio, antenna, component/composite break-outs, LAN and VGA inputs facing the base. Wi-Fi is also built-in. This is a comprehensive range of connections, and we can’t see any home user needing anything that’s not included.
Setting up the LG LM7600 is a simple process. Assembling the stand is a bit finicky, but beyond that all that’s needed is the power cable, antenna cable, and Ethernet network if your house doesn’t have Wi-Fi. Scanning for channels only makes a few minutes.
The LM7600 is bundled with two remotes: a standard LG candybar model which is easy enough to use, and a slightly more fiddly ‘Magic Motion’ remote control. It’s a down-scale version of the one included with the LM9600, and doesn’t have any voice control features included.
LG LM7600: Picture quality and performance
The LG LM7600 is an edge-lit LED TV, using a thin strip of LEDs around the bezel of the LCD screen and a series of reflective channels to evenly light the entire display. The LM7600 is a Full HD 1080p TV in all of the 42in, 47in and 55in screen sizes that it’s available in.
LG’s mid-range televisions have always had a good amount of adjustability for both audio and video, and the LM7600 is no exception. As well as Standard, Vivid, Cinema and Custom modes, the LM7600 has two ISF modes that can be customised extensively by a trained ISF calibrator — one for day, and one for night.
We kept the television in Cinema mode for the majority of our testing, although we did find that we still needed to lower the backlight brightness and back off colour saturation slightly — in Standard mode, the LM7600 is especially bright and vibrant, which is great for a brightly-lit room but not as good for our ideally-dim viewing environment.
The LM7600 has generally good picture quality — it’s roughly on par with other edge-lit LED televisions like the Panasonic ET5A and Samsung Series 7. As a Full HD screen, it shines when it’s displaying high quality content like a Blu-ray movie. When we played back The Dark Knight, Terminator: Salvation and Avatar, we were very impressed with the level of detail we could see in both stills and video.
The black levels of the LM7600, being an edge-lit LED TV without any local screen dimming, are acceptable but not as good as any modern plasma TV or the Samsung Series 7 (an LED). If you’re watching a movie with dark scenes and bright on-screen areas — the night-time scenes of The Dark Knight being our favourite example — dark areas can tend to look somewhat grey and shadow detail is lost.
Viewing angles are good on the LM7600, retaining plenty of brightness across the entire 178-degree horizontal viewing angle, although contrast does slowly fall off as you approach the screen’s edges. The same effect happens faster when you move vertically, although within a reasonable range of motion the effect is largely unnoticeable.
Motion is generally well-handled by the LM7600 — our viewing of a BBC Formula 1 broadcast was acceptably clear, with no annoying flicker or distortion during wide camera shots or static shots with on-screen movement. The TruMotion motion smoothing of the LM7600 has five settings — User, Smooth, Clear, Clear Plus and Off. Clear Plus does the best job of smoothing out broadcast television, but makes cinematic content look eerily fake — we kept it turned off during our Blu-ray viewing with no ill effects.
The coating of the LCD screen on the LG LM7600 is moderately reflective, so if you’ve got a bright light like a window without curtains directly in front of the TV, you’ll be able to see its reflection quite clearly. It doesn’t have quite the same mirror finish as older premium LED TVs, and is slightly less reflective than the high-end LG LM9600.
Being a Cinema 3D TV, the LG LM7600 comes bundled with four sets of passive 3D glasses. The television does a similar job of displaying 3D content as last year’s models: it’s some of the best 3D display we’ve seen, with little evidence of cross-talk and no glaring errors during our viewing of Avatar 3D and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. The TV also includes a faux-3D mode that works on all inputs apart from online streaming video (ABC iView, YouTube, and so on) — it’s OK, but a child-distracting novelty rather than anything worth watching every day.
LG LM7600: Smart TV
The LG LM7600 has largely the same set of Smart TV services as the high-end LM9600. It has a wide library of video on demand and utility apps pre-installed, and more can be added. There’s a 3D World full of streaming 3D content — useful if you don’t have a 3D Blu-ray player, but want to show off your new TV to the neighbours — and a LG Smart World which is mostly made up of children’s apps like Rat Fishing and Dino Tales, but also includes the odd-one-out ClubbingTV.
For a full run-down of LG’s Smart TV service, read our review of the LG LM9600. The LM7600 misses out on some features like Wi-Fi Direct, Screen Share Plus, and so on — it’s restricted to the generally-more-useful video on demand services and local networking media playback.
LG LM7600: Conclusion
The LG LM7600 sits at the top of the pile of its mid-range competitors. It’s a generally good television with no glaring flaws and no real reasons not to recommend it — if you can find one at a good price, go for it.
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