This is an £840 47-inch TV from the very top HD (as opposed to UHD) series in LG’s 2014 TV range. Which means it combines the brand’s top-tier HD picture engine with the brilliant SmartPlus webOS interface.
The 47LB730 certainly looks like a premium TV. Its bezel is incredibly slim even by today’s standards, coming in at under a centimetre and somehow actually looking slimmer thanks to its metallic outer trim and the way the screen’s glass front extends across it.
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Its metal band stand is eye catching too, thanks to its angular shape and exceptionally high quality brushed aluminium finish. It’s also nice to see that it takes the weight of the TV in its central portion, rather than at the TV’s left and right extremities, since this means it’s much more likely to be able to sit on ‘normal’-sized furniture without tipping off. Which is nice.
Connectivity is OK. There are only three HDMIs where four would have put a bigger smile on our face, but you get three USBs for multimedia playback and recording from the built-in tuner, an RS-232 port for integrating the TV into a wider home entertainment system, and the inevitable LAN and integrated Wi-Fi options for accessing both content stored on a networked DLNA device and LG’s SmartPlus smart TV platform.
Built on webOS technology, SmartPlus is a truly outstanding smart interface that completely reinvents the way you access the myriad content sources now available. It treats everything – even each HDMI input – as an app, meaning it can integrated everything into a sublimely simple, beautifully presented and fast-responding onscreen menu system.
We’ve covered the details of this interface in a dedicated LG Smart Plus feature in a dedicated, so we’ll say no more about it here except to say that the only thing wrong with it is that it currently doesn’t include the ITV Player or 4OD catch-up services among its otherwise long list of content options. For many people, though, the ease of use it brings to the smart experience will be selling point enough.
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The panel at the 47LB730V’s heart is an IPS LED type, in keeping with every other LG TV we’ve seen this year. This promises a slightly wider viewing angle than rival types of LCD panel, and potentially richer colours. But experience with other IPS LED panels suggests we’ll also need to be on the look out for contrast shortcomings.
The screen has a full HD native resolution, its edge LED lighting system is supported by local dimming (where segments of the lights can be controlled individually to boost contrast) and motion should be boosted by LG’s 800 Motion Clarity Index system, which combines a 100Hz native panel with backlight scanning and frame interpolation to deliver an 800Hz-like effect.
The 47LB730V carries a long list of picture calibration aids, ranging from colour management, white balance and gamma fine tuners through to sharpness and contrast boosters and the more regular backlight and noise reduction tools.
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You’ll definitely need to spend some time with the 47LB730V’s picture features if you want to optimise its performance. In particular, using most of the picture presets will leave you with backlight and contrast settings that are way too high. We’d recommend reducing the backlight to as low as 30% for dark room viewing, and the contrast to around 80, to reduce noise and improved black level response.
We’d also recommend turning off all noise reduction systems when viewing HD to stop the picture looking soft, and never using the ‘TruMotion’ processing on anything higher than its Clear setting (unless you’re watching 3D, when Standard sometimes works better).
The most important thing, though, is to make sure you’ve got the local dimming setting turned on, but that you’re only using it on its low setting. We’ll go into why in the picture quality section.