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LG 55LW980T - 3D Picture Quality

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
LG 55LW980T 'Nano'


Our Score:


First up, after becoming increasingly aggravated lately by the amount of brightness taken out of active 3D pictures by active shutter glasses, the relatively little amount of brightness removed from the 55LW980T’s pictures in 3D mode is a breath of fresh air. We’ve noticed this on other passive sets, of course. But the truly intense brightness and vibrancy of the 55LW980T’s pictures makes this passive advantage count even more.

The brightness of the 55LW980T’s 3D images means you don’t have to dim your lights like you do with active 3D TVs when watching 3D, and the passive system further means you can watch 3D in ambient light without suffering any flickering.LG 55LW980T 'Nano'

Another thing we’ve started to get increasingly intolerant of with active 3D is crosstalk noise. There are active displays that are more or less free of crosstalk ghosting noise, but they are in the minority at the moment, and whenever we see crosstalk, we’re finding it harder to ignore it. So it’s great to find only occasional signs of it on the 55LW980T.

The 55LW980T isn’t entirely free of crosstalk, no matter what LG might claim. But it does appear much less commonly than it does on the latest active 3D screens from the likes of Samsung and Sony.

The quality of the panel at the 55LW980T’s heart also seems to help 3D Blu-ray playback look slightly sharper than it has with previous large-screen passive TVs. We still say there’s some loss of resolution compared with the best quality active screens, but the image certainly looks much more detailed and sharp than a standard definition feed, especially given the intensity of the brightness that’s emphasising every last bit of detail in the passive 3D image.

The lack of crosstalk also enhances the image’s appearance of sharpness, as does the screen’s freedom from motion blur.LGTV front

The 55LW980T’s 3D images enjoy a well-judged sense of depth too, and finally, as a result of all the above strengths, we found we could watch 3D on the 55LW980T for hours without becoming fatigued.

The most serious problem with the 55LW980T’s 3D images concerns the way the passive 3D filter across its screen causes visible horizontal lines over both bright edges (especially if they’re curved ) and small, bright objects that appear against predominantly dark backdrops. The obviousness of this reduces the further from the screen you’re sat, but it’s definitely quite distracting at times. But here’s the thing: in the context of the 55LW980T’s all-round image quality, this ‘striping’ artefact seems a relatively small price to pay for all the set’s 3D strengths.

The 55LW980T’s 3D pictures also descend into horrible crosstalk if you watch them from a position of more than 12 degrees above or below the screen. But this shouldn’t be an issue for most living room set ups.

There are a trio of other general picture flaws to report aside from the haloing issue mentioned earlier. First, there’s loss of colour and contrast when viewing the TV from wide angles. Next, the glass sheet that lies across the set’s fascia can be a little reflective of ambient light. Finally and most annoyingly, we measured input lag at just over 60ms. This is better than most other LG TVs this year, but it still high enough to potentially damage your gaming performance.

But with some decently rich, well-rounded and powerful sound keeping its 55in images company, the good news about the 55LW980T far outweighs the bad.


In working hard to make the 55LW980T its best 2D TV to date, LG has also managed to serve up the most persuasive argument for passive 3D yet. So much so that we can fully imagine the set appealing to serious video enthusiasts as well as ‘casual’ users.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • 2D Quality 9
  • 3D Quality 9
  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • Sound Quality 8
  • Value 8

A Scotland

October 14, 2011, 4:40 pm

So which would you go for. The Panasonic GT30 (50 inch), the Samsung D6530 (55 inch) or this? Assuming money was not an issue.


October 14, 2011, 5:40 pm

At the price this LG sells for, the fair comparison would be the 55 inch Samsung D8000 and Panasonic VT30.


October 14, 2011, 6:25 pm

@Chris: don't expect this model to stay at the RRP for long. I got last year's 47LE8900 for £1K when the RRP was £2K. Wait a little bit and you'll probably see some cracking bargains on this model too, making it very competitive. For what it's worth, the 47LE8900, also with local dimming, is spectacular.


October 18, 2011, 3:07 pm

I would definitely go with LG 55LW980T. I read another review on this model before and it said this model is the first THX certified passive 3D TV that also has local dimming light under the panel. In addition, its design got much nicer and add lot more apps in their dash board. They still include the wii-like remote controller too. I haven't seen the picture quality yet, but I bet it would look stunning. I liked LG's lower models which were lw5600 and 6500 and thought the picture quality on them were superb also. Now since it is higher model that even has a local dimming light and THX certified, I cannot doubt about its picture quality.


October 26, 2011, 11:25 am

I recently compared this LG with the Panasonic TH-P65VT30, and ended up getting the Panasonic.
When viewed side by side I noticed a reduction in the clarity of the 3D image on the LG. I thought it strange as the screen is smaller and put it down to the banding that I saw when standing up close.
I then learned that the 3D is 720p on the LG, while the Panasonic is 1080p, and (I guess) I saw this, when comparing.
I got the Panasonic as an upgrade from a Pioneer PDP-504 and I wanted the option of 1080 in both 2D and 3D (and also went for the more obvious size increase).
Re active/passive glasses. Of all the pros and cons between the formats, flicker in day light could well be the most obvious difference.
We are moving into summer here so for now it is 3D movies at night only. I do not want to live in a cave all Weekend.
All the shops I went to had no windows, Ahh well you live and learn.


September 26, 2012, 12:59 am

I recently purchased an LG47LW980T after weeks of reading review/compare sites and am very pleased with its performance. The picture on this TV is breathtaking in HD and blu ray with some of the most vivid colours I have ever seen on a TV. 3D is great and very bright due to the full baclit led screen although the resolution is not quiet full HD it is still very good with a good sense of depth and certainly more comfortable than active 3d with no flicker or crosstalk. Also this TV although coming out last year has a MCI of 1000mhz which is the same as some of the latest 2012 models out now. The only problem I did have when first setting up was with motion juder, but this was cured by turning trumotion setting off completely. I would Highly recommend this TV to anyone, and here is the setting that I find best worked for me. Energy saving off, Backlight 70, Contrast 80, Brightness 50, Sharpness 70, Colour 68, tint&Colour temp zero, True motion off.

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