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LG Infinia 47LE8900 - Standard Def Pictures, Audio and Verdict

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
LG Infinia 47LE8900


Our Score:


We’ve already noted that the 47LE8900’s colours are exceptionally vibrant and bright, even during generally dark shots. But crucially they’re also remarkably natural and subtle in tone and blend, avoiding the slightly overblown, one-dimensional appearance sometimes noted with LG’s standard CCFL and edge LED sets.

This fact makes calibration of the TV immensely rewarding, and can end up with a palette that’s pretty much spot on with the industry-accepted D65 standard. As we’ve said before, we don’t hold by the general slavish obsession with hitting this standard, as we believe it takes personal preference, taste and room conditions out of the equation too much. But if you want D65, then the 47LE8900 gets mighty close to it.

The 47LE8900 also does a very fine job of presenting the extra crispness and detailing we expect and love with our HD sources. This is helped in no small way by a good natural response time from the screen, which found us troubled only rarely by significant amounts of motion blur.

There’s judder at times, but it’s not bad and actually, with movies at least, is arguably quite natural in creating a ‘cinematic’ feel. Plus you can get round the judder almost completely if you use the 47LE8900’s 200Hz TruMotion system. We personally tended not to use this processing as it generates a few processing artefacts. But we’d certainly recommend that you give it a go, at least, to see how you get on with it. Horses for courses and all that.

Despite a few small, generally avoidable issues, the 47LE8900 really is a fantastic way of watching HD sources, be they TV shows or Blu-ray films. A fact which sadly throws into stark relief the set’s slightly mundane standard definition efforts. DVDs look decent, but if you step down the quality scale to a typical Freeview broadcast, the set’s scaling processing doesn’t do a particularly great job of either removing source noise or adding detail and sharpness. At least standard def colours still look believable and rich, though, which certainly isn’t always the case with LCD TVs.

One other issue we should point out to console gamers is that the screen suffers a little input lag. This is especially the case using some of the picture presets - including, oddly, the THX one. But the provided Game picture preset felt absolutely fine for solo gaming, and only marginally disadvantageous while trying to shoot the crap out of annoying American pre-teens online with Call of Duty.

While LG is to be heartily congratulated for managing to squeeze direct LED lighting into such an elegantly slim TV and then using it to produce some outstanding picture quality, the Korean brand hasn’t quite been able to escape the usual audio problems associated with most very slim TVs. The soundstage holds up OK during undemanding typical daytime TV programming, but the far heavier demands of an action drama or Hollywood action blockbuster reveal a pretty brittle situation in terms of power and dynamic range, which can leave rowdy scenes sounding flat and uninvolving.


So long as you can feed the 47LE8900 a reasonably HD-rich diet, it’s capable of some really quite stunning picture quality for what is, in the circumstances, a very reasonable price. Sound and standard def pictures could be better, but overall it’s a great option for anyone happy to duck out of the whole 3D debate.

Arctic Fox

September 30, 2010, 9:22 pm

Interesting, thanks. I will be keeping an eye on LG in future since we will probably be in the market some time soon. Can I however be permitted to say that built-in TV speakers are third rate by definition? Its just a question of the _degree_ of "badness".


October 1, 2010, 1:40 pm

If you listen to the latest TVs from Philips you'll hear a very decent sound. Not to be compared with a surround system, of course, but still excellent. (I have no ties with the company in any shape or form, by the way).


October 1, 2010, 1:46 pm

Nice review. Can I pick your brains a little as this TV is the kind of thing I'm going to consider next year. Only the 55" version...

I've always been a plasma man. Never had an LCD above 26" before. Always been put off by the potential motion-blur / tearing. However I appreciate that over the years LCD has got a lot better and that many people out there are very happy watching large LCD's now.

More to the point LCD TV's have that design advantage. Like this TV they can look superb whether on or off and the tiny Bezels allow more screen.

My question is how good are the pictures on this TV compared to say the Panasonic 50G20.? Does Plasma still hold a serious advantage or does your image quality rating of 9/10 really mean that this is as good as the very best now.?


October 1, 2010, 2:47 pm

AJ, see this comprehensive technical review of the 8900's picture on AVForums.com


They rate the TV as "Excellent" - a rating shared only by a few of the best plasma screens. Apparently it's incredibly accurate, even right out of the box.


October 1, 2010, 2:50 pm

So the standard def viewing of this TV is pretty poor? Isn't that what the majority of channels are still broadcast in? And it gets 9/10 for image quality?

Why is buying a TV becoming more stressful and complicated than buying a house! :(

I went in to Richer Sounds for advice about buying a TV for the living room, so it'll be the main TV for all types of consumption. The first question I was asked is 'what type of viewing will this be used for?'. I said, everything, football, films, comedy, drama.....

He listed three completely different TV's and said each was better at watching different things. I asked what he'd recommend for 'general viewing' He said 'it depends what you want to watch!'


Sorry for the rant, but here's a challenge for anyone who fancies it.

I want a TV, up to 50" (but no smaller than say 46") for SD and HD viewing of films, sports, general TV and (least important factor) PS3 games. Budget around £1500. Preferably with a HD tuner, Internet TV and wireless. Must be good quality standard def and obviously be even better in HD!

Anyone up to the challenge? :)


October 1, 2010, 4:10 pm


Funnily enough LG have a 'What for?' style selector tool on their site, obviously only for their offerings. The fantastic HDTV Test website has a less biased and less patronising one too.



By plugging in the criteria : 46"-49", £1000-£1499, gaming average importance, movies very important, sports very important - HDTV Test recommends the Panasonic TXP46G20 (HDTV - Highly Recommended, TR - 9/10) and the Sony KDL46EX503 (HDTV - Recommended, TR - 9/10 for the 40" version).

Right off the bat, I should just say that really the only size between 46" and 50" is 47" and not all manufacturers do those (LG do though). Generally speaking if you want all the technical boxes ticked - deep blacks, no input lag, smooth motion - then you're forcing yourself into Panasonic plasma territory, which comes with a price premium, a frankly ugly design when Samsung and LG are becoming increasingly beautiful, and I have no idea about Panasonic's online services. Another thing about plasma is that it might prove limiting trying to get a 1080p set smaller than 50".

Hope that helps.


October 1, 2010, 4:59 pm


Thanks for the info. I just read the TR review for the TXP46G20 and it looks pretty good, not much talk about the standard def picture quality though, but I'll go and see if I can view one somewhere.

I also just read the review of the Philips 40PFL7605H and that sounds great, apart from the lack of a HD tuner, which I could live without. They do a 46" version too, so I'll see if I can have a look at one of those as well.

Let's see if someone here at TR is up to my challenge?


October 1, 2010, 5:22 pm

Panny do a 1080p 42", have done for a couple of years now.

I've had one of they're 'older' sets, TH42PX70 from 3 years ago. At the time it won Which best TV of the year awards.

I can vouch for HDTV Test, great unbiased website, i used it to help me select mine at the time and its good to see that its still going strong.

Hand on heart i can honestly say the TV has been fantastic, picture quality has always been excellent and i've never regretted the purchase (almost £800 at the time!).

A bit like yourself i wanted a TV for general TV viewing, movies, gaming (not interested in footie, but it does look great!) I can say its always ticked all the boxes.

The only time the TV picture quality deteriorates is when its fed a crap SD signal - you can't really blame the telly for it. The standard '5 ' are excellent, unlike Dave etc that can be bloody awful. (Can someone explain to me why they bother with trying to cram loads of tv channels onto freeview to the detriment of the picture quality - some times the picture can be worse than youTube!) The only caveat to that is programs like Strictly Come Dancing which the upscaler just can't quite cope with. With the fast moving/quick camera cuts, sparkles etc. you tend to lose a wee bit of sharpness for a few seconds, but i can say its one of the few programs that it happens with. Not seen it through BBC HD but i'll suspect the sharpness problem would disappear as you wouldn't be upscaling.

Mines might be 'only' 720p but to be honest when all material i watch is SD it made a lot more sense to only be upscaling to 720, than to 1080. I'm definitely in the camp that unless your watching a lot of BLu-Ray movies (which are the only true 1080p source material - xbox,PS3 and SKyHD are all 720p/1080i upscaled) then i don't really see much difference between 720 and 1080 unless your sitting 'really' close to the TV! 1080p is almost one of those great marketing cons (ooh controversial...)

HD picture wise, via xbox 360, picture is excellent, sharp, blacks are great, colours look fantastic and i've never experienced any blurrying/tearing or any other noticeable side effects - i've been hughely impressed by it.

Could be argued that its not as bright as an LCD picture, but i personally don't like the slightly false saturated colours that you can get with LCD.

Plasma problems - burn in - not an issue to be honest - just don't leave it on the Sky Planner screen or watch Sports results 8 hours a day for weeks on end and your fine - common sense really!

Another tip, switch off all the picture processing gubbins, or leave it on low. Most of it is totally unneccesary marketing drivel and i've found tends to just make the picture worse than better. In truth, less is more.

Bottom line - ive found Panasonic's plasma tv's to be excellent for all viewing material.

An interesting aside - Recently visited my local Panasonic shop, not to purchase anything, but for a nosey to look at their 3D tv's. I may be a fan of Panasonic plasma's but not so much with their current 3D implementation, the depth is a bit too much and the glasses are terrible! They're huge and sit on the end of your nose -daft! Samsungs and LG's versions are a bit better but noone has really got it quite right yet i don't think - 3D in the home is a bit of a gimmic and is just an excuse/marketing for manufacturers to flog another TV to you.

Anyway as i was saying, what was interesting was the salesmans view on their LCD TV's. He admitted to me that the only reason Panasonic even make an LCD tv is because they were constantly getting asked by the 'general Joe Soap' buying public for them. He was saying to me that they come in ask for LCD and then leave when he would tell them they didn't have any. Even showing them the excellent picture quality of the plasma TV's they still weren't interested as they only wanted LCD - ie. the newer and 'fancier' tech, or its what their mates have and that plasma is 'old fashioned'. Its quite sad how through some fancy marketing the general public have been completely brain washed and seem to be blind to what is actually a good picture......


October 1, 2010, 5:23 pm


In general, Panasonic plasmas handle SD video very well. But if I were you, I'd use your PS3 to play DVDs and TV, because its upscaling is as good as it gets.


October 1, 2010, 5:28 pm


You mention the TXP46G20. That would be my TV upgrade choice. Wonderful Pioneer Kuro inspired panel, excellent connectivity, HD tuners. If the standard def is anything like my 3 year old plasma then you won't be dissappointed (unless you like watching the Freeview music channels - i'm afriad no TV is going to be able to make them look good! lol!) HD picture is the best you can get.

That TV is on my wishlist - time to ask for a payrise!

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