With the high number at the end of the 47LE8900’s name immediately alerting us to its location in the upper reaches of LG’s current TV range, we were surprised to find that it doesn’t support any 3D capabilities - passive or active. You can’t even add 3D via an upgrade kit.
But funnily enough, this ends up actually making us feel more wholeheartedly positive about the set than we have with any LG TV before. We’ll talk about this reasoning later, but right away you only have to look at the price we’ve found for the TV to see the first reason its lack of 3D doesn’t trouble us: under £1,350 really isn’t a bad price at all for a 47in TV with the 47LE8900’s level of specification.
That specification is led out by the screen’s use of direct LED lighting, where the LEDs sit behind the screen rather than round it edges. Experience has shown that this type of lighting tends to produce consistently the best picture quality the LCD world has to offer - especially when, as in the 47LE8900’s case, it’s accompanied by local dimming. This finds clusters of the LED lights having their light output controlled individually, with a predictably profound impact on contrast.
Given the direct LED tech, the 47LE8900’s design comes as a pleasant surprise. For it’s remarkably slim; barely 35mm at its thickest point. This makes it a rival in depth terms for most edge LED models.
The bezel around the screen is strikingly slender too, and looks mightily attractive in its chic black, high-gloss finish, offset by a transparent outer trim. Obviously many people will be tempted to place a TV this slender on their wall, but we actually loved its stand, especially the transparent 'neck' that attaches it to the TV.
The 47LE8900’s connections mostly live up to the set’s glamorous looks and quality-driven spec. This is especially true with its multimedia capabilities, delivered via a combination of a D-Sub PC port, a couple of USB slots, and an Ethernet port.
The USB ports can do two things: play photo, music or video files (with DivX HD among the supported codecs); or add Wi-Fi to the TV via an optional USB dongle.
The Ethernet port has no less than three uses. First, it provides mandatory support for a built-in Freeview HD tuner. Second, it lets you access files on DLNA ready PCs. And finally, it lets you explore LG’s NetCast ringfenced online content.
Sadly the only content on there at the time of writing was a fairly flimsy weather forecasting service, a version of YouTube optimised for use with a TV remote, and the Picasa photo storage/viewing site. This makes NetCast feel more than a little half-hearted, and clearly falls miles short of the more fully developed online services now offered by many of LG’s main rivals. Here’s hoping LG will add more content to the platform in the very near future.