The interface for LG’s Smart TV service this year is outstanding. New higher resolution graphics do a great job of enabling more content services to be presented onscreen at once on the LG 47LM860V without things looking cluttered, and the whole system seemed to work more fluidly and quickly on the TV than it did on the mid-range LG models we’ve tested, presumably because of the dual-core processor.
It’s worth adding at this point that you’re not restricted to navigating all the LG’s menus – or the web pages accessed via its integrated browser – using just the main TV remote. You also get a second ‘Magic’ remote that excellently lets you select options just by pointing the remote right at the thing you want to choose. This remote also includes a wheel for quickly moving up and down menus, and even potentially lets you issue voice commands to the TV – though this feature is apparently still in its testing stages, as we couldn’t get it to work on our test sample.
As with most LG TVs, the 47LM860V is stuffed to bursting point with picture calibration aids. These include a very good colour management system, a comprehensive white balance adjustment suite, three gamma presets, plus plenty of controls over the set’s various processing routines.
There’s a dynamic contrast system, edge enhancement, a Super Resolution detail enhancer, MPEG and standard noise reduction circuits, multiple levels for the set’s Local Dimming system, and also multiple ‘strength’ levels for LG’s TruMotion processing. Of these motion options, we’d recommend either the Clear mode, or a Manual setting with the judder and blur components nudged down from their starting points.
It’s hardly surprising from all this that the 47LM860V has bagged the endorsement of the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF), indicating that it has enough calibration tools to be professionally set up by an ISF engineer.
Turning to the all important matter of how the LG 47LM860V performs, first impressions are overwhelmingly positive.
We started off with a variety of straightforward HD TV footage, from the likes of Sky News and Eurosport HD,
and were extremely pleased with what we saw. For starters, pictures look brilliantly bright, spectacularly colourful, and almost preternaturally sharp and detailed. And unlike the cheaper 2012 LG models we’ve tested, this sharpness holds good notably more when there’s motion in the frame. Especially if you use a gentle setting of the TruMotion system. (Higher levels tend to make pictures look rather unnatural.)
Also excellent with relatively bright, colourful and dynamic footage is the sense of contrast the 47LM860V produces. Whites look white, colours across the spectrum look punchy and vibrant, while black levels look deep, giving pictures an excellent foundation to ‘bounce off’.
The good news continues with the LG 47LM860V’s 3D performance. All the 2012 LG LCD panels we’ve seen so far have taken the brand’s passive 3D technology to a much higher level, ramming home passive 3D’s advantages of brighter, more colourful pictures, practically zero crosstalk provided you don’t view from too much of an angle above or below the screen, and no flicker – so you can comfortably watch 3D images for longer and in brighter room conditions.
What passive 3D disadvantages?!
Perhaps more importantly, LG’s higher-quality 2012 panels also do a better job of ‘hiding’ passive’s disadvantages, namely the potential for visible horizontal filter lines, jagged contours and slightly reduced sharpness versus good active 3D pictures.
It must be stressed here, too, that the 47LM860V underlines the relative cheapness of passive 3D glasses by supplying seven pairs free with the TV: four standard 3D glasses, one pair of ‘clip ons’ for fitting over glasses, and two Dual Play glasses.
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These latter glasses are included to support the feature on the 47LM860V whereby two people can enjoy full screen 2D gaming simultaneously, thanks to the double-imaging delivery system behind 3D technology.