LG 55LW650T - Picture Quality, Value and Verdict

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The slight lack of detail is no surprise, regardless of how

much LG tries to argue that its FPR tech delivers a full-HD 3D image. What

definitely is surprising though is that the 55LW650T’s 3D images aren’t totally

free of crosstalk. On many occasions parts of the 3D image looked slightly

shimmery and indistinct. This isn’t quite the same as the very clear double

ghosting of active 3D crosstalk perhaps, but it’s still quite distracting when

you see it.55LW650T


The 55LW650T’s pictures also explode into serious double imaging crosstalk if

you have your head at an angle of more than just 10 degrees or so above or

below the screen, while viewing from down the TV’s sides both reduces the 3D

effect and makes the picture appear ‘wavy’ – presumably an artefact of the

pattern retarder on the screen’s front.

For all these numerous shortcomings though, we’d  argue

that provided you can sit

in a sensible position relative to the screen, the 55LW650T’s 3D images are

perfectly

engaging for a mainstream viewer. They just don’t have the precision demanded

by the enthusiast’s market.55LW650T

Our biggest issue with the 55LW650T is actually more

apparent with 2D viewing than 3D viewing, and takes the form of that old

familiar edge LED bugbear of an inconsistent backlight. Without the set’s local

dimming feature active, dark scenes look very inconsistent, with big and very

obvious patches of extra brightness in each corner, even with the backlight set

low.

Turning the local dimming engine on greatly improves this problem, but replaces

it with a different one – large and very noticeable chunks of extra brightness

around bright objects when they appear against dark backgrounds. To be fair you

might not notice any of this while watching pretty straightforward daytime TV fare.

But surely anyone buying a 55in TV is going to watch their fair share of films

on it, and chances are you’ll be bugged by one form of the backlight

inconsistencies or another at some point during any film.55LW650T

In most other ways the 55LW650T’s 2D pictures are good.

Colours are rich and mostly natural with good blend subtleties, HD pictures

look sharp and detailed if very occasionally a touch noisy, and motion is solid

– though LG’s TruMotion system does throw up a few artefacts, and so should be

used sparingly. There is one final problem that will affect gamers, though. For

we measured an input lag of 101ms for the 55LW650T, even using the set’s

provided game preset. As you’d expect,

this translated into a pretty noticeable disadvantage when playing reaction-based

games, especially online.

Considering how bulky its bodywork is, the 55LW650T’s audio

is a disappointment. It’s clear and rounded enough with vocals to pass muster

with simple ‘talky’ programming, but there’s no bass to speak of and the

soundstage never manages to rise above ‘polite’ even during what should be

raucous action sequences.

Verdict

While the 55LW650T doesn’t manage to convince us that passive 3D is actually

better than active 3D, its 3D images are nonetheless more relaxing to watch and

more than acceptable for the sort of casual, occasional use that’s likely to be

the basis on which many people watch 3D sources. It’s also impossible to deny the

attractiveness of the set’s price relative to active 3D sets, especially with

multiple glasses taken into account. All of which makes it even sadder that a

potentially very appealing 3D option is so badly let down by some fundamental

backlight problems.

Score in detail

  • Features 9
  • Value 8
  • Image Quality 7
  • Design 8
  • Sound Quality 6
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