All this tech is fine but if you want to tweak pictures yourself, then the LG lets you optimise the image to an obscenely detailed level using the Expert Mode, which is approved by the Image Science Foundation (ISF). Wide Colour Control (WCC) expands the colour range to display the source material more accurately, while the AV mode lets you select different picture presets (Cinema, Sport and Game) at the push of a button. Meanwhile, Eye Care is an anti-dazzling system that reduces bright whites and boosts blacks during dark scenes, in order to stop your eyes feeling tired when watching the screen for a long time.
LG also caters for sound quality with Clear Voice, an innovation that’s useful for boosting dialogue when watching movies that have been downmixed from 5.1 to stereo. It’s joined by SRS TruSurround XT that opens up the sound to create a wider soundstage, alongside five audio presets that suit different types of material.
LG has put a lot of effort into the user interface. The set features a wonderful menu system that features crisp, full colour graphics that look more like a computer game than a TV setup menu. The menus are also intelligently structured, making all the options very easy to find. We’re also a big fan of the remote, which boasts an intuitive button arrangement, bold labelling and an unusual dappled finish that adds to the set’s overall sense of style. Many of the key functions are given their own buttons which saves a lot of time.
With so much impressive image technology on board, the LG’s picture quality comes as a big disappointment. That isn’t to say it’s all bad, but there are certain flaws that prevent it reaching the heights of the best LCD sets on the market.
But let’s start with the good stuff. High-definition sources look incredibly sharp, with the LG picking out the minutest details from Blu-ray discs. We played ”I Am Legend” on a Sony BDP-S500, with its HDMI output set to 1080/24p, and the LG does a great job of bringing every one of those lovely pixels to the screen. Shots of the deserted New York streets look fantastic, close-ups of Will Smith’s face reveal every hair on his chin and even in the dark you can make out detail amid the shadows. This razor-sharp reproduction does have a downside though, as it draws even more attention to the movie’s awful CGI zombies. Seriously, why didn’t they just use actors?
Colour reproduction is also impressive, making everything from skin tones to blue skies look realistic and forceful. You can also see the benefits of the 10-bit colour processing during scenes inside Will Smith’s house, where the gradation of the shadows on the background walls look smooth and free from banding.