At this stage you’re probably starting to wonder why such an apparently brilliant TV has only snagged an 8 score. There are actually a quartet of reasons why we’ve felt compelled to dock the LG 47LM860V a couple of marks.
The smallest one is that skin tones look a touch mannequin like, even with HD sources. Next, the TV’s screen is a little more reflective of ambient light than we’d ideally like.
Problem for gamers
Then there’s the TV’s susceptibility to input lag. We measured a delay between the pictures leaving our timing source and finally appearing on the 47LM860V’s screen of 100ms. This is three times as high as the figures recorded with most other TVs, and could potentially damage a gamer’s performance.
The biggest problem with the LG 47LM860V, though, concerns the operation of its edge lighting system while handling very dark material. It becomes apparent that if you don’t activate the set’s Local Dimming feature, its basic black level response is surprisingly limited, leaving dark scenes looking washed out and greyed over.
There are also fairly obvious patches of ‘clouding’ caused by the edge LEDs’ inability to light the screen uniformly – and none of these issues can be satisfactorily solved by adjusting the backlight, brightness, contrast or black level options.
If you call in the Local Dimming, though, while it profoundly improves core black levels, it also introduces some occasionally quite obvious backlight blocking, where bright objects that appear against dark backgrounds are surrounded by rectangles of extra brightness that can run right from the top of the screen down to the bottom.
To be fair, the LG 47LM860V’s problems in this regard are usually only really obvious when you are watching 21:9-ratio films, where the black bars above and below the picture routinely exhibit quite obvious clouds and blocks of lighting inconsistency. The problems are much less apparent with screen-filling 16:9 footage, and are completely invisible with predominantly bright footage. So if you only watch films on your telly very occasionally, the backlight inconsistencies may not be an issue you’ll need to worry about much.
If you do expect to watch a lot of films in low-light conditions, though, you should certainly try and experience the backlight issues yourself before deciding to buy a 47LM860V. It also occurs to us here that most edge LED TVs nowadays position their lights down the sides of their screens rather than along the top and bottom – an approach which, while far from flawless (as noted recently with the Panasonic L55WT50), does generally seem to cause less obvious consistency flaws, especially when watching 21:9-ratio films.
If you’re after a gorgeous looking TV that makes most broadcast fare look nothing short of spectacular, especially if it’s HD, then the LG 47LM860V is a hugely persuasive option.
Serious film lovers and hardcore gamers, though, may struggle to ignore the backlight flaws noted with dark scenes and the high levels of measured input lag – especially now that Sony has recently changed the edge LED backlight landscape with its outstanding HX853 series.
Score in detail
3D Quality 9
2D Quality 8
Sound Quality 8